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Triathlon teams race against the rector

Date: 14 June 2012
A couple due to be married at St Mary’s Church in August, a neighbour to the Rectory and a couple of ‘baptism dads’ were among the athletes who took on the rector of Byfleet in the Blenheim Triathlon this June.


The Revd John McCabe challenged 16 individuals to beat him in a 750m swim 20km bike ride and 5km run at Blenheim Palace – and they did!


John said: “Publicity material was delivered through each door of the village to raise awareness of the community hall and we were delighted by the response.


“Participants told us that local people have been generous in making donations – including one chap who pressed a £50 note into the hand of electrician Gary Lowe who took part.


“The event was terrific. We started in the Blenheim water at 11.20 and our winning team, the Cartledge brothers, finished 1hr 17 minutes later.


“Gary was given the Byfleet group prize for best team captain for his excellent work holding his team together after cyclist, Paul Gadd, came off his bike.


“Unfortunately Paul broke four ribs. Byfleet’s supporters and athletes showed tremendous care, finding kit (including Paul’s very precious racing bike) and helping us retrieve him from accident and emergency where he had been taken for observation.


“Since then team members have also been supporting him and his family.


“Overall, there was a remarkable sense of team spirit and there are already plans for a repeat-fixture in 2013 - only this time for individual competitors to complete the whole course.


“We hope to have raised around £1,000, but almost more importantly the triathlon has really helped to raise awareness in the village and amongst the community.”


The parish hopes to start building the new centre in September 2013.

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