Return of the Swims, Greggs Triathlon, Oxford 1/2 and Race Reports

Good Evening OxfordTri Family! 

I hope that this finds you well. Firstly a massive shout out to our four Oxford Tri Members who absolutely smashed it at the Ironman 70.3 World Champs out in Finland last weekend. A particularly special mention for Jane Bell who finished 4th in her Age Group in the world, utterly amazing!

Also, I hope that those who were at the Social on Wednesday night had a lovely time, I was sorry to miss it.

Next week our Post Season Swims will be starting back up along with a change of location. This is very exciting so do check out the further information below.

I hope that you have a lovely weekend and best of luck to Gregg who is completing his Triathlon for PICU.

God Bless 


Return of the Swims

As highlighted above as of next week we will be entering our Post Season Swims season which means that our swim sessions will include the following.

Just a note for Leys Swim participants will need to bring their own locks for the lockers. These can be bought for a couple of pound on amazon etc.

Gregg Samuel’s Triathlon for PICU

Some of you may or may not have met Gregg, he is a new ish member of the club (well he’s been here about 10 months!) , when he joined earlier this year he came along to our Thame swim session to build up his strength as a newbie to the sport in order to undertake his first triathlon this September: an Olympic distance !!

He is doing this for PICU in aid of his son, Jenson. Read more here:

He is taking on his triathlon this Saturday!! Starting at Queensford during our lake session. He will do 2x 750m laps of the lake, then get on his bike and cycle 40km to Haddenham, followed by a 2x 5km loops.

As a club we LOVE supporting all our members efforts regardless of distance, size or experience. So to show our support for Gregg, and celebrate his achievements in the pool and his amazing progress we are going to assist where we can with his triathlon this weekend.

Therefore anyone attending the lake this Saturday please arrive at 0745, and we will clap Gregg in to cheer him on for his start at 0800

(All club members can then swim from 0805 and/or swim with him).

Gregg has anticipated the swim will take him 45-50 minutes, so from 0840/0845 any swimmers / members who are able, please line the swim exit for him, and clap / cheer him out into T1 and onto his bike.

(Anyone wishing to join him for the cycle, see route below and let Gregg know by commenting on the Facebook post).

T2 will be outside FitLife in Haddenham with a 5km loop (done twice) of the village which will end at the gym with celebrations and cake! Route also below.

Oxford 1/2 Marathon Aid Station

On the 15th of October it is the Oxford 1/2 Marathon. The organisers have asked us if we would be up to the challenge of running one of the aid stations. It is the same people who run Blenheim Tri whom a number of us volunteered with earlier in the year and we had a great time. We also had a great opportunity as a result of this to have a stall and help people taking part. As a club we benefit hugely from supporting these kinds of events and it’s also just a great way to give back to our local sporting community.

As mentioned we have been assigned the task of manning the aid station next to the Dragon School on Bardwell Rd. I am trying to finalise timings still but it’s probably going to be approximately 8ish till about 13:30 at the latest.

This is an amazing opportunity to get to meet other club members and to give back to our local sporting community. You can sign up using the following link –

Any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch at


World Champs Race Reports – Jane

My 1st ever 70.3 IM race was in Lahti in 2019 so I had hoped I would have a small advantage having done the course before. I was therefore a bit disappointed that the course was changed. Of course it was changed! … it was the World’s it had to be more challenging!

The pre-race prep was its usual faff – something I am good at. The split site transition didn’t help! I obsessed about the weather as rain was promised and it wasn’t particularly warm. The ladies lucked out – it stayed dry and we even had sunshine for the run.

Race on- the swim start was lovely as we entered 5 athletes in 10 second intervals. The only interesting part was the dive entrance. I bottled out of the dive at the last minute opting to jump while tightly holding onto my goggles. The swim was well marked out with marker buoys every 100m…no excuse to swim off course! I didn’t catch any legs and my Garmin reported It was over distance but considering my shoulder injury I was ok with the swim. The rolling bike course was beautiful nearly 900m elevation. Whoops they got that wrong as the course guide reported 420m elevation. Apparently, and obviously unbeknown to me I was leading at 70k. ( so my vintage bike was doing me ok 😉) .

Into T2 -OMG . Cramp. My quads siezed on the rather steep ramp out of T2 leading onto the run. Race over. I cried. “Stop it Jane Bell – stretch and walk as soon as you can”. ( yes I was speaking to myself). I started walking gradually getting into a gentle run. The challenging part was the 1st half of the 2 loop run which involved a 2/3k climb out of Lahti. All good cramp holding off. Ian had told me I had 10 mins on 5th place so all I had to do was hold a steady pace. I enjoyed the run as I knew I couldn’t push the legs for fear of tripping off my quads again. Top tip – ice and cold water at every aid station poured onto legs seemed to keep the cramp under control.

I was so chuffed to finish in 4th place. The Finnish welcome was amazing 😉

Every athlete was accompanied by a volunteer to make sure we were ok and lead us into the recovery and food area.

Lahti is a lovely place and the Finnish countryside is so beautiful. The Finnish people were very friendly and the marshals plentiful and very helpful.

My super support crew, aka Ian Smith, was very patient, supportive and sometimes a bit bossy but I couldn’t have done it without his support and help. An idiosyncrasy of the World 70.3 IM race is that there are 5 podium slots. I have therefore returned with a large piece of wood

Ironman Vichy Race Report – George

Thank you all for cheering me on whilst I was out in the scorching Vichy sun. Also kudos to Tristan Dudouet for completing his first Ironman together with me!

Having spent a few days in the vineyards to recover, here’s my race report:

Swim (1:29:39)

The water temperature was already 26C on Saturday and 27C on race morning, yet again another non-wetsuit race. Managed to struggle through the swim!

Bike (6:23:21)

I went for TT bike for this course. The advantage on the flat and downhill is worth it!

Unfortunately my saddle position tilted when I charged over a speed hump just before the second lap, resulting in my thigh cramping on the climb and significant chafing, made the remaining bike leg very uncomfortable and starting to question myself whether I could still manage the run.

Heat also didn’t help, with no wind and little shades on most of the climb energy drained quickly.

But I had some nice short conversations with fellow age groupers on the climbs (sharing our pains) and enjoyed every single bit of the technical descending. 👌🏻

Run (4:13:01)

Arriving at T2 was a relief, I pulled myself together and thought I’d have to run at least one lap to see how I feel.

Once I got moving the pain on bike was gone and I managed to push through the marathon. Taking in all fruits and fluids I could get my hands on at each aid station really help me tackle the heat and no stomach issues this time!

I’ve hoped for a better run time but just glad I didn’t give up.

All in all, this is by far the toughest race I’ve ever done and can proudly say that giving up in not in the blood 🦾🦿

Thanks again for cheering me on!

Training Calendar 

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

Saturday 2nd September: Social Swim – Queenford Lake @ 08:00

Monday 4th September: Coached Swim – Leys Pool @ 20:00

Tuesday 5th September: Member Lead Social Run – Headington Hill @ 19:00

Tuesday 5th September: Coached Swim – Thame Pool @ 20:00

Wednesday 6th September: Coached Swim – Radley Pool @ 19:30

Thursday 7th September: Coached Run Session – Horspath Athletic Track @ 19:00

Friday 8th September: Strength and Conditioning Online @ 07:15

Friday 8th September: Coached Swim – Kidlington Pool @ 20:00

Leave a Reply