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TRIATHLON: Cooper calls halt
11:00am Friday 25th October 2013 in Sport
MARLBOROUGH triathlete Richard Cooper was delighted to tick the World Ironman Championships off his bucket list after he battled through the pain in Hawaii.
The 55-year-old, who is chairman of Marlborough and District Junior Athletics Club (MADJA), finished 40th in the 55-59 age group in a time of 11:24.15 at Kailua-Kona.
Cooper concedes that one world championship appearance will be enough to keep him satisfied, especially after pulling off his Hawaiian adventure while nursing a hip injury.
“I’ve had this hip problem for about a month and if it had been any other competition than the world championships, I would have pulled out - if I’d been at my best, I would have hoped to get in the top 20,” he said.
“But I have never experienced an atmosphere like it in any sporting event I have taken part in. In my age category, most athletes had to win their national event, so the standard was incredibly high.
“Coming across that finish line through massive crowds and noise was very emotional but incredibly satisfying and a moment I will remember for the rest of my life.
“I then collapsed and was taken to the medical tent to recover, before being helped away by mates for a well-earned beer. I don’t think I’ll go again now I’ve done it. I think that I’ll look for something else to aim for.”
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