Club Captain's Welcome


Welcome to the OUCCC Website

Welcome to Oxford University Cross Country Club! OUCCC was founded in 1876, and ever since, members have been running the roads and fields of Oxford together. Today, our club boasts a large and diverse membership, as well as a friendly and inclusive atmosphere. From complete beginners to seasoned athletes, anyone interested in running is welcome to get involved with us. Our weekly club runs and training sessions cater for a broad range of abilities ranging from top end international athletes to beginners. This range has allowed us to build a large strength and depth to the club, that I for one am extremely proud of.

Throughout the year our extremely dedicated club coach, Matt Seddon, provides our athletes with specific training plans, often personalised to need and ability. These have allowed our athletes, including myself, to come on leaps and bounds during their time at university. A typical term-time week includes drills and speedwork on Monday, club-runs on Tuesday and Thursday, sessions on Wednesday and Saturday, and a long run through Oxford’s glorious countryside on a Sunday. Alongside this we have twice weekly social runs organised by our social running rep, where the distances are slightly shorter and the paces more relaxed. With all these training opportunities, we like to remind athletes that none is compulsory, and they can participate in as much or little as suits them. 

The University year is split into 3 terms all 8 weeks in length: Michaelmas (October-December), Hilary (January-March) and Trinity (April-June). Naturally, Michaelmas is the busiest term for cross country, culminating in the historic Varsity Matches against C*mbridge in weeks 7 and 8. Teams for the Blues and II-IVs teams are selected based off 2 key selection races: Cuppers (an inter-college race held at South Parks on Saturday of week 2) and Cross Challenge (typically Milton Keynes or Cardiff in Saturday of Week 5). II-Ivs Varsity matches alternate in venue between Oxford and C*mbridge (2024 will be on home turf!), whilst the Blues match takes place on the last day of term at Wimbledon Common. This historic Blues match is organised by Thames Hare & Hounds.

Our Hilary term lends its focus to the British University Cross Country Championships (BUCS), held in early-February at a different location in the UK each year.  This is always a yearly highlight where university students from all around the country unite for a weekend of racing and celebrations afterwards. We pride ourselves on being consistently in the top-end of results, rivalling the likes of Loughborough and Birmingham, as seen by our Men’s team Silver in 2024, and our host of athletes across the men and women’s teams finishing in the top 20. Other racing opportunities include English National Cross Country, Hyde Park Relays and Armagh 5k, for which we often take a strong contingent of athletes to. The term concludes with our own Teddy Hall Relays even, starting and finishing on the iconic Iffley Road track where Roger Bannister was the first man to ever break the 4:00 minute mile. This is followed by a Teddy Hall Afternoon Tea, and in the evening our Annual Dinner Celebrations begin.

Going into Trinity term we shift our focus towards athletics, with many members representing our sister club, OUAC, in distances ranging from long sprints- to long distance and marathons. Key events of this term include Athletics Varsity, BUCS outdoor and, iconically, The Bannister Miles. With some keen mountain runners and road runners amongst the club too, your summer niche of running is sure to be catered for.

Of course, our club is as much about friendship and camaraderie as it is race performances. Throughout the year, our social secretaries organise a diverse array of events, striving to cater for all. Against this backdrop, many lifelong friendships have been forged. Another highlight is our annual pre-season training camp, typically held before the start of Michaelmas in September, at a scenic location in the UK (in recent years this has included the New Forest National Park and The Yorkshire Dales). Training camps are a particularly good way for freshers to cultivate friendships and learn about the club before starting at Oxford. This allows them to settle in and feel secure in the knowledge that when they arrive in oxford they already have a group of friends waiting for them! If you are an incoming fresher and wish to find out more, do not hesitate to get in touch with me!

Overall OUCCC offers a welcoming environment to immerse yourself in Oxford’s vibrant and historic sporting life. With opportunities to further yourself physically, mentally and to develop friendships along the way. I hope you will find this website informative and useful. I invite you to explore the different sections of the website to find out more about the club, and to follow us on social media for day-to-day updates on cross country life in Oxford. If you have any questions, I, or another member of our wonderful committee, would be very happy to answer them.


Forever yours in dark blue,

Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla

(Trinity College, OUCCC Club Captain 2024-2025)


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