The 2016-2017 season will go down as one of the most successful seasons in the clubs history. Whilst Varsity Duathlon was a 3-2 win for Cambridge, Oxford won the Men's Blues and Men's Seconds. Tom Lewin was once again crowned champion whilst David Pearson (2nd) and OUTriC debutant Joe Bowness (4th) made up the winning team. Megan Wilson won the women's for Cambridge, whilst Lizzie Sandham podiumed for Oxford, a well deserved 2nd place.
BUCS Triathlon saw 4 athletes achieve the required Full Blue standard of finishing in the top 10%. In the men's David Pearson finished 19th, Tom Lewin 25th and in the women's Renee Haver finished 10th, Lucy Farquhar 12th. BUCS Triathlon will also be remembered for James Walker's first experience riding a disk wheel. A couple of strips of medical tape over the valve hole provided the aerodynamic gains he needed to finish 3rd Oxford, and pick up 2 BUCS points with the team.
Strong performances at BUCS would set the scene for total domination at Varsity Triathlon. A 4-0 Oxford victory with victories for the Men's Blues, Men's 2nds, Men's Mob and Women's Blues. Tom Lewin and Lucy Farquhar would go on the achieve full blues by making the Blues teams. A crash and pucture early in the bike course left David Pearson out of contention. Tom Lewin yet again took a convincing individual victory in the men's, whilst Sophia Saller took an equilly convincing win in the women's. Half Blues went to James Walker (3rd), Alex Bradley (4th), Sophia Saller (1st), and Laura Fenwick (3rd).
Varsity Duathlon went to Cambridge with a 3-1 loss. Tom Lewin won the men's whilst Kate Curran of Cambridge took victory in the women's.
Whilst no men achieved a full blue standard, all 3 women that would go on to make the Women's Blues Team made the top 10%. Renee Hever finished in 10th, Laura Fenwick 12th and Lucy Farquhar in 16th in a field of 162.
OUTriC once again won Varsity Triathlon with a convincing 5-1 victory over Cambridge, losing only the women's mob match. Tom Lewin took victory in the Men's. A T2 time penalty for David Pearson made little difference to the result, finishing in second whilst James Walker made up the team in 3rd. All 3 members of the Men's Blues teams finished before the first Cambridge finisher. Laura Fenwick took victory in the women's in a time that would have seen her make the Cambridge Men's Blue team. Lucy Farquhar and Renee Hever made up the team in 3rd and 4th respectivly.
2014-2015 OUTriC once again increased its membership from last year and a weekly 'Novice Ride' was introduced to cater for the growing novice membership and enthusiasm. Rachel Hallam was appointed as the club head coach, assisted by student coaches Laura Fenwick and Luke Sperry. Michael Hirst was the club President.
Varsity Triathlon 2015 was one of the club's most successful in recent years, resulting in an overall 3-2 Oxford win. Increased participation from female athletes in the club was reflected in Oxford winning both the Women’s Blues match (25 minutes) and the Women’s Mob match (12 minutes). The Men's Blues match was an incredibly close and hard fought affair. With a winning margin of just 15 seconds, Oxford took victory for the first time since 2003!
The club has also seen many exceptional individual performances this year. At the BUCS Sprint Triathlon on 3rd May OUTriC certainly held its own among fierce competition from other universities. Renee Haver and Imogen Kempton both placed in the top 20, and in the men's race Oliver Crossley was 24th, closely followed by Alex Bradley, Charlton Bannister and Tom Lewin. Sophia Saller recorded two top 10 finishes on the WTS circuit and achieved an overall world series ranking of 20th for 2015.
At the Sports Federation Annual Ball, Sophia Saller was named 'Oxford University Sportswoman of the Year' in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the sport and contributions to the club throughout her undergraduate degree. These included becoming U23 Elite World Champion and German National Champion in August 2014.
OUTriC’s year got off to a flying start as record numbers joined in Michaelmas. This year the club was led by President Andy Dyson. In November the club was named ‘Oxford University Sports Club of the Year’ at the Sports Federation Annual Ball.
Increased numbers and enthusiasm of athletes inspired the development of a brand new ‘Performance Squad’ initiative, aiming to provide extra support for athletes who want to take triathlon to a higher level. The third annual training camp in Portugal with sponsors TriTraining Harder also went down a treat and is now a regular feature of the OUTriC training calendar.
2014 saw the first ever 2nd team matches at Varsity, adding to the existing Blues and Mob categories. Oxford’s strength in depth showed with an emphatic win in the Women’s 2nds match by over 16 minutes, whilst the Men’s 2nds suffered a narrow defeat. Oxford took both of the Mob Match competitions thanks to a turnout of over forty athletes, but Cambridge brought two strong Blues teams who edged out Oxford, both by less than 5 minutes. The overall result was a 3-3 draw.
There were numerous impressive individual performances from club members this summer. Sophia Saller enjoyed a breakthrough season on the international elite circuit, beginning with a silver medal at the European Championships. In August Sophia was crowned World U23 Triathlon Champion and German National Champion. Fresher Laura Fenwick completed her third season racing in the British Elite Junior series, finishing 10th at the British Championships in Liverpool and 14th at a European Junior Cup event. At the Ironman World Championships, Gareth Shellard was tantalisingly close to breaking the 10hr barrier despite Kona’s infamously humid and windy conditions. 2012-2013 2012-13 was a great year for OUTriC. The number of members increased to over 100 and weekly training was well attended all year. Swimming and turbo sessions were often full and participation in races was higher than ever before. It was also great to see many athletes from other clubs, such as rowing, swimming and cross country, representing OUTriC in Varsity and BUCS events.
During the 2011-12 season, OUTriC went from strength to strength. Numbers attending training sessions greatly increased and there are now over 700 people on the mailing list. Training this year focussed on the main races of BUCS Duathlon, Varsity Duathlon, BUCS Triathlon and Varsity Triathlon. Oxford won both Varsity matches against Cambridge 3-1. In addition, OUTriC placed in the top 10 universities in the country as a result of the points scored in BUCS.
The highlight of the year for many was the Tri Training Harder training camp in early January. The combination of fantastic weather, brilliant coaching, amazing facilities and luxurious accommodation meant all those who went didn't want to leave! As a result of the camp many members were inspired to compete in long distance triathlons over the summer.
The 2010/11 season got off to a fantastic start with a great recruitment drive at Fresher’s Fair and a successful beginners’ aquathlon hosted at Iffley gym at the end of Fresher’s week. Despite the majority of our advanced triathletes leaving Oxford last year we had a number of highly talented newcomers – whether converts from similar sports or experienced triathletes starting Oxford degrees. The bulk of the club was still made up of relatively inexperienced athletes, who eagerly received coaching and training advice which developed many into solid performers at races, and many will be looking at 1st team places and Blues over the next 2-3 years. We’re grateful to British Triathlon who helped out with some swim coaching and for getting us more involved with local races such as Radley College’s own triathlon. Our first big event of the year was the BUCS Duathlon in November – some great performances and for many their first attempt at multisport racing. Next was Varsity Duathlon held in the 1st week of Hillary where we won both the 2nd team matches, but drew 1-1 in the main competition – the men losing by less than a minute and the ladies boosted by South Africa’s Olympian Mari Rabie winning with a margin of 26 minutes. In Hillary the season really got going with attendance steadily rising, a host of successful social events, as well as confirmation that we were going to be sponsored by TriTrainingHarder for the 2010/11 season. The international triathletes at TTH were an enormous help to the club and provided huge kit subsidies, and we were able to use their money to buy wetsuits, turbo trainers, clip-on aerobars, race belts, and most of all cover the costs of transport to all our races, which were much higher this year with the increase in numbers. Plans are in place for a training camp with them in Portugal to further improve the club in September.
Training continued over the Easter break before we had our BUCS Triathlon race on the first day of Trinity term, which was a huge success on all accounts. A record turnout of 22 took part of whom 7 achieved half blue eligibility, but with 4 of our top athletes away the stage was set for a dramatic fight at Varsity to secure the sought after Blues. This year held in Grendon near Nottingham, Varsity Triathlon was only 7 days after BUCS, although for this race we had almost our entire lineup of top triathletes, and the majority of the regulars in the club were able to race. The race was enjoyed by all and a great lunch was held with Cambridge in a nearby pub where the results were announced – after our third athlete was found to be ineligible as an exchange student the men lost by a mere 22 seconds while the women landed a solid 14 minute victory. In the mob matches Oxford again excelled with comfortable victories in both.
With some surprising performances in the Varsity match we had to wait until late July for the BUCS Olympic distance race to find out who had achieved blues, but the rest of Trinity term was a joyful time for all with no more races on the horizon, only the dreaded exams – cuppers aquathlon, weekend rides, and socials helped to finish the season well.
Under the leadership of Ed Heywood-Lonsdale, 2010 was an exciting year for OUTriC, marked by a number of key developments to the sport of Varsity Triathlon. The year began with a successful fresher’s fair, followed swiftly by the club’s fresher’s aquathlon. This event, designed in order to encourage potential members to join the club, was well attended with a record number of 25 entrants. Accordingly, expansion of the club continued unabated, reflecting the current popularity of the sport. This year the club grew in size to 84 members, the largest it has been since its inception.
As in previous years, athletes from OUTriC participated in a number of local and national events, posting good performances in the individual disciplines and in multisport competition. Of note, our women’s team of Josephine Anselin, Rachel Hall and Natasha Poole, placed 3rd at BUCS Sprint Triathlon, winning the team bronze medal. Lee Harper achieved an individual top 20 place at this race, beating a number of British Age Group competitors; Lee also placed 2nd overall in the Bath Olympic Triathlon.
This year the committee worked hard to develop the club and the sport of Varsity triathlon. They began this process by building stronger links with British Triathlon, the governing body for the sport in the U.K. As a result of this the club was allocated a number of free coaching sessions from Rob Robson, a British Triathlon level 3 coach. Rob’s input helped to up-skill our existing swim coaches as well as to directly improve the swimming technique of our novice members. We hope to develop this successful relationship further over the coming years.
A number of changes were made to the Varsity match this year, on a trial basis, to encourage further participation from members of both Oxford and Cambridge University triathlon clubs. Firstly a change of host event from the Blenheim triathlon to the British National Sprint Championships at Emberton Park, allowed both sides unrestricted entry numbers at a reduced entry cost. Secondly, alongside the Varsity match scoring system, we introduced a ‘mob match’ scoring system to allow all entrants to contribute to a second team competition. Finally an unofficial Varsity Duathlon was trialled as part of the Big Cow Duathlon at Milton Keynes Bowl, an event which saw an encouraging numbers of participants.
Sadly, in spite of the hard work and dedication of all our athletes, both the men’s and women’s Varsity matches were won by a narrow margin by Cambridge this year. Nevertheless there were strong and encouraging performances by a number of individuals from Oxford. However, with the club’s development programme now in place, we will return next year with greater breadth and depth of talent, and victory will be ours once again. 2008-9
A quiet year, by our lively standards! 2007-8
It has been another amazing year for the Oxford University Triathlon Club. Membership continues to thrive – there are currently over 70 members of OUTriC ranging from novices to national level athletes. A key highlight was the promotion of the Men’s team to Discretionary Full Blue status, and it is hoped that the Women’s team will follow suit in 2008/09. Building on the strengths of last season, Oxford continued to have excellent representation at national events: the club had 13 entrants for the (pilot) BUSA Duathlon in November; 20 entrants for the BUSA Sprint Triathlon in May; and 43 entrants for the Varsity Triathlon in June.
OUTriC posted some impressive results at the BUSA Duathlon, including a first place finish by Katy Moore in the women’s division. At the BUSA Sprint Triathlon a team of our fastest two men and women on the day placed 4^th overall, an excellent performance considering Oxford comfortably beat Cambridge and were the fastest team not to receive external funding as a centre of sporting excellence.
The 2008 Varsity Triathlon was again held in the grounds of the beautiful Blenheim Palace. OUTriC were confident that we had the strength and the depth to contend for both trophies this year. As in 2007, the Oxford women were unstoppable and retained the women’s trophy by a comfortable margin. The Oxford men pushed themselves to their personal limits but came up short against an exceptionally strong Cambridge team, whose results were buoyed by the performance of one elite national triathlete.
OUTriC looks forward to further impressive results during the summer racing season, including the inaugural BUSA Olympic Triathlon on 13^th July 2008. 2006-7
The club continues to expand, with now over 200 people on our mailing list. 2005-6
The triathlon club continued to grow successfully in 2005-6, its fifth year. We doubled our membership and increased our club turnout at BUSA, Varsity and major national events. The club was awarded half-blue status for both men and women, reflecting its continuing growth and success. 2004-5
This was the year to decide the status of the club. Half-blue status can only be awarded to a club after it has competed in three varsity matches. The new president, Zaheer Cader, made sure that we had not just our third varsity match this year but for the first time trophies for the winning teams (sponsored by triandrun) as well as a large contingent down at BUSA. He also organised the first ever triathlon cuppers (in reality an aquathlon) and moreover had a brilliant cuppers trophy and medals fashioned just in time as part of the triandrun club sponsorship deal. The cuppers were reasonably well attended and were won by Worcester. The end result was a very popular club and for the first time a victory in Varsity, thanks to our women, especially Canadian rowing olympian Buffy Williams, Rachel Hughes and Nerys Hughes who made up the winning team. The victory launched a thousand hangovers - well at least one from James anyway - and proved that there is more than just a lot of enthusiasm in our club. Zaheer also tried to organise an open water swim varsity match at the inaugural Blenheim triathlon but the Cambridge team did not turn up. His organisational achievements were however recognised by the university who granted the club for the first time Half Blue status.
Training reached new heights, with swim sessions now coached by our in-house qualified coach Kelly Thornber, weekly track and turbo sessions and an ambitious training camp in cycling heaven (ie. Majorca) organised by Paul Petzschmann during the Easter vacation.
It was a year full of highlights, including a first place by Thom Ringer in his age group at the Thruxton duathlon in the October 2004 and a fine performance from the OUTriC team at the Big Half in June 2005, finishing in second place. Fresh from the Big Half, James Nichols competed in Ironman Switzerland, completing the course in a bit over 13 hours. Derek Li competed in the Asian Triathlon Championships held in Singapore on 3 July 2005, where he completed the olympic distance course in 2:28:55, finishing 5th in his age group. This however was not good enough, so he then went on to compete in the olympic distance Port Dickson Int'l Triathlon in Malaysia, finishing in an amazing time of 2:07:55, and 13th in his age group. There were fine performances also in the London triathlon, especially by Luke Walton (2:17:12), Geoff Roberts (2:25:08) and the new president Simon MacDonald (2:27:04). Another great result was Kirsty's top female finish at the hair-raising Helvellyn triathlon and her qualification for the World Duathlon Championships in Australia.
Next president was David Gillett. Pippa Whitehouse, a DPhil student and an international orienteer (among much else), was now coaching the swims. Thom Ringer, a Canadian international age grouper, joined the club and helped with ideas for the training sessions.
Richard Oram, Caroline Furness and Tom Lawton went to Melbourne on some kind of exchange programme that year and had the opportunity to train through the winter with Tom Rickard. Richard emailed to say: "I am having an awesome time here in Oz, enjoying the summer sun in Melbourne. I have hookied up with tommy R's training group. We have a regular bay swim at 6.30 on tuesdays, a 14ft shark was seen in the bay the week before I arrived, this is one hell of an incentive not to get dropped by the bunch! Tom has a hip injury but is swimming about 6K a day to make up for it. The cycling is great, i have borrowed a bike off a friend - it is a De Rosa that he bought of Phil Liggett about 6 years ago! The squad does a 215K beach road ride every saturday morning (!!), I have been busy the last two weekends and have not managed to make it (thank god!), I may try it this weekend....not sure the legs will survive..."
So not everyone was taking it easy back then.
Competition-wise, BUSA participation reached an all time low after another mixup with entry forms meant that few people competed. Richard Oram was among the top finishers in the men and Tamsyn Allen in the women. Richard and Thom were then off to the ITU World Triathlon Championships in Madeira. It was an unlucky venture for Richard who collided with a car while training and was taken to hospital with a broken leg. Thom competed for Canada and finished the tough course in 2:25:17 (46th/63). Varsity was once again well attended, even by Richard who came to watch, supported by crutches. The fun varsity atmosphere at Bedford was somewhat offset by losing to Cambridge in both the male and female categories.
After another year at the top, Kirsty retired from the Chelsea football team, started a DPhil and concentrated more on duathlons and triathlons, regularly finishing near the top in races and finishing Half Ironman UK in the summer of 2004. Paul Petzschmann competed in the Big Half in Trentham (half-ironman distance) and later in Ironman Germany. A number of OUTriC warriors competed in the London triathlon, with Clare Warren first out on the swim. One of the highlights of the season was the 9-up team trial trial at the airport in Weston on the Green. An impromptu team of 9 triathletes was put together but only 7 turned up at the start (blame illness and injury). This small matter did nothing to dampen the fighting spirit of the OUTriC team, who rode aggressively to finish the 10 miles in a respectable time of 26 min.
The presidency of the club for the 2002-03 season went to John Coats.
The first ever BUSA Triathlon was held on the route of the Springfield Triathlon in Corsham. Due to lack of organisation from BUSA (two different entry forms were in circulation, only one of which was valid) and a shortage of places (only 100 places were available), John and several others were left out. There was nevertheless a sizeable party from Oxford with over a dozen dark blue warriors competing, including Richard Oram, a budding international age grouper who finished 10th overall. The OUTriC teams did well, finishing 5th overall.
At the end of June the first ever Varsity Triathlon was held in Mansfield. The somewhat depleted Oxford teams were thrashed by Cambridge, not least by the participation of Rachel Horn in the women's event. Rachel, an international age grouper, destroyed the women's field finishing first overall, even ahead of all the Oxford men. President John Coats posted the fastest time of the Oxford men.
Training changed focus this year towards shorter distance events with John leading the cycling and track training sessions for the club. Sessions included turbo training during the winter, as the club acquired four turbo trainers. The swim sessions were taken over by two swim specialists and members of OUSC, Fiona Edmonds and Clare Warren.
Kirsty Hewitson was a member of OUTriC this year. Kirsty was finishing her first degree in Chemistry and was the captain of the Women's Chelsea Football team, who were England champions that year.
Though the origins of triathlon go back beyond the mists of Hawaii, the origins of the Oxford University Triathlon Club lie in the not so distant mists of the year 2000.
In Michaelmas 2000 Chris Bucknall and James Carver (Jesus College) separately had the idea of getting Oxford University students involved in triathlons (an equivalent club in Cambridge was set up in 1999). After some confusion the sports department realised that two people were trying to do the same thing at the same time and helped them join forces. The club was initially known as Oxford Student Triathlon Club, to avoid confusion with the Real Tennis Club (OUTC). At some point in the 2000-01 season the name was changed to Oxford University Triathlon Club (OUTriC).
Some well placed posters and a snazzy logo soon got membership up and running and allowed the club to be offically recognised as part of the University in early 2001. Annual membership cost £5 and the first members included Canadian Murray McCutcheon (Trinity) - the clubs first offical President, Paul Petzschman (St Anthony's), Roberta Dionello (Hertford), and Paul Ganter (Magdalen).
Australian legend Tom Rickards led informal training in the pool. Tom had been competing at an international level as an age grouper since 1997, and went on to win his age group (30-34) at the first ever half iron man competition in Snowdonia 2001 and then finish 2nd at the Kona Ironman in 2002. Roberta also competed for GB as an age grouper. The rest of the group continue to do triathlons into their old(er) age, but with less impressive times!
With limited membership the club ended the year with less than £100 in the bank (and didn't even have an annual dinner!) but most importantly the club was up and running, and the long wait for Blue status could commence. James and Chris were both in their final years so they handed over to Paul Ganter and the club had its first stand at Freshers' Fair in 2001.
In the 2001-02 season Paul Ganter ran all of the club training sessions. There was one almost everyday with swimming at Temple Cowley Pool on Friday nights. On Saturday the triathletes rode together along with some people from the cycling club (OUCC). They were joined by a mix of people from the Oxford City Road Club and even the occasional pros training in Britain during the winter who Tom brought along. There was a running workshop every week because Paul's background was in athletics and tales of old say he knew a great deal about sports physiology.
There weren't any organised competitions at the time - Varsity and BUSA didn't exist. The club would choose a race and travel in Paul's big Passat with people's bikes in the back. The first ever OUTriC training camp took place in Wales in July 2002. Paul Petzschmann described the camp as follows... "Yeah, Ganter was pretty crazy. We stayed at big Tom's house at the coast near Holyhead with an open-water swim, a long ride and a run every single day which was extremely hard. On the way back I remember stopping in Caernarfon where we cycled the entire course of the first British Half-Ironman (45k) and after that we jumped into the lake with our cycling gear and swam across and back. Totally mad."