Hello Lads and Lassies,
It's Ngozi Musa reporting live! I am a rising Harvard track and field alumna (aka graduated senior who is officially washed-up) or as Harvard Athletics likes to say I am a "friend of Harvard Track and Field," and I am here to report to you about our team's international trip - HYOC 19.
As many of you are probably wondering, what does HYOC stand for exactly? H-Y-O-C is short for Harvard - Yale - Oxford - Cambridge. This trip takes place every four years and it is the oldest transcontinental ongoing international track and field meet in the world!
The trip is a total of 10 days, spanning five different places and everything and anything track and field.
The most unique part about HYOC is being able to come together with our old time rivals to make one team. Together as HY, we compete, battle, and race against other international universities.
First up was Limerick! I had never been to Limerick, Dublin, or Ireland so it was such a treat! When we arrived at the Dublin airport and on the University of Limerick campus we were greeted with warmth and hospitality. We got to stay in the University of Limerick dorms, and we got to train at their facilities.
After we arrived in Limerick, we went exploring for nothing other than food. We happened upon the 'Stables' which was a restaurant and bar that was across the Living Bridge from where we lived. Over the course of our time in Limerick, Stables became our staple. Breakfast, lunch, dinner - you name it, 'Stables' had it. You don't realize how generous and kind the Irish are until you go to 'Stables' and they give you a boat load of "chips" and their guacamole has no extra charge.
While in Limerick, we ventured out into downtown Limerick, saw King John's Castle, tried their staple snack - Taytos - and learned how to properly Irish dance & Irish jig.
The most memorable part about our trip to Limerick was being able to see the Cliffs of Moher. We traveled to the cliffs the day before our big meet against Limerick, and we must have had the "luck of the Irish" because on the day we went, there was no rain or clouds in sight to block the beautiful and breathtaking sight of the cliffs.
The next day was meet day.
Similar to Gordon Indoor Track, Limerick just recently resurfaced their track and we were the first people to race on their new surface.
In true Irish fashion, meet day was welcomed by raining cats and dogs. After battling through the rain and cold, and putting up a good fight against the Limerick student athletes, we finished our last night in Limerick with a banquet to commemorate the meet and the 28 year old friendship we have had with the University of Limerick and their track team.
All in all, our time in Limerick was well spent and we are now off to visit Oxford then Birmingham, England to compete against the University of Birmingham!