Wow - 2019 has been a fantastic year for our club and all our athletes!
As always there have been some incredible performances. Beginners completing their first race, seasoned triathletes moving up to a longer distance and individuals qualifying to represent their country.
However, the club is more than just individual performances - we are a team who can be proud of everything we've achieved this year. The hard work of our members, coaches and committee has brought us an unprecedented four Triathlon England South East awards!
Our 'club away days' saw us turn up in force at many events. Racing with fellow OLT club members increases the fun and ensures there is plenty of support when you are out on the course. Plus, if you're wearing OLT kit you always go faster!
We've again hosted a series of Triathlons, Aquathlons (and Go-Tri events for beginners) at the Leybourne Lakes Country Park.
Club Away Days
This year was jam packed with club away days.
Our annual pilgrimage across the channel for the Chantilly Castle Series event saw many club members tagging a holiday on to their race.
The biggest away days were the Triathlon England South East race series. As well as being great fun, athletes can earn points for their club. The higher you finish the more points you score. However age is also taken into account so there's a chance for everyone to score points. There was also a relay event which saw Ocean Lake take silverware in both the men's and women's categories.
Overall we finished 5th in the women's series and 2nd in the men's category which is fantastic for a club our size! Well done everyone!
Not every away day has to be a race. With the club having bases in Leybourne and Canterbury we arranged a ride out to Tenterden one Sunday morning for a second breakfast. Although it wasn't a race, the Canterbury crew did arrive first.
Au Revoir Coach Baxter!
This year we said goodbye to one of our coaches - Simon Baxter - who emigrated to France!
To mark his final training session we left the pool behind, donned our wetsuits and swam in Dover harbour.
It was a perfect sunny morning capped off by 'Coach turned Chef' Rob rustling up a few BBQ'd bacon sarnies. I like to think the net result of the swimming and BBQ left us fitter and healthier than we were.
But, as it turns out we haven't seen the last of Simon. He still shares the coaching of the 'Virtual Turbo' training session with Rob. Thursdays throughout winter club members are at home on their turbo trainer using video conferencing to participate in the 'virtual training session' with Simon in France.
There were so many great individual performances this year. Some highlights below....
Marian Boyd wins GOLD in the European Aquabike Championships for her age group.
Following on from last year's success Hamish Reilly won the National Elite Series Triathlon in Llanelli, thus qualifying to represent Great Britain in the Elite Youth European Championships in Kitzbuhel. There he finished an incredible 7th. Hamish was the first GBR athlete over the finish line and missed out on a podium place by only 10 seconds.
Both Matthew Latham and Sam Morley represented Great Britain in the Triathlon age group European Championships in Weert, Netherlands. Matthew finished 17th and Sam finished 21st in the 25-29 age group.
Agatha Skelton raced the Brighton Triathlon finishing 3rd overall with a fantastic PB of 1:14:40. This meant she qualified for the Edmonton World Championships next year. Agatha won't be alone though. Jordan Lockett, Sam Morley and Matthew Latham also qualified with exceptional performances at the Leeds Castle Triathlon.
Jordan will also be representing GB in the World Duathlon championships after a second place in his age group earlier in the year at the qualifier at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire.
Every year Triathlon England South East present various awards to clubs and individuals. Ocean Lake are honoured to have won quite a few over recent years, however this year we are delighted to have received no less than four awards!
These awards are based on votes from various triathletes, marshals and volunteers across the South East region so we are ecstatic to have been recognised for all the effort that has been put in by our club members.
Club of the year!
The first award is the big one! Club of the year!
We are only a small club so receiving this makes us so proud.
Club Event of the year!
Next up is Club Event of the Year.
Thank you to all of the Athletes, Marshals, Technical Officials, Leybourne Lake Watersport's Centre, Larkfield Cycles and of course our members and the OLT committee for making our race series what it is.
Next year's race dates have been announced. Hope to see you there!
Participation Coach of the year!
Top Job Steve!
Participation Coach of the Year. Well deserved!
Volunteer of the year!
Congratulations Jo for winning TESE volunteer of the year and a huge THANK YOU for all the hard work you put in. Between kit ordering/organising, cake making, water hander-outering, giving out medals, and having to live with and organise the chairman we think you’re pretty amazing.
As a club we would be nothing without our members. Training and racing alongside each other - cheering and encouraging anyone else wearing the OLT kit - the sport of triathlon becomes so much more fun when you are training together.
New members are always welcome at Ocean Lake Triathlon. We like to think we are a friendly welcoming club, with members of various age and ability. Whether you are the best, or like most of us doing it for the fun, everyone is welcome!
One of this year's new members was Martin Ballard who says the following....
"...I'm so pleased I joined. I've met a great bunch of people, made new friends and been encouraged to push myself..."
What to do in the off season?
So, as another great season comes to an end it's time to start planning next year! If you're thinking of racing one of our sprint races then the dates are up on the website now - With bookings available soon.
But what about the winter? Many of us will be on the indoor turbo trainer - maybe taking our bike and turbo trainer along to our group sessions on a Wednesday evening - or taking part in the online virtual session on a Thursday night from the comfort of our own homes.
However there is still lots of opportunity to get outside and train/race. CycloX, Cross Country, Duathlon and even some Canicross! It doesn't have to be just triathlon.
No doubt Randolph Burt will be entering as many Canicross races as he can find - he tends to run much faster when his dog is pulling him along!
Remember, it's all about having fun!