Hever: young entrant talks nerves and early starts

Zack Burgess, youngest of three tri-mad brothers, prepares for Hever Castle Tri


Zack Burgess, 11 years old and youngest of three Burgess brothers, shares his final training efforts and worries of fish ahead of the Hever Castle Triathlon this weekend.


I have been doing triathlon since I was nine; I started with Tristar 1 but I am now in Tristar 2 category. When I started doing them swimming was quite hard for me, but I joined a swimming club and I have got a lot better.

Hever is very exciting as it will be really big, but the worst bit is getting up at 4am to travel there for the start of Stephen’s race early in the morning. It is not fair – mine does not start until 2pm.

Since we entered Hever, we have been training quite a bit, especially over the summer holidays. As it is an open-water swim, I have had to get a new wetsuit and practice in it a lot.

I am a bit worried about fish and stones but Mum tells me not to think about it and to just swim!

I had a last practice at the lake a few days ago and it was freezing – 12 degrees. I really hope the lake at Hever is a bit warmer.

I have also been practising my running. I did an aquathon but got muddled up at the briefing and tried to swim as far as the grown ups so it was not a very good time. I learnt from this and I will ask questions if I am not sure about anything  at the start of a race.

I also did a junior fell race and Hever will be easy compared to that  – we had to run up a ginormous hill twice!

I do a lot of cycling with my local club and I will be using my Isla Creig MTB bike at Hever because it is quite gravelly rather than my road bike, which is a Moda Major.

I did Go Ride Racing on it at the weekend and so I feel quite prepared for the bike leg, although I hope there is not an obstacle course with a ramp and limbo challenge at Hever.

I was really pleased to get a silver medal at the Go Ride Racing event and win a prize to spend at a local bike shop.

Hever is in a few days and although I am nervous I am also really looking forward to taking part and cheering my oldest brother Stephen, as Nathan now has broken his collarbone and cannot take part.


Zack’s older brothers Stephen and Nathan recently shared their preparations with 220 Triathlon, as the clock ticks down to Hever Castle Tri – now on track to become Europe’s largest youth triathlon event