September Training Camp 2023

Millicent Dickinson | Monday, September 18th, 2023

The Bamford Training Camp kicked off with a baptism of fire for many: one run can provide a month’s worth of Cambridge elevation here. Two hours, ten miles, and a peak later, the shopping had been delivered and we were ready to go. To break the ice, we decided to play a game of empires – because nothing says “team bonding” like working out which fresher has camped in the garden of 10 Downing Street. By Sunday, fears of the local elevation had already started to kick in, with the first big group run. One of the best parts of Training Camp is new routes and exciting scenery, so we decided to shake it up from what we can do in Cambridge and ran an out-and-back along the river. The evening was round #1 of ‘the bowl game’, no doubt helped by some non-running points being banked by numbers of the group.

Monday was our first session, with the location recommended by local Tom Spencer, although I think we do have different definitions of ‘flat’. With everyone in different stages on their return to training, 10 x 2′(1′) was on the cards for a gentle reintroduction, with reviews including ‘thoroughly enjoyable’ (ET). By Tuesday, the camp was well underway, with plenty of organised fun. Another river OAB for the group, while some of the boys doubled as they continued their quest for 100 points. After a poor showing in kilo challenge attempts on JTC, there was no shortage of speedy, impressive, disgusting, and ridiculous attempts this time. Niamh’s 1kg of baked beans in 1’51” was the winner, but Angus’ gummy bears were the most valiant attempt. Doobs showed us he could continue to shock us, eating 1kg of rice remarkably fast, despite the fact he still hadn’t gotten through his breakfast from the morning. The evening entertainment was provided by Teacher Yates, with some extremely randomly generated teams tackling a quiz for the ages.

Yates then doubled back for extra wholesomeness hosting a Breakfast Club on Tour Wednesday morning, enticing enough to get everyone out of bed by 9:30 am. The run of the day was, you guessed it, another river run- but by this time we had figured out a route which took out the only real hill in it, saving our legs for POD’s second sports day. The Harey’s talents are widespread, with impressive performances in the welly wanging (Angus V), lemon and spoon races (Daddy Yates and his kids) and the race-walking relays (Tom and his randomly generated chics). As is tradition, one night of training camp is always a bit of a party, and this was no different. Highlights include Phil’s DJ set, Tom’s impressive commitment to not cheating on his pint points, and the dynamic duo of Ellie and Adam. Thursday felt like Groundhog Day, with another river run, and another pub quiz, although with the absence of BWood, the 70s music-heavy questions left us pretty stumped. Luckily no victims on the run, although Adam did make a remarkable recovery to run 10k after left looking for a bush less than one minute in.

If you are used to the flatlands of Cambridge, jogging up a large hill as part of the warmup may be enough to put you off. However, if your usual runs are Wimbledon, the South Downs, or Yorkshire, this isn’t as good an excuse- not that it stopped us, despite it delaying the session. A training camp staple: 2 x 15′ hard (5′) was on the cards, followed by some hill sprints, where several (all) the boys got schooled by fresher Ella, although her dead bug form in the following core circuit was less impressive. I am informed that many individuals went on beautiful hikes throughout the week, however, I was absent from all these due to being busy with work (read: lazy). The final day called for a group hike, but not wanting to ruin the legs anymore, we successfully parked in the highest car park in the Peak District before a short wander to the top of Mam Tor. After cooking up some inventive dinners to use up the food, and a final push for 100 points, we left the cleaning up until the morning, where a big group effort ensured we were only 30 minutes late to checkout. After some tallying up, I can confirm that Doobs, Lawrence, and Tom hit the esteemed 100 points (dry, soggy, even soggier).

All in all, a very successful trip, with faces old and new getting involved, and hopefully plenty of people looking forward to the next camp in January, which I promise will be slightly flatter, but just as fun.


Queen of the Kilo Challenge: Niamh Thompson, defeating beans in < 2 minutes
Most Wholesome Presence: Will Yates, for his excellent quiz and Breakfast Club
Biggest Bamford Bounceback: Adam, for his determination to tick off the miles
Peak Perplexity: Doobs, for finishing 1kg of rice so quickly but not able to do the same with his toast