On Sunday, 19th of November OUTriC packed ourselves and our bikes into various minibuses and headed to the Castle Coombe motor racing circuit to take part in the annual BUCS duathlon. Just like last year’s president Laura Fenwick’s, this year’s secretary Ali also has a passionate love of spreadsheets and (not that I want to inflate his ego), the day ran very smoothly thanks to him.
With OUTriC putting out the second largest team of the day (only Loughborough entered more competitors), our dark blue tri suits were easy to spot around the course. There were strong performances from all club members with the women’s team doing particularly well. Sophia Saller winning the women’s category in a time of 47:23.2, a strong 20 seconds ahead of second place. This win is one of many for the former U23 world champion and 10+ Blue extraordinaire (she also makes a tasty carrot cake). The women’s Blues team of Sophia Saller, Lucy Farquhar and Lizzie Sandham placed third in the women’s competition just behind the teams from Leeds Beckett University and Loughborough University (with a combined time of 2:30:59.5).
BUCS duathlon provided the perfect start to multisport racing for many new club members, who were competing for the first time. The race takes place on and around the motor racing track at Castle Combe. The relatively short course of a 3km run, 16km bike and 3km run, is a great introduction to all aspects of multisport racing without being overly long. The cycle race consists of 5 laps around the racing circuit. Being free from the worry of traffic during the cycle makes this one of the most pleasant courses, as you can really focus on your own race. However, it’s not totally stress-free (it seems self-counting five laps is harder than you’d think for Oxford students!). Several club members also found the transition area confusing and one unnamed member spent 1 minute 35 in T1 mostly running up and down trying to locate their bike (NB- it wasn’t Sophia).
All members both new and old had a great day racing, with clear (despite very cold) conditions, great supporters and plenty of post-race cake. Even the “questionable” tri playlist, with Alice picking songs, provided decent karaoke on the way back to Oxford. Free from punctures or crashes, the only real issue of the day was one of the minibuses getting briefly stuck in the mud as we tried to leave the parking area. On being asked for a quote about the day this year’s OUTriC president Angus Young responded, “let me have a think” and yet to add any further comment. However, I’m sure his quote would have sounded something like: “thanks to Ali, Alice and everyone who played a part in organising such a great first competition of the term, don’t forgot to come along to the post-race pub trip”.