Reporters smash fundraising target at Blenheim Palace Triathlon

The Brent and Kilburn Times team made up of reporters Holly Chant, William Mata and Nathalie Raffray.

The Brent and Kilburn Times team made up of reporters Holly Chant, William Mata and Nathalie Raffray. - Credit: Giles Deards

Three reporters who took part in a triathlon relay to support a Kensal Green charity have raised more than £600.

William Mata, Holly Chant and Nathalie Raffray joined more than 230 people in the Kensal Tri Team to take on the Blenheim Palace Triathlon on September 11.

The trio took part in relay triathlon to raise funds for Elders Voice, in Mortimer Road, Kensal Green.

And the organiser is now calling for 2022 entrants to also help raise money for the cause. 

Some members of the 237-strong Kensal Rise Triathlon team.

Some members of the 237-strong Kensal Rise Triathlon team at just before the Bleinham Palace Triathlon took place. - Credit: Giles Deards

The Brent and Kilburn reporters doubled their initial £300 to raise £600 and hope to double that in their publisher, Archant's, match fund scheme.

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Nathalie swum 750m in open water, Will then jumped on his bike and cycled 19.8 km and Holly finished the race running 5.3km.

They made the course in just over two hours.

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Holly, lead reporter on the Hackney Gazette, said: "I have never done anything quite like the Blenheim Palace Triathlon. It was a difficult 5K but the beauty of the palace grounds kept me going along with amazing support from my team mates, who did so well in the swim and cycle.

"One of the nicest things was seeing fellow Kensal Rise runners in green t-shirts spurring me and others on throughout the race. My legs might disagree but I loved every minute of it."

The Kensal Rise Triathlon team has so far raised over £130,000 for local charities.

The Kensal Rise Triathlon team has so far raised over £130,000 for local charities. - Credit: Giles Deards

Chief reporter Will Mata said: "I greatly enjoyed the experience and loved cycling through the beautiful grounds of the palace. I am proud of my teammates and to be raising money for a great cause."

Elders Voice runs three day centres in Kensal Green for older people and people with dementia, as well as activities such as the  handy person service, afternoon tea and singalong, reading friends, Zumba Gold and Bolder not Older dance classes for over-65s.

Senior reporter Nathalie added: "I may have slowed down our timing as I did struggle a bit in the water. I'd only just recovered from Covid. 

"But I thought of my team mates, the whole Kensal Tri Team, beneficiaries of the charity we're supporting, powered through and came out victorious without needing to take a break on a canoe. It was amazing to reach dry land!"

At the lake at the Bleinham Palace triathlon. 

At the lake at the Bleinham Palace triathlon. - Credit: Giles Deards

The team of 237 neighbours – including forty children from five local schools – made up Blenheim Palace Triathlon’s largest team, taking on 7,000 people from around the country in different swim, cycle and run challenges.

Altogether they raised an amazing £132,254 for 25 charities with support of the Moberly Sports Centre, local personal trainers and businesses such as Akoya.

Sarah Reynolds, director of Salusbury World, cycled as part of her relay team. "It was very tiring but it was fantastic. 

"When you're participating and seeing all the green shirts it's all really motivating."

Natalie Walker, staff at Salusbury Primary School, said: "We're doing it for the kids."

Amy Lewis, Maggie Burns and Natalie Walker at the Blenheim Palace Triathlon 2021

Amy Lewis of Salusbury World, and Salusbury Primary staff Maggie Burns and Natalie Walker at the Blenheim Palace Triathlon 2021 - Credit: Nathalie Raffray

Organiser Giles Deards said he hoped to double the number of people taking part next year.

“We’re not a triathlon club or even a group of people that knew one another before we started training.

"And we were all shapes and sizes and all levels of fitness, including couch potatoes. We’ve shown that when we can get supportive groups of people together we can really enjoy ourselves and make extraordinary amounts of money for fantastic local causes."

He added: "The great thing about the Blenheim event is you don’t have to do a full triathlon – you can come and enjoy a relay event where you could even walk 5km.

Salusbury School team members at the finish line.

Salusbury School team members at the finish line. - Credit:

"For the event next May we would like to more than double the amount of adults taking part but also take over 150 primary and high school children who will be invited to join us for fun training from January.

"Please get in contact if you’re interested in signing up for just the run, cycle or swim training from January onwards or would like to be part of the fun event at the end of May”.

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