The On XCR Series returns, April 27

Athletics Victoria is excited to announce the dates of the 2024 On XCR Series.

Our winter competition proved enormously popular for athletes of all ages and abilities in 2023, and with a few tweaks (and one exciting new course) 2024’s On XCR Series is set to be one of the best yet.

The series, aimed at athletes across a broad spectrum of ages and abilities, will kick off at Jells Park on Saturday April 27, giving clubs a chance join in the fun of relays, cross country style.

Athlete Profile: Finn & Rhys Kane

Age: 15

What do you like about XCR? The team aspect and how everyone gets around and supports each other. I like the competition and pushing myself to do my best.

What is your favourite course and why? Probably Jells Park as it’s the first race of the season and there are lots of people there racing. It’s nice to start the season off with a team experience in a relay.


Age: 13

What do you like about XCR? It isn’t really a tactical race, everyone just goes for it. Also the atmosphere is hectic and loud which every athlete loves.

What is your favourite course and why? Probably St Anne’s Bendigo or Jells Park, because I like the vineyard at Bendigo and the up and down course at Jells Park where anything can happen. I usually run fast there too which is good.

A brand new course

Those keen for a fresh challenge have only to wait until Round 2 – in 2024 Cruden Farm will be rested, filling its place for Heritage Round will be the iconic Hanging Rock.

Approximately 70 kilometres north west of Melbourne, the rock itself is the result of a volcanic eruption, most likely from the Miocene age (6 million years ago). Today it’s a popular tourist attraction, playing host to concerts, festivals, markets and a nearby racecourse. Hanging Rock’s greatest claim to fame may very well be Joan Lindsay’s classic 1967 novel Picnic at Hanging Rock, along with the 1975 film of the same name. Athletics Victoria course designers have conducted several site visits already and are genuinely excited to present this new challenge to our members.

Athlete Profile: Brenda Cashin

Age: 59

First XCR: 2012

What do you like about XCR? The social aspect. It’s a catch up for everyone from all over the state. AVSL is great, but at XCR you get to see everyone.

Building on 2023

Lakeside:10 will move to Round 3 in 2024, and if you’re looking to improve your 10km time the fast, flat surface of Albert Park is the perfect place to do it. Last year saw a record number of athletes brave inclement weather to race on part of Melbourne’s Formula 1 Grand Prix track, and 2024 should be no different as the race continues to go from strength to strength.

From there it’s on to St. Anne’s Ravenswood (near Bendigo), now in its third year. Thanks to the generous hospitality of St. Anne’s Winery, this round provides a stunning backdrop for both athletes and spectators, with athletes weaving through grape vines to the finish line, and the perfect spot for a post-race get together.

In Round 8, XCR is once again hosted by St. Anne’s Winery – this time for the Ekiden Relays at Myrniong (23km north west of Melton). Our course designers have taken participant feedback on board for this round and made changes to create an exciting course for everyone to enjoy.

Athlete Profile: Andy Buchanan

Age: 32

First XCR: 2010

What do you like about XCR? I love the team aspect of XCR, when I first started running for Bendigo we were battling to get into Premier division and over the years got a low as Div 5. It’s been great to slowly work our way up. I run to support the BATS and while it’s always nice to win an individual race, this doesn’t motivate me. 

What is your favourite course and why? My favourite course is Bendigo but that is mainly because of the support we get on course. I love the variety of XCR and how every round is different. My all time favourite course would be Lardner Park. XCR provides me with a good hard hitout. Every XCR race always has challenging competition, that I lack just training in Bendigo. If you don’t overdo the racing, XCR can provide a great winter base.

Rounding out the season

Round 9 at Burnley is perfectly placed 5 weeks before the Melbourne Marathon, and if the strength and depth of last years’ Burnley Half is any indication, it serves as a great lead-in to that race.

We finish with the traditional celebration of all things XCR – The Tan Relays on Saturday September 17, with hundreds of athletes converging on the Yarra to mark the end of another fantastic On XCR Series. Whether you’re an elite athlete, a social runner, or have been contemplating adding a winter sport to your repertoire, everyone is welcome to join for one event, or all 10 rounds. 

We can’t wait to see you! Stay tuned for more announcements on the opening of entries.