Start of Term: Varsity Horse Race & CUMPC Taster Sessions

Following a good list of sign ups at the Freshers’ Fair, taster sessions have been taking place over the weekend. So far we’ve held a tea run (gentle run followed by cake), a well attended running intervals session on Jesus Green and a fencing session with our coach Jamie. Still to come is shooting tomorrow evening and swimming Tuesday morning and we’re looking forward to seeing lots of people at both.

Alongside organising the club, the more experienced returners have been getting back into the swing of training too. I went for a beautiful long run this morning in glorious weather and really burst the bubble by heading out from the vet school across the fields. This year we’re joining the university running club, the Hare and Hounds, for some running sessions with the first one tomorrow. I’m looking forward to meeting the club and training alongside them. We also have plans for some collaboration with the university fencers so that both clubs can benefit from a bigger pool of people to fight against.

Cambridge has got it’s buzz back now that all of the undergraduates have arrived/returned, and everyone I know has been busy catching up with each other and trying out new things. Over the weekend the Varsity Horserace took place over on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket. With 4 of the 5 riders vets and 3 of them pentathletes I headed along to support along with plenty of other students. Despite having been around horses for a while I had no idea about racing and it was an interesting day topped off by the fact that Cambridge won – in first place was one of our pentathletes, well done Holly!

CUMPC at Freshers’ Fair

With committee meetings done and dusted, we are now all ready for the new term. The training schedule has had a bit of a rejig and Freshers’ sessions (i.e. new members/introductory sessions) have been scheduled so take a look here to see what is going on. It would be great to see as many new faces as possible at some point over the weekend – you needn’t come to all the sessions so come along to whatever takes your fancy.

This weekend the Freshers have all arrived at Cambridge, and right now it’s the Freshers’ Fair where all the societies make their pitch and attract new recruits. The committee are all taking their turn manning the CUMPC stall, so why not come along and say hi?

As well as doing my stint on the stand this morning, excitingly I got to do a radio interview for CamFM. Luckily I managed not to say anything too silly or trip over my tongue! We’ve also got back into the swing of club training session with our first morning swimming and running sessions happening this week. It’s really great to have all the familiar faces back in Cambridge and we had a lovely millionaire’s shortbread fuelled ladies side catch up this evening after our long summer break.

Pre-season Cyprus training camp and National Champs

Since my last post it has been go, go, go as we wind up to the start of term. Firstly CUMPC held a training camp out in Cyprus with the British Army which was a fantastic week and a great way to kick start Michaelmas training. The incredible setting allowed for swimming in the sea, fencing on the beach and running along the coast, as well as shooting and riding at top-class facilities on the island. Sadly I personally couldn’t make it due to previous commitments with placements but a big thank you to Col Seb Pollington and the rest of the team out there for hosting and coaching us.

This year CUMPC is involved in an exciting PentGB initiative to promote Modern Pentathlon participation in 18-25 year olds, and next up came a meeting to learn about exactly what this will involve followed by the British Tetrathlon Championships the next day. A couple of members managed to make this competition and, as well as gaining useful competition experience, managed to win some silverware with a one-two finish in the pellet competition, and a victory in the laser competition.

Then it was time to move back to Cambridge with all the associated packing and unpacking madness – luckily everything made it over in one piece and nothing too vital has been forgotten! Since arriving back I’ve been getting reacquainted with my usual running routes over here and have paid Parkside pools a visit as club sessions haven’t started up yet. With committee meetings coming up we will be finalising this term’s training timetable as well as our plans for the Freshers’ Fair and taster sessions so keep your eyed peeled for updates!

Pentathlon? So that’s running? Er, swimming? Er…

A conversation that is all too familiar to those of use who like to run, swim, ride, shoot and fence and then add up the points and hope that it is more than the last time we gave it our best shot. Pardon the pun.

‘Modern’ Pentathlon is not an especially modern concept any longer, being based on all the skills a liason officer would need to successfully deliver a message across enemy territory. However it remains a great all round test of mettle as you require speed, strength, stamina and skill in roughly equal measure to be successful. One of the bonuses of a multi sport event is that at least one phase is going to be a success, or at least better than expected.

Amidst the recent sporting successes of Great Britain’s athletes lies a World Junior Modern Pentathlon Champion in Francesca Summers, as well as a team gold medal for the ladies at the European Championships.

A natural progression on from Pony Club Tetrathlon, athletics or swimming Cambridge University Modern Pentathlon Club (CUMPC) are on the lookout for new recruits. However, don’t worry if there are one or more parts that you have yet to try. Many people take up the sport having only given one or two a go previously and immensely enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of perfecting a new skill.

I’m Hannah Clifford, the CUMPC Ladies Captain for 2015-2016, and I’m trying to get more people involved in modern pentathlon. Many of our current members (including myself) joined the club having never even heard of pentathlon and “I wish I’d discovered this earlier” is an all too common complain. I’m sure that by simply spreading the word we’ll be able to widen participation so I’ll be writing a weekly blog over the coming year.