TS5C’s Charlie Cook completed his triathlon season by competing at the Under 20’s Festival at Mallory Park race circuit, in Leicestershire. This was the last race in the British Elite Series and included athletes from England, Scotland, Wales, Jersey and France.
The Crispin School pupil, who is 15 years old, was racing in the Youth section and competing against athletes who are a year older. The swim start was seeded against their current UK ranking, meaning Cook was placed mid pack for the 400m swim in the murky lake. The pace of the leaders was quick, and navigating past fellow swimmers and buoys proved difficult which meant Cook’s swim of 5m20 left him entering a very busy transition area where athletes were fighting for space to remove their wetsuits and jump onto their bikes.
Whilst the 10k bike circuit was very technical with many hairpins turns and chicanes, there was also ample opportunity to make and a break and overtake on the wide and long stretches of open road. During the second and third laps, Cook had made up a number of places and was taking his share of leading the third pack of chasing riders, before starting the tough 2.5k run.
Following a great shoe transition and a very strong first lap, Cook had progressed to 21st with many more runners in his sights. The final 200m was particularly exciting, with just seconds between many athletes all vying for a quick finish and it was Cook who’s final burst of speed saw him overtake and then hold his position to cross the line in 18th position.
This was a particularly good position for him given many athletes are turning 17 years old, but also meant his time was quick enough to finish 4th in his age group, meaning next year could see him challenging for podium finishes. His attention is now on next weekends academy trials at Bath University, whilst the following day he represents Wells Harriers at the Southern Road Relays at Crystal Palace.