At 08:55 on the Friday of Roses I could be seen sprinting down Main Street armed with two bags, a sleeping bag, and a pool cue. This was not my Roses warm up. Breaking sweat was the last thing I wanted with the prospect of my next shower 60 hours away. This was me putting in a 300m PB to catch my 9am coach.
And the madness did not stop there; from pitchside to swimming pool, from racing to find Gary Neville to Lancaster’s nightlife strip, this weekend was jam-packed with events, energy and excitement. It all flew by quicker than the arrows at Archery.
Only now as I write have I had the chance to properly reflect on the atmospheric currents that carried me through the weekend – as a spectator, player, and reporter – and pick out my highlights of the weekend, aside from the comedic exploits of my co-Editor Chay Quinn which deserve a column of their own.
My first highlight came during the Opening Ceremony men’s football match. With the first beers of the day consumed under the sun to fuel our live tweeting, what unfolded in front of our eyes was exhilarating. The vision of a semi-nude Lancastrian pitch invader sticks in the memory. The biggest clap of the day followed as stewards escorted him out of the ground. My phone died amidst the chaos of the last-minute winner, momentarily leaving our (I’m sure) thousands of followers in the lurch. As if the match did not hold enough tension.
Walkouts during my pool match provided another moment of hilarity, as my teammate Matthew Watson walked out 30 seconds too early and as a result had to stand awkwardly as Club Foot progressed into its famed guitar notes. Poor him.
Another highlight has to be being two feet away from Gary Neville. You may wonder why only 2 feet. (This is the distance recommended to be apart from Neville by the Department of Health and Wellbeing if you want to avoid his wrath.) Our Deputy Sports Editor Jordan McWilliam was brave enough to ask him for a quote and consequently was diagnosed with PTSD written moments following his short interview.
My final highlight came while compiling this supplement. Jordan was clearly not impressed with his deconstructed kebab: “I pay them to put the kebab together. I don’t expect to have to do it myself.”
I can now say that I have contributed to coverage of Europe’s largest inter-university sports tournament, involving a university with the largest plastic bottomed lake in Europe. Life complete.