Good Evening Oxford Tri Family.
I hope that this finds you all well and best wishes to those celebrating Eid Al-Fitr. I was intending on writing about what a difference a couple of weeks makes however last nights soaking at the track was a helpful reminder that I live in the UK and not Costa Del Sol. I do hope however that you have all managed to get out that little bit more with the generally improved weather.
There is a lot in this Newsletter so I am going to try and keep this short however I did want to shout out club members Grace and Liam who are going to be taking on one of the toughest endurance events in the world, Marathon Des Sables starting this Sunday. You can follow their progress here, Grace is bib no 1078 and Liam is 1079. You can also use the link to send them messages of support (Tent 138). They are also racing for charity so do check out their JustGiving page to find out more.
Finally, a confirmation that our open water swims will be starting again on Saturday the 6th of May 8-9am at Queensford Lake and this year we have also managed to secure the club a midweek slot which will take place between 7-8pm on Wednesday Nights. This will mean some changes to our other sessions which I will share in next weeks Newsletter.
Sorry a final finally, One of our amazing members Katie has just messaged me to say that she will be leading a club ride on Sunday, she will post more details on Facebook but if you are not on their please do let me know and I’ll make sure that you get the details.
I hope you all have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing some of you at some sessions this week.
Oxford Tri Quiz Night
A reminder about the Sports Quiz on the 4th of May at 7pm at Oxsrad. Entries are now live via our website which can be found here. When members sign up there will be an option to select the number of tickets, this just helps to give us an idea with regards to the quantities of Pizza on the night. The entries £5pp or £35 for a team (Max of 9) with any profits going to support the work of Oxsrad will be collected on the night. Also a reminder that it will be a BYOB event and friends and family are most welcome.
As a committee we have decided to partner with Christians in Sports who have offered to run the quiz for us with the understanding that there will be a short talk on the Christian Faith, most likely at the point when we are stuffing our face with free pizza. The option for you to engage in this part of the evening is entirely up to you.
We hope that the quiz will be the start of events which help to recognise and celebrate the diverse members who make up our club family. If you have any ideas about events you would like to see in the future then please do let us know.
Blenheim Triathlon Volunteering
Thanks to those who have signed up to volunteer at Blenheim Triathlon which takes place over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of June. We are asking you our club family to consider if you would be willing to volunteer at some point over the weekend. The organisers have asked if we would be willing to help at both the swim entry and exit over the course of the weekends racing. We will also have a stall which will give us the chance to recruit some new members.
If you feel like you would be able to give back to not just the club but wider sport of triathlon, please follow the link below to sign up, friends and family are also welcome. All expenses relating to travel will be covered and the club will benefit from having a number of free entries to next years event which will be offered first to those that help this year.
Volunteer Sign Up Link – volunteersignup.org/JPREE
Open Water Familiarisation and Drills
To kick off our open water swim season we are going to be running a three week familiarisation and drills sessions which will be open to non-members along with current members (our regular open water swims will remain during these dates). This will take place on the 13th, 20thand 27th of May. To make this happen we will need a number of people to volunteer to help as safety covers for the lake and then also a few to be part of the coached group as to assist coaches who will be delivering the sessions.
The sessions will focus on the following aspects:
- Sighting and Navigation
- Swimming in a group
- Deep water starts
- Buoy Turns
- Mass Starts
- And much more
Sessions will be free for Oxford Tri Members however spaces will be limited. It will be £15 per session or £35 to sign up for all three for those who are not currently part of the club.
Entries for non-members can be found here and are now open. We will be opening entries for members very shortly.
All Three Session (13th, 20th, 27th of May 2023) – https://www.oxfordtri.uk/product/open-water-familiarisation-and-skills-all-3-sessions-13th-27th-may-2023/
Please do be thinking if you can volunteer or perhaps if you know someone who would love to come along and take part.
Newbury Duathlon Race Report by Katie
Just under 2 hours of racing came to an emotional close as I crossed the line at Newbury Duathlon yesterday. A day that felt doomed from the start, and all I had to do was put my foot down! Here goes…
On Saturday morning, the day before the race, I took my beloved Giant out for a test spin. Having detached her from the turbo after a winter of hibernating indoors, all was in working order and even smoother than I remembered! Fast forward to Sunday and I’m doing the last few preparations; as I attempt to correct a flat tyre (slow puncture- MUST get that fixed!) I end up pulling the pin out of the Presta valve, hearing the remaining air hiss it’s escape. Oops. Zero time to worry, and zero tools to fix it, I grabbed my trusty, rusty, old Allez and headed for Chieveley.
Mud everywhere. The ground was super soft and I’d chosen normal road trainers. Another oops. Despite this, I had a brilliant first run and felt excited coming into T1 to hop onto my rattly old bike. In the rush of bike racking, I’d forgotten to get my sunglasses out of my bag. Irritated with myself, I was just grateful it was overcast!
The bike was tougher than I remembered from 2022; having previously described it as rolling, I can confirm it felt mostly uphill. Without the deep rims of my Giant, I gained very little from the gentle breeze. I ploughed on.
About half way through the ride, I took a left turn dangerously wide after gaining a brief bit of speed, shouting my apologies to the marshal who was trying to warn me of the corner. Thank goodness there weren’t any cars! I remember thinking that I may be penalised for that…
Twenty-five kilometres felt like forever, so as I approached the last couple of k’s I was just looking ahead and planning my T2. Three fluorescent marshals stood at a T-junction, one with a yellow chequered flag who smiled at me as I approached. I sat up, slowed slightly, smiled back, and crossed the road in a smooth right turn.
And then it happened.
“Hey! Heeeyyy!”, they shouted after me.
Oh no. Ohhhh no. That was the foot-down! I’d just cycled across two lanes without stopping first. I couldn’t BELIEVE I had done that. Embarrassed, mortified, I just cycled on to transition.
I was definitely going to be penalised for that.
T2 was swift, but my legs were empty. I knew it would take me half of the final run to find my running legs, so just focussed on putting one foot in front of the other. The familiar blue of OxfordTri kit had surrounded me in the first run, but I was very much on my own this time. Apart from my heavy legs, the only thing I could think about was how I’d missed the foot-down. I wondered to myself; did they see my race number? Did they let me carry on racing intentionally, or missed me coming into transition? Regardless, I knew what I had to do when I crossed the finish line.
It doesn’t matter what type of race you do, how long it takes you, how many miles you’ve covered….that finish line feeling is always the greatest relief. I fell into Dickie’s arms and mumbled into his shoulder that I think I’d earned myself a DQ. Waiting for the officials to approach me, tears stung my eyes as it dawned on me that my race was effectively voided.
After a few minutes of debriefing with the rest of our squad and confessing my sins, I wandered over to two chatty officials with my race number held aloft. They looked at me with knowing smiles, and confirmed what I’d suspected.
I was disqualified for missing the foot-down.
What I didn’t expect was their surprise at my remorse and readiness to apologise for what I had done. They’re obviously accustomed to athletes arguing the toss for a blatant disregard to the rules! They let me explain it was a momentary loss of concentration and a very innocent error, and we laughed when I said I’d raced here before so really had no excuses! Their kindness made all the difference, and a little of my sadness lifted. Feeling partially vindicated, I then endured the good-humoured teasing of club mates as we scoffed our delicious pub lunches.
Read the rules. Listen to the debrief. And don’t forget to smile!
See the official calendar for full info and sign up links.
Monday 24th April: Turbo from Home @ 19:00
Monday 24th April: Coached Swim – Abingdon @ 20:30
Tuesday 25th April: Coached Spin Bike Session – Oxrad @ 18:30
Tuesday 25th April: Member Lead Social Run – Headington Hill @ 19:00
Tuesday 25th April: Coached Swim – Thame @ 20:00
Wednesday 26th April: Coached Swim – Radley Pool @ 19:30
Thursday 27th April: Track Horspath Athletic Grounds @ 19:00
Friday 28th April: Strength and Conditioning at Home @ 07:15
Friday 28th April : Coached Swim Lanes Kidlington Pool @ 19:00