Thousands descended on Oxfordshire for the 19th edition of the Blenheim Palace Triathlon.

This year’s event saw nearly 5,000 people sign up to take part across Saturday and Sunday (June 3 and 4) alongside household names including BBC Radio 2 presenter Jo Whiley, who competed in the swim and run legs of the relay.

The triathlon is deemed to be the only triathlon in the world which takes place in the grounds of a UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of the most popular mass participation triathlons in Europe.

This year, over 40 per cent of participants competed in a triathlon for the first time.

There were two different levels of triathlon as well as a Weekend Warrior option whereby people can complete as many back-to-back triathlons as they can over the duration of the weekend.

One of the highlights from the weekend included participants from North-West London’s Kensal Tri, bringing over 150 participants to take part in 2023’s event.

The London-based group have already raised over £20,000 for charity, even received endorsement from eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt.

Included in the Kensal Tri team was Councillor Ellie Southwood MBE who completed her first triathlon at Blenheim Palace.

Southwood, who is blind, was guided by Queens Park Harriers running coach Sophie Barnard through the swim, bike and run course. 

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Joining Southwood, from Kensal Tri, was ‘In The Mix’, a team of asylum seekers from the likes of Sudan, Chad, Eritrea and El Salvador, who volunteer to cook and serve meals for 100 residents of Carlton Vale every Wednesday.

The group, represented at Blenheim by two relay teams, took part in a bid to raise over £3,000 to be able to continue to cook the community meals.

Craig Dews, CEO of LimeLight Sports, said: “The Blenheim Palace Triathlon continues to shine in the triathlon calendar each year.

"Not only is it the most beautiful surrounding for a triathlon, but it boasts a varied offering for participants to enjoy from beginners to experts.

“It’s great to see the likes of sporting legends and media personalities take part, which adds to the attraction of the event, but hearing and seeing the stories of others taking part is truly inspirational.

"We would also like to thank everyone who helped to raise such a great amount for our charity partner, Cancer Research UK.

“We look forward to coming back to Oxfordshire next year, with preparations well under way for the 2024 Blenheim Palace Triathlon.”

LimeLight Sports Club has a strong presence in the local area, also organising the Oxford Half Marathon, taking place on October 15.