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Meet Blenheim's 2015 Weekend Warriors
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Tuesday 26th May 2015


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Since adding the 'Weekend Warrior' entry to the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Blenheim Palace (initially as an invite-only addition in 2013, and then as an open entry type for the 2014 edition, it has been an instant hit with athletes. The 20 places available for the 2015 race over the weekend of 13-14th June sold out in hours. For some, two days of back-to-back triathlons (as many times around the Blenheim Triathlon course as possible over the weekend), is a very attractive prospect.

Who has signed up for the this year's challenge? Let's meet a few of the class of 2015 Weekend Warriors, which for the first time includes some female entrants...


According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of a Weekend Warrior is 'a person who does a particular activity (such as sport) only on the weekends'. However, the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Blenheim Palace Triathlon meaning is somewhat different..

Weekend Warrior: ‘A person of great ambition, not satisfied with the achievement of taking part in the challenge of one triathlon but wanting to push their body to the limit and complete as many triathlons as they possibly can, on one weekend’.

This year, the 20 exclusive spots to take on the challenge to become the ultimate Weekend Warrior at the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Blenheim Palace Triathlon were snapped up within hours, some by returning Warriors and others by fresh faces ready to take on this unique test of endurance.

Some of the 2015 Blenheim Weekend Warriors

Weekend Warrior Ian Fearon, 42, Chandler's Ford, Scientist
"I completed an iron-distance event in 2012 and was looking for my next challenge so when I saw the information about the Weekend Warrior entry I signed-up without really thinking about it! I got into sport late in life and only began running when I was 35. When I got into it I had no idea how addictive triathlon would be! Although I've completed ironman distance and the total over the weekend will be similar it'll be a completely different experience doing lots of tris back-to-back, it's one of those steps into the unknown."
Weekend Warrior Adrian Fowler, 40, North London, Architect
"I've taken part at the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Blenheim Palace Triathlon before, in 2012 I had to pull out because I couldn't swim but did a sprint distance in 2013 then last year I came back as a Weekend Warrior and completed eight sprint triathlons! I'm preparing for five Ironman events this year so I'm using the weekend as training for the summer. I love the Weekend Warrior event because it's not serious and there are no time pressures to qualify, plus I love Blenheim – it's stunning!"
Weekend Warrior Nicholas Elvidge, 22, West Sussex, Student
"I will be doing the Weekend Warrior in memory of my cousin Matthew, who tragically took his own life after suffering from a short period of depression. So far I've done four marathons and two English Channel relays to raise money in his honour. I would like to do an Ironman one day but I'm not quite ready. I imagine the Weekend Warrior is going to be pretty tough so I'm hoping the beautiful views will keep me going! I imagine the challenge will be like a night on the beers – great after the first few but steadily more grim after that!"
Weekend Warrior Dave Nichols, 49, Greens Norton, South Northants, Fabricator at Force India F1
"I saw the Weekend Warrior challenge on last year's TV coverage and knew I had to do it, it's such a unique thing to do. This year I've set myself the challenge of doing 50 races in my 50th year, I'm doing triathlons, duathlons, running, cycling and swimming events. I'm aiming to do six triathlons on the Blenheim weekend so that's six events down!"
Weekend Warrior Colin Dutkiewicz, 45, Putney, South West London, Actuary
"I've been to Blenheim Palace before, for my Grandfather's 100th Birthday in Woodstock, and I know it'll make a stunning triathlon venue. Doing the Weekend Warrior sounded well worth the effort of travelling up there. My girlfriend is also taking a Weekend Warrior place even though she only started triathlon last year! I'm planning on doing at least six races – first one in the morning pushing really hard and the second two for fun, then repeat on Sunday! I suspect though I'll just keep going round until I'm too tired to put my wetsuit back on!"
Weekend Warrior Victoria Hatcher, 29, Putney, South West London
"This fitness thing is new to me – 18 months ago I couldn't swim! My partner (Colin) is a two time ironman and got me into triathlon last year, the only problem was not being able to swim. After lots of pool time and some tears I conquered two triathlons last summer. I think I was still high from completing those when entries for Blenheim came up and I think I went temporarily mad! I always push myself in my work and in my personal life so it was only a matter of time before I did something crazy like this. I'm under no illusions that this will be one of the toughest physical challenges I will have done before but I'd be over the moon if I manage to do four."
Weekend Warrior George Strong, 24, Flimwell, East Sussex, Logistics Analyst
"I intended to enter the sprint distance at the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Blenheim Palace Triathlon but when completing the registration form I saw the Weekend Warrior option – I panicked and went for it! Now I'm signed up I've been training hard and am planning doing a total of 10 triathlons over the weekend, however if I can achieve eight and above I will be happy. My main goal is to finish the weekend injury free, otherwise I may find myself single!
Weekend Warrior Bob Hogg, 55, Ebchester, University Lecturer
"I've been a triangulate for more than 25 years, the event has always been on my bucket list but because I've been doing triathlon for so long I was looking for something different so I signed up to be a Weekend Warrior last year. I like challenges with a mental component, as that doesn't degrade with age (unlike my speed). I'm a Sports Science lecturer at the University of Sunderland and one of my research areas is performance analysis so I've mapped out my plan for the weekend and am aiming for at least six triathlons with a better average time than last year."
Weekend Warrior Andrew James, 36, West Hampstead, Logistics
"I love the idea of the Weekend Warrior challenge – it's almost like a triathlon festival. I like that all these people will have different aims and ambitions. There will be some, maybe I will be one, who think it's the best day of their lives. I've completed two marathons recently that took a lot out of me but I've been putting in a lot of hours on my swim training. My main target is to get one of my super-sprints done in under an hour because my PB is just over."
Weekend Warrior Alexander Deacon, 43, Wargrave, Berkshire, Director
"I did a sprint distance last year whilst my friend was a Weekend Warrior, it sounded fun and not as much training as an Ironman (which is seemingly pretty popular in Wargrave). My friend is a Warrior again this year and a couple more will be doing the sprint so it should be great fun. I'll be aiming for six triathlons in total."
Weekend Warrior Leo Forster, 24, Cardiff, Analyst
"I'm doing my first Ironman this year and thought the Weekend Warrior seemed like a great way to prepare for it. The Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Blenheim Palace Triathlon was my first ever triathlon experience and really got the ball rolling for me. It's the best race I've ever entered as the crowds and scenery are amazing. I'm doing the event with my friend and fellow Weekend Warrior, David Atkinson, who is annoyingly fast so my main aim is not to get lapped by him!"
Weekend Warrior David Atkinson, 29, Bath, Doctor
"I'm currently training for European age group championships for standard distance triathlon so the Weekend Warrior option at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Blenheim Palace Triathlon will be a great opportunity to practice my transitions. I'm working full time as a GP whilst also studying for an Msc in sports and exercise medicine so my training often gets neglected! I'm aiming for eight triathlons over the weekend but I haven't done any endurance in a long time so perhaps that's optimistic!"
Weekend Warrior Natasha Wilson, 24, Dunfermline, Scotland, Advisor
"I am constantly looking for new ways to push my body to its limits and the Weekend Warrior seemed like the ideal race to challenge me. Also, the 'Unstoppables' team is something close to my heart after my grandmother passed away from Hodkin's Lymphoma so being able to participate at Blenheim is particularly special for me. After working as a Games Maker at London 2012 I was inspired to take up triathlon and last year qualified to race for GBR in the ETU duathlon sprint championships. This year will be my first Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Blenheim Palace Triathlon which I can't wait to add to my list of completed events!"

Weekend Warrior and general entries are now sold out for the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Blenheim Palace Triathlon on 13-14th June 2015, but Charity Pledge Places are available from: www.theblenheimtriathlon.com

To keep up with all the latest news from the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Blenheim Palace Triathlon, visit www.theblenheimtriathlon.com, www.twitter.com/blenheimtri and www.facebook.com/blenheimtri.


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