Club Captain's Welcome

Jared Martin

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. Here, I give a brief, and far from exhaustive, overview of training, races, and the other club activities that we offer.

Throughout the university year, we provide multiple weekly training sessions and club runs, the former led by our dedicated club coach, Matt Seddon. A typical term-time week includes drills and speedwork on Monday, club runs on Tuesday and Thursday, training sessions on Wednesday and Saturday, and a long run in the idyllic countryside surrounding Oxford on Sunday. There are also twice-weekly social runs,  organised by our social running rep, where the distances are slightly shorter and the pace a bit more relaxed. All members are welcome to participate in as much or as little of this as they like.

The university year begins with Michaelmas term in early-October. This is perhaps the busiest term for us, with opportunities to race at Cuppers (an inter-college race held at South Parks on Saturday of Week Two), Milton Keynes Chiltern League (Saturday, Week Five), and, of course, the main event: the historic Varsity Match against Cambridge University. This is held across two weekends (Saturday, Week Seven and Week Eight). Teams are selected based off performances at Cuppers and Milton Keynes. II-IV teams compete on Week Seven, the venue alternating between Oxford and Cambridge (the 2023 event will be in Cambridge). Then, on the last day of term, the men’s and women’s Blues race at Wimbledon Common, this historic event organised by Thames Hare & Hounds. Other opportunities to race include the National Cross Country Relays at Mansfield and the Cardiff Cross Challenge.

In Hilary term, the main event is the British University Cross Country Championships, held in early-February at a different location in the UK each year. This is always a great weekend, and we pride ourselves on being consistently towards the top-end of results. Other opportunities to race include the English National Cross Country Championships, Hyde Park Relays, and Armagh 5k. The term concludes with our own Teddy Hall Relays, held in Wednesday of Week Eight. In Trinity term, emphasis shifts towards athletics, with many members representing OUAC in middle- and long-distance events at Varsity. There are also a fair few mountain and road runners, so your niche 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. This year we will be heading to the New Forest National Park. Training camps are a particularly good way to cultivate friendships and learn about the club before starting at Oxford. If you are an incoming fresher and wish to find out more, do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

In sum, whatever your level, OUCCC offers opportunities to become a better runner, while immersing yourself in Oxford’s vibrant sporting life and developing friendships along the way. I hope you find the rest of this website informative and useful. If you have any questions, I, or another member of the committee, would be very happy to answer them.

Forever yours in dark blue,

Jared Martin

(Merton College; OUCCC Captain 2023-4)


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