Picture credit above: Richard Blake
What a spectacular weekend at the Bloodwise Blenheim Palace Triathlon!
We are so proud of everyone who swam, cycled and ran, particularly the 1,000 triathletes who completed the event in support of us. Thanks to you, £237,000 has already been raised to improve the lives of even more blood cancer patients, and we're well on course to reach our £400,000 target.
Not only did our supporters impress us with their fundraising efforts but also with helping to raise awareness of our new name and what we do as the UK’s specialist blood cancer charity, including in the Metro paper.
We were delighted to be joined on the Saturday by Bloodwise Chairman of Fundraising and political commentator, Alastair Campbell (and Bloodwise Triathlon Captain, no less), his son Rory, and friend Mark Johansen for the sprint relay. Mark’s wife lost her first husband and daughter to leukaemia, and then a few years later Mark lost a close friend to chronic myeloid leukaemia.
The team bagged a mightily impressive third place overall in the team sprint relay category, with Alastair saying: "I've done a few triathlons for the charity in the past but this was the first time I've done a relay and I really enjoyed it. I'm very competitive so was quietly pleased with our placing for our first outing as a team!"
Taking on their first ever triathlon were our 'swim squad', led by Bloodwise Sports Ambassador Lewis Coleman in memory of his mum who died from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in November last year. The team, which included London 2012 silver medallist Michael Jamieson, GB triathlete Ed Castro and a host of current and former GB swimmers, took to the challenge like ducks to water, and raised £5,000 for the charity. Being elite athletes they couldn’t resist a bit of friendly competition out on the course, with the swim-leg times proving very quick!
“I was delighted to be there supporting Lewis and playing a part in raising funds and awareness for the work Bloodwise does. Experiencing that atmosphere and knowing that we were doing it for all the right causes was really special. It was good fun but it was hard work, especially coming off the bike onto the run - I couldn’t feel my legs for the first kilometre!” said Michael Jamieson.
Sporty Spice, Mel C lived up to her name as she took a leap into the water for her wave. She added: “It’s been an absolute delight to be here supporting Bloodwise in raising awareness of the great work they do for blood cancer patients. The atmosphere out on course was something really special and gave me a real boost. It was great to get back on the triathlon scene!”
We witnessed a new world record being set by long-time Bloodwise supporter John Brame, who achieved the incredible feat of completing seven triathlons in 12 hours, non-stop. John, we salute you! You can still donate to John's JustGiving page here >
Check out this amazing drone footage featuring John as he set off on his epic challenge:
Two huge fundraising groups - 'Give Our Dad a Bone' and 'Scarlett’s Dragons' - epitomised the essence of uniting for one common cause.
Scarlett’s Dragons brought their pink and turquoise colours – favourites of 11-year-old Scarlett who is undergoing further treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia – once again to the Oxfordshire countryside as their team of 125 took on the tri to add £40,000 to their already staggering total from the previous two years. Their fundraising total now stands in excess of £400,000.
Sisters, Emma, Sophie and Georgie Ireland enlisted family and friends for the 160-strong Give Our Dad a Bone team in memory of their dad, Rob who died from lymphoma last year. The girls were responsible for a nationwide campaign last summer to find a stem cell match for Rob, and raised over £30,000 at this year’s Blenheim Triathlon for charities including Bloodwise.
Matt Lawley, Head of Sport at Bloodwise, reflects on a special weekend:
“It’s been another fantastic year at Blenheim Palace Triathlon and possibly the best yet for Bloodwise, in what was the first under our new name. We were inspired by so many, not least the huge team of Bloodwise fundraisers who took part to support the work we do to improve the lives of patients. It’s been an unforgettable year and we can't thank everyone enough.”
If you’ve been inspired to take part then we’d love to have you on the Bloodwise Blenheim Triathlon team next year. Register your interest for 2017 by clicking here >
Up for a new challenge? Sign up for our other sports events here >