52 Years and Counting

Week 6 of term 1, must mean Inward Bound (IB) is upon us.

Back in 2010, when choosing which university I wanted to go to, I decided to come up to Canberra and tour some of the colleges. Being a keen shorter distance runner, each college was very eager to tell me about this crazy navigation footrace event. My first thought was “what lunatics go to this university!” Little did I know that just 8 or so months later, in early April of 2011, I would be competing for my college, and running for 55km down Paddy’s River and Naas Roads.

Whilst many people still think this event is ludicrous, the fact that it is now in its 52nd year suggests that there must be something endearing about the event, something that captures the hearts of minds of ANU students to keep coming back as a spectator, volunteer, runner, or organizer, year after year, after year.

I look back at the person I was when I first stepped on to Daley Road in February 2011, and the person I am now, 4 years later, and I barely recognise myself. What ever happened to the socially awkward, quiet and timid person I used to be? Whilst some of these changes can be attributed to my time at college, IB was definitely the catalyst for that change. I went on the training runs, made new friends, and spoke to the opposite sex for the first time. I learnt about teamwork, in a non-academic sense, I learnt about the power of the human mind, about leadership and, most importantly, about camaraderie. The friends I made in my years of running IB will never leave me. It is this side of IB, that keeps people coming back each year.

2014 promises to be yet another highly competitive year with the likes of David Baldwin, Hamish Leslie, Matthew Parton and Tom Brazier and their teams fighting it out for Division 1 glory. B&G will be looking to retain the trophy, having won it in 2011 and 2013 (2012 was declared a non-event). However, they look to have some tough competition from Johns and Burgmann, and you can never discount any of the other halls and lodges when it comes to IB. Adding to the competition in 2014 is the addition of teams from ADFA in divisions 1, 5, 6 and 7.

On Friday the 28th and Saturday the 29th, 240 competitors will be sent off in to the wilderness, 220 volunteers will help send them off and welcome them back home, 800-1000 spectators will converge on End Point in a day of festivities. None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for the hard work of the 8 students and staff of the ANU who form the IB organising committee.

In these last few days before the event, competitors and volunteers must attend a compulsory briefing on Tuesday and Wednesday nights respectively at Bruce Hall, they should also familiarise themselves with the rules and regulations of the event, and monitor the IB website http://running.club.anu.edu.au/InwardBound/ for a range of updates.

Make sure you pack your swag, Winnebago, sleeping bag, blanket, etc. and head out to End Point bright and early on the 29th. Check the IB website at around 5am on the 29th for driving instructions as to how to get there. Please remember End Point and Send Off are strictly alcohol and drug free and please obey and respect the instructions of officials on the day

Good luck to all competitors, volunteers, and spectators! See you all at End Point, and may this event continue for many more years to come.