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


Freshers’ Run 2016

Calling all Freshers…

The Freshers’ Run for 2016 will take place on Sunday 9 October at 1600, starting from the Radcliffe Camera.  The run will be approximately three miles, and will be followed by tea at Brasenose College.  Anyone keen to find out more about joining OUCCC, whatever your ability, is most welcome.  Of course, all returning OUCCC runners are also welcome!

For more information and updates, join our Facebook group and mailing list.

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