Age Group Aquathlon Gold

Age Group Aquathlon Gold

Neil Cooper from Peninsula Triathlon Club was Ireland’s sole representative at the European Aquathlon Championships in Cologne last Saturday.

The event was held on the banks of the Rhine near to Cologne’s historic old town and comprised a 1 kilometre swim in the re-developed Rheinhau harbour and a two lap 5 kilometre running course along the river bank. The event was relatively small compared to European triathlon events but significantly bigger than the same event last year. In all there were nearly 200 competitors, mainly in the age group categories, from 15 countries. The GB team was by far the largest with nearly 100 competitors. The Aquathlon formed part of a two day festival with multiple triathlon events being held the following day. 

Neil comes from a masters swimming background and can’t bike for toffee so the Aquathlon suits him well. Neil reported that the swim start was narrow and frantic as ‘could be’. But he lined up with the Italian team hoping to slipstream behind two competitors said to be the best masters swimmers in Italy.

Unfortunately Neil couldn’t keep up, he is 55 after all. Nonetheless he was second out of the water in his age group with a split of 14:58 and after getting his kit off streaked the run to take Gold in the 55-59 age group ahead of two Germans in 2nd and 3rd with a Polish athlete in 4th. (Followed by the GB athletes in 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th ..). 

Neil thoroughly recommended the event and said that it would be good to see an Irish team there next year (it seems that Cologne will be the venue for at least the next two years). The city of Cologne has many and varied attractions including the ‘Dom’ Cathedral, many excellent museums (including the Lindt Chocolate Museum !) and a nightly endurance event usually involving small, but multiple, glasses of Kölsch.  Not that our sports science team would recommend that of course...

Full Results Here

Article provided by Neil Cooper