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Culdrose triathlete beats his 10 year record

10 August 2016
Having joined the Royal Navy a little late, by 1990s standards, Lieutenant Steve Charles arrived at HMS Raleigh at the age of 27 having never done any exercise since leaving school.

He quickly got the physical exertion buzz during basic training and discovered his enjoyment of ‘swimming, running and cycling’.

During his first sea draft, onboard HMS Cornwall his boss told him to have a go at Triathlon and do all three of his favourite things at the same time.

Since then Steve has never looked back and has enjoyed competing for more than 15 years, at the Olympic standard distance. (1 mile swim, 26 mile cycle followed by a 6 mile run).

In 2006, he set a Personal Best time (PB) at the age of 35 and has been attempting for the past 10 years better it.

On arrival at RNAS Culdrose in 2015, Steve decided that he would try one more time in the summer of 2016 to crack this long-standing record.  

Swimming facilities at Culdrose along with the opportunity to go on some of the most beautiful runs and cycle routes around the coast and lanes of Cornwall, made self-motivation to get out and train very easy.

It is incredible to know that I can beat a 35 year old me at the age of 45

Lieutenant Steve Charles, RNAS Culdrose

Having started his training late last year and peaking at two training session per day over the last 3 months, on the final weekend of July Steve travelled to the Cotswolds lakes, supported by his wife/coach Karen, for the flattest triathlon course he could find.

And he finally surpassed his previous PB by five clear minutes!

On his return, Steve said, “Training hard for this last attempt has been made so much more enjoyable by being based in Cornwall. Runs and cycles from my front door in Helston take me to some of the most beautiful spots I have ever trained.

"I made all my time up on the Cycle phase and I owe a lot to the countless hills there seem to be around the Lizard peninsular. I felt confident of doing well, but 5 minutes faster is exceptionally pleasing and I think I have the hills in and out of Gweek to thank for it.

"It is incredible to know that I can beat a 35 year old me at the age of 45. You may not get quicker out of the blocks as you get older, but you can get stronger and more stubborn.”

Wearing his Royal Navy/Royal Marines Triathlon body suit, Steve enjoyed a great deal of public support. “The many shouts of ‘well done the senior Service’ and ‘Go Navy’ as I ran around the lake spurred me on to keep my pace up. It is at times like those you realise just how supportive the public are of their armed forces.” he added.

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