OWS Call for Help, Return of Race Reports, Blenheim Tri, Member of the Month

Hello OxfordTri Family, 

I hope that you have had a good week and made the most of some lovely evenings. 

Firstly, a massive shout out to Clive Seabrook who has very recently passed his Group Coach Award. This is an amazing achievement and we look forward to seeing him continuing to develop and grow as a coach and are so blessed to have him as part of our amazing coaching team. Well Done Clive!!

This weekend is also our Oxford Aquathlon and thank you so much for those who responded to our call for help specifically around this event. The number of signups have continued to increase which is amazing and entries are open till 9am on race day. If you know of anyone thinking of entering do give them a little nudge and if you are free and around on Sunday morning a few more hand would definitely not go a miss. You can sign up to volunteer using the following spreadsheet – https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/17s_Rmpfpyr8Tvwk7inIrWfDPTimRkTEAAZpejjcsr-s/edit?usp=sharing

With the return of race reports, a call for help for our Open Water sessions in May and exciting development with regards to Blenheim Palace Triathlon do check out below. 

A final note to say that we are meeting as a committee this Monday so if you have any feedback or thoughts that you would like us to consider please do get in touch. 

God Bless 



May Open Water Swims – Call For Help 

We are hugely excited about getting back to the lake next month. Not only will we have our own social swim sessions but we will be joined by a number of people taking part in our coached sessions many of whom are training for Blenheim Palace Triathlon. To make the Saturday morning sessions run as smoothly as possible we need your help. Below we have listed a number of roles specifically around our sessions in May.


Assist with the registration of participants for the Open Water Familiarisation Sessions and assist Land Safety in accounting for participants entering the lake.

Lake Supervision Land + Water

Supervise the session from either the lakeside or on the water from the club kayak or your own personal paddleboard/kayak etc. This role is to raise the alarm in the event of any emergencies. By undertaking this role you are not responsible for the safety of the participants but is a role created by the club to minimise risk in the event of an emergency. 

Lake Supervision Land is responsible for keeping a record of participants in the water using the method as approved by the club. 

Swim Support 

Specific to our May OWS sessions, this role involves supporting coaches when working with groups of participants. This can involve a number of roles such as acting as a human turn point to swimming alongside participants who are less confident. Feedback from last year was that it was a hugely rewarding role with much great feedback from both participants and those in the role. 

Below is a link to a spreadsheet which we have created for the entire month please do consider if you can sign up for a role. We are also happy for friends and family to help out.  We will remind you the week of the swims that your signed up to help just in case you can’t make it any more. 

May OWS Support – https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1cPD_M82oa4IlYG6ilHIHpvGkjkla8kYJxwp7xwxaQS4/edit?usp=sharing

The Return of Race Reports – Dirty Reiver – Nathan 

At OxfordTri we love a race report, be that Parkrun, Marathons, Sprint Triathlons, Ironmans or even Atlantic Rows. If you would love to share any recent adventures and races with your OxfordTri family please don’t hesitate to share it with Craig at chair@oxfordtri.co.uk so he can include it in the newsletter or via the facebook group. Anyway, enjoy our first one of the year from Nathan. 

My first event report of 2024… grab a flapjack, a sports drink and skim this.

Dirty Reiver 2024 – A quintessential Gravel ride.

For Dirty Reiver 2024 the gravel gods were giggling and happy. They granted us -2 degC for the start with a hint of sunshine and light, fresh winds. It could not have been better for Northumberland, renowned for its bleak, harsh conditions.

And here I was again, at the Kielder Castle start line with 1000 other gregarious gravellers. Some dressed in yak cardigans and mitts from Nepal, others shivering in light weight Le Col Lycra and fingerless gloves. State of the art carbon bling contrast to the pink steel hardtail with a fixed wheel.

I was feeling good, confident of a fine day zooming around Kielder Forest with like-minded riders. 

It was a mellow neutralised start, but adrenaline was oozing through everyone’s arteries. A couple of miles in and the race really kicks off. The pace surged as we hit the first rough descent. Chains were snapping, tyres were popping, bottles were escaping their cages, and my top tube bag spewed its guts. All I could do was watch in horror as my flapjack, salt and gels flew off into the chaos of riders hurtling downhill. I huffed and sighed, knowing that I was now in a bit of trouble, and I’d have to come up with an alternative nutrition plan as the day unfolded. 

The scenery was outstanding, made even more special by the clear air, magical sunlight and mackerel skies. It made the miles go fast. Riders spread out and small groups formed. I was lucky to have fellow friend and gnarly athlete Rai riding with me and we found a few wheels to stick with. The first feed station at 52km came around quick. I gulped Redbull and electrolyte drink to keep caffeine and salt levels topped up. All was amazing. We were back on the bikes within minutes and hammering down a short section of paved road. I was chuffing along with power to spare and, wearing Redbull wings, I took the front and dragged a gang of riders along for a hard interval. A few seconds before turning back onto the gravel I looked down in disbelief as my rear tyre spurted out white sealant and flattened. £$&**k! I hate punctures. Despite my preparation with rc-X rated tyres I’d managed to find the only 3cm nail in a 1000sq miles. The peloton rode off whilst I did the walk of shame and started the fix. It was a messy job, but I was back in the zone soon enough. Fortunately, a couple of punchy riders from Brixten came through, I jumped on and we shared some high tempo pacing over next 50km of fantastic tracks with some seriously long climbs and utterly crazy, fun descents. 

Feed Station 2 loomed and at +100km I was thankful for a stretch, more food and extra liquids. 

I needed to ease back on the pace now, fatigue was creeping in, and we were only halfway through. I found Rai in a daze, finishing a cup of lumpy soup. After a quick shake down we set off together with a sensibly conservative strategy to cover the next 50km. More dreamy trails, a visit into Scotland, bigger climbs and a feeling of being lost in a baron wilderness lead us peacefully to Feed Station 3 at 150km. Now the legs and body felt really wrecked. However, the excitement of having to cover ‘just’ 50 more km made it feel way more achievable. The water at Feed 3 was disgusting, basically 90% Milton bleach and was undrinkable. Being dehydrated, in addition to the forced nutrition plan change, made the last 2 hours way more challenging. I was fighting cramp, struggling to consume solids and gels were sickly. But I did what I do and slogged on. Eventually I hit the shores of Kielder reservoir which had a fabulous flowing trail around the perimeter that forms the final 12km. I had a rush and cracked up the effort, whooshing along, enjoying the switch backs and smooth path.

And there it was the final 100m rise to the castle. I thundered under the arch: 196km ridden, 3550m descending, lots of heart beats, plenty of grins, and with a chip time just under 9 hours I was smiling and chuffed to have completed another mega day out on the bike. After a couple of litres of water, the real recovery process commenced: Chips, burgers, beer, pringles, peanuts and gin were consumed. Happy Days ;-)… More and loads more of all of this please but, I still have no idea what a Dirty Reiver is??

 Blenheim Palace Triathlon Volunteering 

As highlighted in the email previously Motiv Sports have significantly supported the club through advertising our Open Water Swim Sessions in May. And have offered us the opportunity to be involved in running the transition area at Blenheim Palace Triathlon in June.

I came home to an email earlier this week where they shared that they would be willing to offer a free race place on the alternative day if anyone is able to volunteer all day Saturday or the Sunday. So, for example if you volunteered all day Saturday you would get a free place to race on Sunday and vice versa. It important to highlight that if you were to do the whole day you would get plenty of breaks etc.

For those whom the whole days don’t quite work. They have also offered us a free slot per 5 volunteers for the ½ shifts still.

Motiv Sports have highlighted that these rewards will only be available to those affiliated to OxfordTri but they have clarified that a close friend or family member would be able to get this so do feel free to invite close friends or family who might be interested in volunteering it’s an amazing experience even without the rewards. *Note the free place is only available to the person that volunteers.

 Blenheim Palace Triathlon Volunteer Sign-Up – https://forms.gle/eBcpEMpDvxJR8qoB6

 Member of the Month Nominations 

It’s that time of the month again where we are on the lookout for a member of our amazing OxfordTri family whom we can celebrate as Member of the month. Nominations for this month can now be made using the link below. 

Member of the Month – https://forms.gle/zVmoA1m2sV3hmLvq6

Training Calendar 

See the official calendar for full info and sign up links.

Monday 29th April: Coached Swim – Leys Pool @ 20:00

Tuesday 30th April: Member Lead Social Run – Headington Hill @ 19:00

Tuesday 30th April: Coached Swim – Thame Pool @ 20:00

Wednesday 1st April: Coached Swim – Radley Pool @ 20:00

Thursday 2nd April: Coached Run – Horspath Track @ 19:00

Friday 3rd April: Coached Swim – Kidlington Pool @ 19:00

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