Two members of Oswestry Olympians are celebrating after they completed the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon (Long Course) in France last month.

Richie Collins and Brian Rothera from Oswestry Olympians Tri Club (OOTri) competed in the gruelling event, with a 2.2km swim in Lac Verney, a 120km bike ride with 3km of climbing in the Alps and a 21km run.

The race attracts an international field including professional triathletes.

Despite the 35°C heat Brian and Richie finished 211th and 255th respectively out of a field of 1,197. It was Richie’s second event of the week, having also completed the duathlon (run 6.7km and 15km bike up Alpe d’Huez) with his son Matthew, plus cycling up several other Alps on his days off.

Brian had been inspired and encouraged to enter by Richie, head coach at OOTri, and he was full of praise for the coaching and guidance he had received at the Friday evening swim sessions.

“I only started going because my children were there and, as well as a really good and varied swim session, Richie gave lots of advice about other training to help me, which it certainly did,” said Brian.

“He gave me similar tips for my first foray into triathlon at Chirk. Perhaps people in Oswestry don’t realise what an amazing resource we have in the club.

“Richie has qualified this year for the World Middle Distance Tri Championships in Nice and the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.

“He is a qualified British Triathlon coach and every Friday he and his team of volunteer coaches put on a really accessible and varied fitness session followed by 45 minutes in the pool.

“I originally sent my children to training because of the terrific value but they’ve been members for four years now, have made new friends and seen their increased fitness benefit their other sports activities.”

Sessions take place at Oswestry School on Friday from 6pm-7.30pm.

In the winter the first 45 minutes focuses on core and conditioning in the sports hall, with the second half pool based.

In the summer the first 45 minutes is on the school field and includes cycling.

n For more information see the Oswestry Olympians website at