Former Oundle Pupil Tackles ‘Ironman’ in Aid of MIND and MENCAP Charities
25th January 2017

Former Oundle School pupil, Jamie Wallace-Woodroffe (19), who left the School in 2016, is currently training for an Ironman Triathlon event in Port Macquarie, Australia in May, aiming to raise money for two charities, MIND and Oundle School MENCAP Holidays.

Jamie commented, “Training is now in full flow. Entering the Ironman is a huge challenge for me. I think the swimming and biking elements will be tough but manageable whereas the marathon is definitely very daunting as I am not really a distance runner.

Last summer, I volunteered at the Oundle School MENCAP Holiday, which I found emotionally challenging but extremely enjoyable. It was really rewarding way of ‘finishing’ my time at Oundle and I have applied to help again this coming summer.

MIND is a charity that strives to help people that suffer from mental health issues and to raise awareness, aiming to create a society where anyone suffering is able to talk openly and receive the help they need faster. This charity is of particular importance to me as I myself have had experiences of mental instability over the years and charities such as MIND have the expertise to help, whether it be suggesting people to phone, people to see, or even just convincing you that it is alright to talk about it to friends and family who will undoubtedly be supportive no matter what the situation.” 

Since leaving Oundle, Jamie has been working at an international school during a gap year. He joined the PE department coaching rugby and swimming in addition to a variety of sports. He also provides 1-1 academic tutoring in Chemistry and Biology and as a keen musician, is very involved in the school’s music department helping with House Unisons and teaching ABRSM theory.

Jamie added, “I was always planning to visit Australia and New Zealand for the final leg of my gap year and was looking for ways to challenge myself and at the same time raise money for charity. I had heard about the Ayers Rock marathon when I stumbled across the Port Macquarie Ironman Triathlon, which happened to fall within the dates I was planning to be in Australia. My uncle has completed a couple of Ironman Triathlons in America so I decided to sign up for one myself.”

The particular training programme Jamie is following includes the three Ironman disciplines, plus gym sessions and yoga. The lightest training weeks involve 10-12 hours and the heaviest weeks will have upwards of 18 hours, with one rest day each week. Jamie will run four times each week (made up of short and long runs of differing effort levels as well as hill runs, plyometric and interval training) and a time trial run every other week to assess threshold speeds and fitness levels. The more important run is the BRICK run which is a run performed directly after a cycle - so called as it feels like running with bricks as feet!

The cycling has a similar structure of training although takes up the most time as it includes one long cycle ride each week, which as the weeks go on will increase from three to seven hours, spinning sessions, easy rides and rides involving large periods of time on the large chain. Swimming training involves three or four sessions per week including speed sessions, endurance swims which are slower than Jamie’s threshold pace, and finally swims performed at threshold pace. Nearer to the event there will be planned race simulations which will be shorter distances but each discipline is performed immediately or as close to immediately after each other.

Jamie concluded, “The training is strangely addictive despite being tough physically and mentally; at times swimming laps in a pool can get a little tiresome…. The most difficult part is finding the time to train and, as the weeks get heavier, I will be getting more used to the early alarm!”

From September, Jamie will be studying Biomedical Sciences at Edinburgh and is hoping to pursue a career in neuroscience or medical research. 

To sponsor Jamie, please use one of the links below depending on where you would like your donation to go:  (Mind)  (OSMH)

You may also be interested in ...