cross country


Cross Country, also known as XC, consists of running entirely off road, on natural terrain. Events occur outside the summer months, when the terrain is softer.


We arrange Saturday morning regular meetings for off-road training. These runs are open to our young and energetic junior runners, senior members and parents who may like to undertake a Saturday morning group social run. We start at 9.30 AM with runs between 5-8 KM, including some hill reps (with shorter loops for our younger members), and the session will last just over an hour.

Training schedule for 2021/2 to be announced. Locations include:

  • Canford Park SANG, Knighton Lane BH21 3AS
  • Tollerford Road, Canford Heath
  • Learoyd Road Canford Heath

League Competitions

Poole AC teams compete in the Hampshire XC league, and the Wessex XC leagues and these events are free to affiliated club members. To register your interest please contact the club team captains before the start of the XC season, and supply them with your affiliation number and date of birth, and they will pre-register you. You will then be supplied a number which you will run in for the season.

Young and old alike, fast and slow, everyone is welcome! It is important that you compete in the official Club Cross Country colours – the black vest with the gold stripe (club kit list here). The events for this year are published below. You do not have to commit to any race in advance, as long as you have your number and your vest, just turn up on the day.

The Wessex league is more local, so if you have never tried Cross Country before it is an ideal place to start and it’s not too far to get home for a well earned shower or bath. Venues include Canford Heath, Blandford, and Yeovil.

The Hampshire league races tend to be further afield, and with larger numbers of entrants you may find yourself competing against the complete range of abilities all the way up to GB Internationals! Venues include Bournemouth, Petersfield, Popham, Reading and Aldershot.

Other important events in the Cross Country calendar are  the Dorset School Championships (PEDSSA), the South West Schools XC Championships, the English Schools XC Championships, the South West Championships, the Inter Counties XC Championships and the event that all our cross country afficionardos rave about – the National XC Championships, held at Parliament Hill, London.

Poole AC Club Competition

Running in the league events automatically enters you into the internal Poole AC annual XC competition. The first runner home for the club gets a minimum of 5 points (if there are six competing – 6 points, seven competing – 7 points etc) and subsequent finishers get a point less (so if three compete it will be 5,4,3 or seven compete it will be 7,6,5,4,3,2,1).

What Can I Expect?

Men and women compete in separate events, with different start times. Typically the mens races are 8.5k and the womens races are 6.5k. Some events are flat (ish), some are hilly, and they consist of varying numbers of laps. In typical British weather you are guaranteed to get muddy! It is advisable to wear XC spikes or trail shoes if you don’t want to be slipping and sliding around, and have some extra clothing with you to keep warm when you are standing around (did we mention that the British weather is often cold too?)

Cross Country Events

Upcoming races

Click the race you’re interested in for more information.

Please note: These races will show upcoming races only. To see which events have passed, please see our events calendar and search by month. 

Hampshire League

Suitable for all abilities and is great for testing XC as a discipline


Suitable if you’re under 18.

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Wessex League

An introduction to off road running, especially if you’ve previously chosen track or roads.

Championship Fixtures

Impressive cross country events that take part across the country. You could be representing the county or the club.

Recent Cross Country News and Events

Cross Country poole ac

Results: Wessex XC, 17th October 2021

| Cross Country, Junior, Senior | No Comments
The first event in the shortened Wessex Cross Country league for 2021/2, took place at our home course - Learoyd Road. We are grateful to the Limelights Youth Centre for…
running, cross country, track and field

Poole Athletic Club update June 2020 – COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

| Cross Country, Junior, Senior | No Comments
Club Update (8th June 2020) The Committee and coaches of Poole AC have noted with interest both the Government’s recent relaxation of lockdown rules, and in particular the guidance issued…
Cross Country poole ac

PAC News 10, 10th March 2020

| Cross Country, Junior | No Comments
18 members faced Loughborough challenges Eighteen PAC Members (including two second-claim) competed for Dorset in the British CAU Inter-Counties and Cross (-Country) Challenge Finals on the hilly, muddy grass of…
Melissa Courtney, Poole AC at British Indoor Championships

Results: 22nd-23rd February 2020

| Cross Country, Junior, Senior | No Comments
British Indoor Championships Melissa Courtney Bryant took gold in the 3,000m at Glasgow in an impressive time of 9:48.54 Grand Brighton Half Marathon Ian Hitching took on the Brighton Half…