TS5C athlete Charlie Cook (pictured centre) competed in the first race of the South West Series by winning the Bath Duathlon Championship at Odd Down race track. Charlie, who is 14, has just moved up into the Under 16’s junior age category and knew he was in for a tough 3k run, 15k cycle and 1.5k run event.
He set off at a fast pace and led the two lap run circuit from the front, entering the first transition twelve seconds ahead of the second placed athlete. In the wintery conditions, his bike had become entangled on the racking with the one alongside and he lost half of this lead as he started the long bike section of the race. By lap two he had lost any advantage, and he found himself being overtaken by Liam Openshaw who was making up a number of seconds per lap. This continued until lap seven, where Charlie’s determination then paid off and saw him draw level at the line and then pull away again.
Openshaw tried to react, but Cook then posted his quickest lap of the day and managed to maintain this going into the last transition. A good shoe change meant he started off the last leg 23 seconds in front and he then ran smartly and comfortably, easing down on the run to still win by an overall 18 seconds.
Next Saturday, Charlie competes in the National Schools Cross Country in Leeds and on Sunday, the National Schools Biathlon at Crystal Palace.