Cross-country running training begins in the autumn term and there are races with other schools in the spring term.
The Harriers cross-country squad trains with around 45 boys and girls, from Fourth Form through to Sixth Form, split into four groups based on ability. We train on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons with additional sessions for the top groups on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. There is training during the autumn term but most of our races take place in the spring term. The distance runners then join Athletics in the summer term. Training is varied and includes hill sessions at Shotover, distance runs around Wytham, speed sessions in the University Parks and circuit training in the gym.
The Harriers are coached by a dedicated team from the Common Room, many of whom are keen club runners and train and compete regularly. Harriers’ alumni include the 2007 English Schools Champion for the 2000m steeplechase and an international representative for the Cayman Islands.
There is a busy calendar of inter-school races in the spring term, with races at Harrow, Marlborough, Radley, Wellington, Winchester and the King Henry VIII relays. A small number of runners are regularly selected to run for Oxfordshire. Our senior Harriers regularly compete in local races e.g. the Blenheim 10k, the Longworth 10k and the Oxford Town and Gown 10k. We also compete in the Oxford Mail Cross Country League races which take place on the first Sundays of the months from November to March: http://www.oxonxc.org/
Tough sessions challenge our top runners but there is always a supportive atmosphere. Pupils are encouraged to think about their training e.g. senior Harriers use GPS watches to monitor and record their performance. The Harriers caters for all pupils who are willing to work hard and improve their fitness.