An Adderbury primary school teacher will take on one of the most physically gruelling endurance races this month to raise money for school improvements.
Tracy Ostler, a Year 5 teacher at Adderbury’s Christopher Rawlins Primary School, appears to be a typical educator; slight of build, bespectacled and exuding all the enthusiasm and excitement you would hope for in a primary school teacher.
She is also, however, slightly mad, as later this month she will tackle the Outlaw Ironman challenge in Nottingham.
The race consists of three parts, each one a monumental physical challenge to the average person, which all must be completed within 17 hours.
First off, to warm things up there is a 2.4 mile swim, that is followed by a 112 mile cycle ride. The race concludes with a full marathon, a 26.2 mile run.
How a person comes to the conclusion that a marathon just simply isn’t challenging enough is anybody’s guess but Tracy’s journey to this point has been somewhat understandable.
Tracy said: “I have always been a marathon runner, I’ve done several marathons, then a friend of mine said ‘why don’t you try a triathlon’? I thought yes, I can cycle I can swim so I got hooked about five years ago.
“I started with the Banbury Tri, then I went into Olympic distance ones and then I moved into half Ironman triathlons then decided that I would go for the full Ironman.
“This is the ultimate triathletes challenge the Ironman.”
Fitting the training in around her full time teaching job has been challenging but Tracy has had the full support of staff members and pupils.
Tracy said: “I do between 12 and up to 20 hours a week. I swim before school and cycle and run after school. At weekends I do long bikes on a Saturday, up to six hours and a long run on Sunday, three or four hours.
“The children are all really excited. It feels really good celebrating when I do a triathlon and we have lots of kids who are triathletes. They see me running and cycling quite a lot so I think they are quite inspired. The parents are getting behind me and sponsoring me.”
Other training has included what triathletes call ‘brick work’ as Tracy explains.
“I have done all the distances in training. We do a lot of brick work where you do a swim to bike or bike to run. So I have done a lot of that, doing a six hour ride and then a two hour run.”
This will be Tracy’s first full Ironman and, as she concedes, maybe the last and will take place in Nottingham on July 29.
She will raise money for the school’s Brick in the Wall campaign. To sponsor her pop into the school or visit www.christopher-rawlins.oxon.sch.uk