Ahead of this weekends upcoming Varsity race, OUTriC completed at the BUCS Sprint Triathlon Championships. At this year’s event there were over 500 triathletes, and Oxford sent a record 32 to compete!
Below we have two race reports from OUTriC members taking part in their first ever triathlons. Thanks to OU Triathlon members Jude Frodyma and Luke Sperry for an insight into the day!
“Apparently, the most important thing you need to know how to do to compete in the BUCS triathlon is count to thirty. As two of our top swimmers could contest, this is remarkably harder than it seems in a dimly-lit, overcrowded pool.
For many members of the Oxford University Triathlon Club competing in the BUCS triathlon at St Mary’s School, Calne, this was their first real tri-sport event.The team set off in two waves divided by swim times—culminating with our most promising swimmers setting off to go last. With a total of 32 athletes to Cambridge’s more modest 17, Oxford promises an exciting Varsity race and mob match next week!
As far as a first race could have gone, this was the perfect induction to triathlons. For those who have never raced before, senior team members made it an inclusive and accessible event that proved not only an individual challenge but an exercise in team bonding.
Stellar performances included not just veteran triathletes (Andy Dyson, Alec Watson, Laura Fenwick, Marie McHugh and Georgina Hellier) but some remarkable results from newcomers: Luke Sperry smashed the swim despite not being able to count to thirty, Imogen Kempton drew an impressive cycle time for a first-timer, while New Zealander Tom Quirk recorded the fastest Oxford and Cambridge 5km time!
As someone who had never competing in a triathlon, I found this race to be first and foremost a great experience in what it meant to be part of a team. Most importantly, it washed away the fears of coming off my bike or tripping over my shoes in transition, and left me with a desire to train more and harder. The combination of pool swim, marginally undulating 25km cycle course and fast and flat 5km, in addition to uncommonly warm British sunshine provided for a fantastic first race.
I must say that having done all other combinations of multi-sport events (Freshers’ aquathlon, BUCS and Varsity Duathlons) helped immensely in terms of this race: I felt prepared for transitions and had an idea of how these events were run. Though I opted for shoes off the bike in T1 and on the bike in T2, I found that the transition practices held by the club and at training camp were immensely useful: I had gone from being terrified of “clippy shoes” to being able to perfectly mount & dismount a bike in one session—a real tangible learning curve!
What I did not anticipate after quite a lonely bike leg was the amount of support from the team at the transition area: I could hear my name being cheered from the moment I ran in with my bike, and found the team spirit pushed me to PB on my run. In turn, I used the last of my efforts after the race to participate in the ‘pot and spoon’ leg of the race, and cheered the rest of my team just as hard as they had cheered me.
With the excitement still lingering, I have high hopes for the Varsity race next weekend, from those aiming to win outright (come on, Oxford!) to those competing in their first ever open water event! There is a reason we won best club of the year – BUCS ended with smiles all around.
Sincere thanks to all those who made May 4th yet another stellar club event: our President for running the show, the two Toms for sorting out race entries, and our drivers Michael Hirst, Marie McHugh, Sam Banner and Andy Dyson for getting us and our bikes there and back. Outstanding job one and all!”
By Jude Frodyma, Postgrad DPhil
“On Sunday 4th May, Oxford University Triathlon Club had a date with destiny. The field of battle would be the hallowed ground of St Mary’s School in Wiltshire, not far from Swindon. It was on this site that the biggest event of the Triathlon calendar thus far loomed large.
Personal bests would be achieved; tears would be shed; extra lengths would be swum (but only by one excessively-handsome moron). This, of course, was the BUCS Sprint Triathlon. Over 30 athletes from Oxford took part in what transpired to be an adrenaline-pumping, tune-blasting, tab-heckling extravaganza of a race, with many athletes competing in their first competitive triathlon.
The day began early for some, with the first bus leaving Oxford at 7am. Yet the early start did not seem to dampen spirits, with the performances, and indeed the support in the Oxford camp, being fantastic from the off.
The second bus arrived a little later than anticipated, thanks to the late arrival and underwhelming directions of a dashing yet disorganised triathlete, yet the second group immediately took to cheering on those athletes who were competing valiantly as they arrived. As the day wore on, it was evident to all what a close and supportive team we were, as well as being a team that produced highly-competitive athletes.
The entire team did Oxford proud, some of the performances to note:
- Andrew Dyson finished in 19th position overall
- Laura Fenwick was Oxford’s top female athlete, finishing in a brilliant 28th position.
- Alec Watson finished in 29th position.
- Imogen Kempton had a fabulous race, finishing 37th, while former women’s captain Marie McHugh finished 40th.
- Tom Quirk put in an excellent performance, finishing in 49th position.
- Luke Sperry posted the fastest 800m swim-time of the day”
By Luke Sperry, 1st year Undergraduate
Full results from last weekend’s BUCS Sprint Triathlon are here,
If you are interested in triathlon visit:
Upcoming events include:
- Sunday 11th May Varsity Triathlon
- Saturday 17th May British Sprint Triathlon Championships
- Sunday 1st June BUCS Olympic Triathlon
- Sunday 10th August British Triathlon Championships
- Sunday 28th September BUCS 70.3 (Half Ironman) Triathlon
- Sunday 28th September Oxford-Cambridge Olympic Triathlon