Bea Wood is excelling in cross country running alongside her studies.
What are you studying at Lucy Cavendish College?
I’m studying for a BA in English literature. After that, I would love to stay in Cambridge to complete a PhD in European literature and then possibly go on to work in the civil service, diplomatic/foreign office or journalism.
Which University team are you part of?
CUH&H - the Cambridge University Hare and Hounds (the cross country running team) and also CUAC - the Cambridge University Athletics Club, for the track season in the summer.
What have been the highlights of your sporting achievements so far?
Racing in the European cross country championships in 2021 and getting my first GB call-up was a fantastic experience, as was racing in Spain in January 2022, representing England. I also participated in the 2022 CU Hare & Hounds Freshers’ 5km, and placed first among the women with a time of 16:35. I also raced in the annual Cuppers event of the Hare and Hounds (Cambridge University's cross country running club) which took place at Gog Magog Down. She recently qualified to represent Great Britain in the cross country team at the European Championships in Turin in two weeks' time.
How did you get into your sport?
In primary school, I was always very competitive at sports days, especially setting my sights on the ‘marathon’ race (which was probably about 500m), and once we moved to Salisbury, I joined the athletics club to pursue running further.
What benefits does your sport have on your studies, health, and wellbeing?
My sport hugely benefits every other facet of my life - the hare and hounds are an incredibly friendly team and I have great friends there - they organise super social events to help solidify our team spirit too. More generally, running provides an extra identity away from academics, if not a ‘rest’, and guarantees getting out frequently for fresh air and exercise, even when I’m busy. In that way it helps with time management too, as a run becomes a specifically carved-out block in the daily routine, breaking up the time spent working.