Kensal Rise Triathlon Team: More than 90 people to take plunge at Blenheim Palace Triathlon for Kensal Rise charities
PUBLISHED: 12:23 30 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:38 30 May 2019
More than 90 adults and children have taken the plunge to form the first-ever "Kensal Rise Triathlon Team", making it the largest to take part at next month's Blenheim Palace Triathlon.
Team members aged seven to 65 are gearing up for the event on June 1 and 2.
They are hoping to raise about £25,000 for causes including Kensal Rise Library, Sufra NW, St Laurence's Larder, Kensal Green Under 5s and Salusbury World.
They are also fundraising for Malorees Infant and Junior, Ark Franklin, and Orchard House schools.
The 72 adults in the team will be swimming up to 750 metres in open water, cycling 19.8km and running 5.4km around Blenheim Palace grounds with 8,000 other people from across the country.
The 20 children will take part in shorter duathlon cycle and running events.
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Malorees School governor Giles Deards, who organised the team, said: "It's fantastic to get so many people together like this for so many great local causes.
"The idea is a little unusual in that charities and schools usually do their own fundraising thing. It's also obviously very unusual to meet someone for the first time just as you jump into a cold pond.
"But we thought we'd be stronger together as a big team. The charities get to share resources and local business sponsorship while we make new friends and encourage one another with the training. It would be great to get enough sponsorship so all the charities can hit their targets."
Giles' daughter Isla, seven, is taking part in aid of the library in Bathurst Gardens and has set up a sponsorship page with her sister Megan. "I'm not very good at sport but my friends want the children's library to open," she said.
Tri first-timer Hugh Dennis, 65, said "I hated cross country running at school and much as I like swimming in cold water doing it with a wetsuit on is not my first choice. However it's in a great cause and it's a good challenge for me in my mid-60s".
The team has been supported by the Moberly Sports Centre, which offered a free month's membership to help them all get into shape, the Maqam Centre's Swimming Nature team, Lizzie Barker Personal Training, Gym Locomotive and Bags of Love, "making it a real community effort," added Giles.