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Student linguist fluent in running

Nearly three years ago, when Peter Molloy was considering where to study languages, he opted for Cambridge ‘with half a mind to keeping up the running and orienteering for the duration of my degree.’

What he didn’t predict was the symbiosis of his chosen subject and favourite leisure pursuit, particularly in his year abroad.

Running has really helped me meet lots of new people in the countries in which I’ve been living. Prior to my year abroad I certainly didn’t expect that running would open up so many racing and language opportunities, but I am very grateful that it has!

Peter (left) sporting his latest medal. Photo: James Ackland

During a six-month work-study placement in Georgia, Peter organised some orienteering races in the capital Tbilisi ‘in an attempt to revive the sport there.’

I was helped by a number of other runners who have since carried on the efforts since I have left, which is exciting.

While in Georgia Peter competed in several races, coming third in the Tbilisi Half Marathon last September and winning two trail/mountain running races in September and November.

‘Running was a fantastic way to speak Russian and it was the main way through which I improved my language level over the six months,’ he said, adding that this was partly down to the wave of Russians who arrived in Tbilisi in the autumn following Russia’s military mobilisation.

Peter competing in Kyrgyzstan Photo: Aleksander Salakhudinov

Soon after he returned to the UK this spring, Peter competed in the British Universities Orienteering Championships, held in Edinburgh 18-19 March, coming second in the individual race and anchoring the Cambridge team to second place in the relay.

The next day Peter departed for his placement in Kyrgyzstan and on 2 April ran in the Kyrgyz Cross-Country Championships. He came third – behind two Kyrgyz Olympic runners!

And that’s not all. ‘I am looking forward to competing in the upcoming Almaty Half Marathon, held in southern Kazakhstan, on the 23 April,’ he said.

Very best of luck Peter!

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