OUCCC – Your Stepping Stone to Olympic Glory?

Now that the Rio Olympics have been and gone and those nail-biting moments spent glued to the television are just distant summer memories, what can we as runners take away from the two weeks of élite sport? Implementing a punishing Olympic training régime might not be realistic, but that’s not to say that reflecting on these athletics feats is not a valuable exercise. No review of the Olympic athletics would be complete without first mentioning Mo Farah. His amazing achievement in securing the ‘double double’ of distance track running was all the more remarkable when you consider how his 10,000m race played out. It is often the hardest thing to pick yourself up after a fall, whether literal or metaphorical, and for him to then go on and win the race so decisively was especially spectacular. Whilst Farah’s wins on the track were undoubtedly the highlight of Rio from a British athletics perspective, who could possibly forget the women’s 10,000m? No less than four of the athletes ran under 30 minutes as Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana stormed to victory, smashing the 23-year-old world record by almost a quarter of a minute in an amazing time of 29:17. We couldn’t have asked for more excitement from the opening race of the Games.

And it isn’t all about the winning, although we wouldn’t usually admit that ourselves… The touching story of Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino reflects the true spirit of sportsmanship and fair play that we attempt to replicate here at OUCCC. As the days begin to shorten and the climate cools, we can do more than just reminisce over a summer of track triumphs, but instead use these Olympic stories as motivation for the upcoming cross-country season. If ever in doubt, you can always take inspiration from the Olympic motto, ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’.

So whether you’re looking just to have some fun in the mud this winter, or planning how to launch your Olympic career, don’t look any further because OUCCC is the place to be.

Helene Greenwood, OUCCC Women’s Captain 2016-17, University College

Summer holidays at OUCCC

During the Long Vacation, OUCCC members have been running in all sorts of wonderful and strange places in preparation for the upcoming cross-country season.  Here is a selection of photos from their adventures…

Rachel Skokowski, USA

Rachel Skokowski, California, USA

Bethanie Murray, Mt. Snowdon, Wales

Helene Greenwood, The Alps

Helene Greenwood, The Alps

Rachel Skokowski, California, USA

Rachel Skokowski, California, USA

OUCCC group training run

OUCCC group training run, Portugal

trails

Natalie Beadle, Lake District

Victories all-round in the 2016 Town and Gown Matches

It’s been another great week for OUCCC both on the road and track with the annual Town and Gown 10k race on Sunday 15 May and the Town vs. Gown Athletics Match on Wednesday 18 May. Starting with the 10k, many of our runners took to the streets of Oxford for the 35th staging of this popular event. Luuk Metselaar flew round the scenic course, winning in a time of 31:33, 46 seconds clear of the second-placed runner, and making it a ‘Gown’ victory for the second year in a row. Oliver Paulin also had a great race, finishing 18th in 35:19. On the girls’ side, Bethanie Murray was the fourth senior woman home in an impressive personal-best time of 38:42.

Three days later Bethanie Murray was back racing in the Town vs. Gown Athletics Match, where she conclusively won the women’s 5000m in 17:32, smashing the Full Blue time in the process. This was Bethanie’s fourth 5000m PB on the track in the short space of three weeks. After a brilliant cross-country season, she’s now dominating the distance races on the track too. Niki Faulkner claimed a decisive victory in the men’s 5000m, achieving a huge PB of 15:54. And the victories did not stop there: Tom Binnie was rewarded for his win in the Mile with a very nice trophy.  It’s proving to be an extremely successful summer season for OUCCC and the best bit is that there’s still lots more left to come!

Helene Greenwood, OUCCC Women’s Captain 2016-17, University College

Full results of the Town and Gown 10k here.  Full results of the Town vs. Gown Athletics Match here.

This report can be accessed as a Word document here.