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.
Freshers Splash 'n' Dash Aquathlon, Oct 2009 [Results]