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News > ODs Around the World > Thames Hare & Hounds 2020

Thames Hare & Hounds 2020

The ODU has a chance to beat the best UK alumni cross country teams on 13th December. Compete In The World's Oldest Alumni Cross Country Competition

When: anytime between 00:01 on December 12th to 23:59 Dec 13th, GMT

Where: Anywhere in the world

How far: at least 5 miles (8.05 km)

How to enter: click here and join team “BCTSA” (Bishops Cape Town South Africa)

Cost: free

Since 1952, Thames Hare & Hounds has hosted the Alumni Race, an annual 5-mile cross-country event in which runners compete for a team of their old school. It takes place on a Saturday in December on Wimbledon Common, on which the Thames has developed the sport of competitive team cross-country running for 152 years. This year it will be a virtual run - to be undertaken anywhere in the world, anytime on December 12th or Dec 13th. The run should ideally be a true cross-country course, with at least 90m/300 ft of elevation. Confirmation on Strava, Garmin etc is encouraged.

In 2008, the name of the event was changed from the Old Boys' Race to the Alumni Race to incorporate the women's alumni teams.  About 60 schools have entered a team over the full history of the event.  The number of runners has slowly crept up, accelerating over the past few years and now above 300. Today alumni associations from Eton, Oundle, Ampleforth, Winchester, Shrewsbury and Marlborough all vie for the top slot.

The UK Branch of the ODU first entered a team in 2015 and have competed every year since then. We have climbed the results table and are now around 12th out of 50-or-so teams. This year we hope to better our previous performances. Having overtaken Dulwich, Marlborough, and Stowe in recent years, the likes of Eton, Oundle, Ampleforth and Winchester now know we're after them. And, in our OD running vests, we look fantastic doing it too.

There is no limit to the number of runners a school can enter and, once the results are in, the fastest 4 then become that school's 'first team', the next fastest 4 become the 'second team' and so on for the purpose of points tally. So it doesn't matter if you're the fastest or the slowest, you can always contribute to a team!

Entrants must be bona fide ex alumni of their school, and each team can include one current member of staff. There are separate trophies for teams of V40, 50, 60, and 65; Age-Related, Open, Ladies; First finisher, first lady finisher. Guests are also welcome, entering their team as 'GUEST'. So if an OD would like to run with his wife/partner, children or friends, they are welcome to do so (enter as “GUEST”) and their performances will be recorded but won't count towards the Bishops team score. When entering, which this year is free, as an OD please select BCTSA (Bishops Cape Town South Africa) as your school. Again, if you are running with non-ODs, they are entered as GUEST.

If you find another runner with your name (think John Smith) add a middle initial to differentiate yourselves.

You will receive some further information about how to submit results early next week.

So, let's have the biggest team, even if not the winning one – although that would be fun too.

And while you're running in near perfect conditions in the southern hemisphere, spare a thought for your fellow ODs in the north who will be covered in mud – and hopefully glory.

The link to the entry site is:

While we may all be geographically distant this year, please post pictures of your exploits to social media and do include #odunion to keep us just a little bit more connected in a disconnected 2020.

And don't run alone; encourage as many of your OD mates to run with you. Make it fun (but let's win).

Email me if you have any questions. Otherwise, happy running and let's bring it home.

Yours in running

Rowan Nicholls (2010O)

[email protected]

Race Captain

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