Grendon Triathlon 2013: Oxford v Cambridge Varsity Triathlon

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Varsity – it’s always the biggest race of the year for every single Sports club in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. For anyone going to Oxbridge, it’s not just a race! And you either win or lose, if you win, it’s your turn to tell everyone from Cambridge – in my case – that they have chosen the wrong University and in general just feel superior. And if you lose, well I guess then you have to take all that!

And that atmosphere is why I love Varsity races! You don’t just fight for yourself, but for the pride of a University! Usually one also finds alumni turning up and watching. Despite that, the Varsity Triathlon wasn’t one of my main races this season – it was merely about having a little bit of fun and just going hard (and see how many boys I can keep up with!).

The day started early – and by early I don’t mean early for an university student! The minibuses left at 5.30 (on the other end of town!), so the drive to Grendon was spent mostly sleeping ;). It was a beautiful day, but still freezing cold in the morning! And the water only had a nice and chilly 12 degrees! Once everything was set up it was time to head to the lake and get ready for some fun! My aim for the race was – after not being super happy with my swim the week before – to just go hard on the swim and prove to myself that I CAN actually swim! So that is what I did – and I think I can be happy with coming out of the water first – in front of all the guys!

So I was off on the bike – and just went for it! Halfway through the bike leg, I was still leading the race (and starting to get disappointed with the guys – they should have bloody caught me by now!) but not long after, I was actually caught by one Oxford and two Cambridge guys. The running didn’t feel as “effortless” as it had before, but I guess I should have expected that after a tough swim and bike! In the end I finished 4th of Oxford (that is counting the guys with the last one sprinting past me on the last 50m) which I was definitely happy with! I also won the entire event by about three minutes and varsity by 6, so it definitely can’t be called a bad day! And by the time we finished the sun had come out and it was nice and warm for the post-race BBQ! The Varsity match ended 2-2 so instead of mocking Cambridge, the afternoon was spent making friendly conversation, which is nice too I guess ;). A massive well done to everyone from Oxford! Especially those who finished their first ever triathlon! It was great to see so many smiles and so much joy for the sport on the day - and a little message to Cambridge: Don’t worry, we’ll be back bigger and better next year, to make sure we take the overall victory!

© Sophia Saller 2016. All rights reserved. Impressum