So today is a slightly off-topic post as I’m going to take a look at the lighter side of training. And yes, you did read that correct: Quidditch; the game from Harry Potter, with people flying on brooms and a tiny ball with wings whizzing around. Unfortunately due to technical limitations not all of this was possible, but it doesn’t stop people trying!
So today I took part in the inaugural University of Manchester Quidditch Championships! Unsurprisingly, the game was conceived by some American students and is essentially the same as the Harry Potter version, except we can’t fly so the game is confined to the ground. It is basically a mix of handball (for scoring in the 3 hoops), dodgeball (for the beaters), and extreme cross-country (for the seeker). Oh yeah, the snitch is a person! I had been drafted in to play seeker by the dodgeball team as they wanted someone who could run. All being dodgeball players, and one of them a GB handball player, we thought we had a pretty good chance, not that we were taking it particularly seriously, rocking up with our multi-coloured mops, dusters and brooms!
My job was essentially to catch the snitch, who had a 30 second head start, and could hide anywhere in the grounds of where we were playing. I also played as the snitch, and spent the day running around trying not to get caught! It was a little unfair as the other teams were your usual students, and not those who put in 20 hours of training a week, but with 6 teams in the tournament, I played every match in one guise or the other and it was tough work by the end! My garmin file (yes I did wear my GPS…) shows the random running, but also shows how hard work it was! It was an extremely good interval session, and I don’t think I have run that quickly for a long time in parts, going from full-on sprinting to easy jogging. I’m not used to that anymore, and the legs are feeling it now.
We won every game we played, and I also had great fun playing the snitch. It was nice being back off-road again, even if it was fields, and very nice to be playing team sports for a change again, something that as triathletes we really don’t get to experience enough, despite all the squad sessions.
So next time you get asked to do something a little wacky, consider it. We can all use a mental break from structured, confined training, and the cross-training can be just as hard! You never know, you might have some fun as well.