See the Pilgrims Booklet 2017  for a report on the 2016/17 season.

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Saturday December 16 2017. Alumni race on Wimbledon Common

Another year, Another Alumni race, Another OS Pilgrims win.

As we gathered on the start line in our strips – our largest ever team – printed copies of Carmen Saeculare appeared as if by magic. A rousing rendition of the first verse ensued, to the envy of the other teams. What a way to build spirit and get us ready as the gun fired!

Having now won 4 out of the last 5 seasons we are starting to build the strength in depth that’s needed – we now have ~100 runners with whom we are in contact including our facebook group “Old Shirburnian Pilgrims Cross Country” & our Strava club “OS Pilgrims”. However, we can’t afford complacency as all the other teams are doing the same – the field has grown from 104 in 2010 to 271 in 2017 and this year the race featured 22 ladies.

And, 2nd in the V40s competition – within a whisker of getting that trophy back – we just needed one more club-running V40 to pull our strong score a little higher!

Heavy rain over the prior couple of weeks meant that conditions were perfect for Cross Country. Lots of ankle-deep mud through the butts, narrow tracks with brambles to catch the unwary, lethally slippery descents, steep scrambles to climb, logs to hurdle and branches to duck under!

And, as always, a brutal pace all the way round – no pausing to catch the breath at the top of the hills, knowing that every place counts – even for the non-scoring four – in pushing other teams’ scores higher.

And then, mercifully, the long descent to the playing fields at the finish; and trying to sprint across the horribly sodden and soggy grass, elbows out and pulse maxed to collapse gasping across the line.

Followed, of course, by a few OS-Funded post-race debriefing beers in the Rose & Crown in Wimbledon Village.

Every year we have an internal trophy – the Chataway Cup – for the most improved runner. As the course was rather longer this year the times were all down. However, our clear and very worthy winner was Tom Hole [2012], whose time was only down by 0:22 meaning actually a massive improvement in his running over the year.

If you want to come and be part of something really special, all you need to do is join the social media and/or email Lloyd Collier [1990] (Self-appointed Pilgrims XC Chief Whip) atlloyd.collier@bnymellon.com or Harry Reynolds [2016] (Team Captain)  and make yourself available for one muddy and fun Saturday afternoon in December each year on Wimbledon common.

Vivat Rex Eduardus Sextus !

 Saturday March 3rd 2018- Hyde Park Relays– Cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.