OUCCC runs the 2016 Oxford Half Marathon

As eight thousand runners descended on the city of dreaming spires for the annual Vitality Oxford Half Marathon on 9 October, many OUCCC runners were left weaving their way through the crowds of spectators as they tried to make their escape to Wytham Woods for the usual Sunday morning long run. But some of the OUCCC team were out sporting their navy racing vests on the course itself. The runners set off from Broad Street, heading out north through Summertown, east along our favourite winter running route to Old Marston village and back into the city centre with the last four miles winding through the University Parks and finishing up with a loop of the iconic Radcliffe Camera.

Our two outstanding performers of the day were undoubtedly OUCCC Marathon Team Captain 2015-16 Kate Niehaus, who finished second woman in a rapid time of 81:54, only 40 seconds behind the winning female, and also new member Eoghan Tottan who finished third in a speedy 67:51, again only about half a minute behind the overall race winner. A flying start to what should be a very successful OUCCC career!

Another new member who had an amazing run was Helen Record, finishing 10th woman in 85:28. Other notable OUCCC performances include Ben Gibbons (23rd overall), Joel Spratt (67th), Helene Greenwood (17th woman) and Emma Hodson (24th woman). Special shout-out to CSS (Matt Boughen for those of you who may not have been lucky enough to come on recent training camps…) for slashing a huge 15 minutes off his personal best!

The Club also won the Club Challenge, with a combined time of 5:27:1, beating second place by four minutes.

And now as we move towards the end of October, and with the Varsity Match looming ever closer, we turn our attention towards the shorter end of the distance spectrum, retrieving those dirt-caked spikes for a return to the grass, mud and hills of the cross-country races we all love.

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

OUCCC storming their way through the course

OUCCC storming their way through the course

This report can be accessed as a Word document here.

Freshers’ Run Report 2016

There was a fantastic turn out for this year’s Freshers’ Run on Sunday 9 October. Everyone met at the Rad Cam, where the OUCCC tent stood in all its glory with plenty of returning members (and DBJ) on hand to welcome potential newbies. We headed off in various groups for a steady run around uni parks and via our Tuesday session venue of Exeter-Hertford playing fields. On returning to the Rad Cam the refreshments team had transformed the tent with a fine display of hot & cold drinks (feat. super cool glass squash dispenser) and plenty of fruit, biscuits and cakes. Thanks to Olly (not Ollie) for being an expert at the tent, and to the wonderful team of helpers led by Miles and Libby for putting on such a welcoming event. It was great to see lots of new faces and meet the next generation of OUCCC.

Freshers, we hope you had fun and look forward to seeing you all again soon! If you have any questions or queries about the club, please just get in touch with one of the committee via email or Facebook. You can see who we all are by clicking “About” and then “Committee” on this website.

Laura Fenwick, Lady Margaret Hall


Pre-Season Training Camp 2016

Goblin Combe, Cleeve was this year’s setting for our annual pre-season training camp, which as usual provided an opportunity to not only get our Varsity campaign underway with some quality training, but also to build team spirit, select suitable nick-names for innocent freshers (DBJ), and introduce some new crew-date rules. Drop snake.

We arrived on Friday afternoon, unpacked an entire Tesco van of food and then headed out to stretch our legs with an orienteering session in the local area. The evening was filled with introductions, general chatter and card games, plus an emergency trip to ASDA for missing dinner ingredients. Tinned tomatoes and navigational mishaps aside, it was a successful first day and everybody seemed to be getting along well. There was some concern for Luke Cotter’s health after he had earlier initiated a mass washing up session completely voluntarily, but probably even greater concern for the health of Miles Chandler’s car, due to the rather inconsiderately steep hill that we were staying atop.

On Saturday morning we travelled to Ashton Court for a tough interval session on hilly terrain. Everyone worked hard and it was great to hear lots of encouragement being passed around within the group. The rest of the day was filled mostly with ‘I’ve just found out I have Michaelmas collections’ revision and a hotly contested game of rounders in which Alex Howard complained approximately once per minute that his team were being unfairly treated. Saturday evening’s entertainment was the greatly anticipated Quiztofi’s Quiz, a masterpiece by the legend himself including a round devoted entirely to matching up athletes with their English Schools finishing positions some four or five years ago. With exhausted minds we all slept well and woke up full of energy for Sunday morning’s long run. Maps were studied and landmarks memorised, but with team orienteers Jamie and Aidan both absent, success was looking unlikely. Nevertheless all athletes returned in one piece to be greeted by a calf strengthening workshop from Lesley and, thanks to Laura’s injured ankle, a spotlessly clean kitchen. The evening meal at local pub, The Star, provided great entertainment and food for all. Much to Christofi’s dismay it also provided alcohol, something that a few members of the group indulged in to a greater extent than others. Despite a late night for some, everyone was up and ready to run on Monday morning with the sound of ‘Libby Libby’ still ringing in most people’s ears. Circuits and a second run were followed in the evening by perhaps the most repetitive game of ‘fish-bowl’ to have ever been played. Fortunately CSS was on hand to break up the monotony of ‘Paget’ and ‘DJ’ references with his unique and rather confusing entry, ‘do a legless pig’.

All too soon Tuesday came around and it was time for the final session – some flat grass at long last as we ventured down the hill to the village cricket pitch. Now a training camp classic, the 1/2/3/4/5/4/3/2/1 set went down a treat despite the rain. Throughout the afternoon numbers gradually decreased as amidst the packing, cleaning and eating all of the leftover food we one by one departed for the station and headed home. Thanks must go to everyone who came along and made it such a fantastic trip, but particularly to Miles for organising what can only be described as a highly enjoyable five days of miles, Miles, maids, maps, massage and merriment. We look forward to welcoming more freshers into the OUCCC community over the coming weeks. Until next time, drop bear.

Laura Fenwick, Lady Margaret Hall