2021 OUCCC Pre-Season Training Camp

Each year OUCCC organises a Pre-Season Training Camp in mid- or late September, a few weeks before the start of Michaelmas Term in order to get reacquainted with miles, hills and each other.

This year, our pre-season training camp will be held in Abergavenny, in Wales, from the 9th- 14th September. We have a lot of people already signed up to come, but we have held a few spaces open specifically for freshers and newcomers who are interested in coming along- if this is you, please do get in touch with Captain Dan Bundred (daniel.bundred@sjc.ox.ac.uk). We would love to see you there! For incoming freshers (both under- and postgrad), training camp acts as a wonderful opportunity to get to know the club and its current members before joining properly in October. It also means you’ll already have a lot of friendly faces around Oxford to make your transition to university in general that little bit smoother! It’s also important to note that the club serves a wide variety of athletic experience- you can be fast or slow, have run lots or not a lot- and you can participate in as much or as little of the training we will be doing on camp as you feel like.

For a bit of insight into what we typically get up to, here’s a report of the 2018 training camp written by current Captain, Dan, back when he was a wee fresher himself (!):


From September 13th-18th, this year’s camp was hosted at Gibside Stables, a long way north of the Pret-Greggs border. Still, this did not seem to hamper attendance as ­­­­­­­­­OUCCC turned up in force. Gibside Stables provided us with a wealth of scenic routes and the group wasted no time in making use of them with a variety of runs on Thursday evening. Extreme Pictionary made its return, albeit with the Yeti being transformed into a “caveman driving a Bentley”.

Friday began with a trip to a local pool, followed in the afternoon by an easy out and back along the Derwent Walk local disused railway trail and Dutty’s core session (complete with Paulin’s timing/commentary). Friday evening saw Paulin’s famous chicken curry before the arrival of Joe Dugdale.

Woodsy then went on to join Noah, Tim and Aidan at the Simonside Fell race on Saturday, with the latter two claiming 3rd and 1st place respectively, but not before Dutty became first finisher at this week’s Gibside parkrun, missing out on the course record by a mere 21s! There were solid performances also from Connor, Helene, Claire and Ellen with the ladies acquiring an impressive 1,2,3! The rest of us began our session an hour later with 1 mile tempo followed by 2 or 3 each of 4 and 2 minute efforts. After more running that afternoon, we assembled for pizza in the café at 18:00. Unfortunately, two dozen pizza orders proved too much for the National Trust to handle and the alcohol consumed by the time they had arrived at 20:00 laid the foundations for the events of later that night. More on that from our Social Secretary: Tim Harrison.

Sunday morning featured some impressive mileage nonetheless, with all except Woodsy surviving unscathed. There was a well navigated 10 miles around Chopwell woods as well as a 14 mile 1474ft run through the Pennines from Stanhope. Sunday afternoon was spent proving you’re never too old for the low ropes, with Dutty, Sam and Dani finding new ways to make the course more challenging. Sunday was quiz night, with Woodsy and Paulin taking us through a wealth of OUCCC trivia from how to be a supple leopard to last year’s Varsity results.

On Monday, there was more swimming, along with several morning and afternoon runs. Those who didn’t go swimming enjoyed a few games of hats, featuring Dutty’s “savagery” and an impressive number of references to Garforth given his absence. The evening featured an OUCCC singalong inc top hits such as “Luuuuk Metselaaar!!!!!!!!!!!” and “No Sympathy For Oli Paulin”.

Before leaving on Tuesday it was time for our second session. 2 miles at tempo followed by a pyramid (30,60,90,120,90,60,30 [1’’ jog]). The session was well run by all and marked the end of a successful 6 days of training; well done to all!

An enormous thank you to all those who helped organise the camp. In particular to Club Captain Helene Greenwood and Men’s Captain Oliver Paulin for their tremendous efforts in organising the camp! Thanks also to all those who helped ferry people to/from the station, those who helped produce copious amounts of wonderful food, those who baked beforehand and indeed to everyone who came for making all the Freshers feel so welcome and for sharing so much useful advice. A huge thank you also to Lesley Byrant for travelling all the way up north to administer deep tissue therapy as well as a fantastic workshop on Friday.

Daniel Bundred, St John’s College


FRESHERS ARE VERY WELCOME ON TRAINING CAMP! Whether you are new to the club, new to Oxford, new to running, or new (or old) to any combination of the three, you are actively encouraged to get involved. Alumni are also welcome, subject to space. Do not be put off by the word ‘training’ in the title! Attendees are in no way expected to take part in all of the runs some members will be doing, and are welcome to train as much or as little as they want. There is also a social element to training camp, and whether you are a new member or old, it is a great chance to get to know your clubmates better.

2018 Training Camp | 2017 Training Camp2016 Training Camp2015 Training Camp | 2014 Training Camp