Age-Group Competition and Comradeship


Ed Castro banished memories of his Olympic heartache to become a world champion triathlete.

Castro, 35, hoped to compete as a swimmer at London 2012 before ripping the infraspinatus tendon in his shoulder three months before Olympic trials, curtailing his hopes of a Team GB spot. 

To help pass the time that same golden summer, Castro entered the City of Bath Triathlon and won the event. 

Twelve years on, he has claimed eight European and World Age-Group crowns and suspects his injury trauma may have worked out for the best. 

“I was almost made to stop because I couldn’t swim at the elite level anymore," said Bedford-based Castro. 

“Having that transition from swimmer to triathlete was really nice as everybody knew me as a swimmer and I think I would have struggled if I hadn't had that smooth transition from one sport to another. 

“It definitely helped having the Age-Grade [Age-Group] set-up, allowing you to maintain a day job and still compete to a high level.” 

The Great Britain Age-Group Team consists of close to 3,000 British Triathlon Core and Ultimate members each year, all of whom have qualified to represent the team. 

Castro could yet play a key role in the making of future Olympians as the Head of Swimming at Bedford Girls' School. 

He uses his free periods to improve his running and fits in cycling around his work hours too. It may seem a hectic schedule, but it’s clearly an effective one. 

Castro became Age-Group World Champion in his first year competing and in 2018, he became Age-Group European Sprint Champion and Age-Group World Sprint and Standard Champion. 

Having witnessed just how intense elite programmes can be, Castro thrives off the more relaxed approach to Age-Group triathlon. 

“Everything was high-end performance with swimming, whereas with Age-Group triathlon everyone wishes each other well,” he said. 

“It's not as intense as that elite level sport but everyone's still trying to do their best. It’s about the friends you make along the way and when you see them again and catch up with people, there’s a really good comradeship.” 

Castro made his presence felt in his first appearance in the 35-39 age category last year, backing up European bronze with world gold, knocking seven minutes off his time in the process. 

He has achieved 15 World and European podium finishes in all and after becoming a father for the first time late in 2023, he is relishing the prospect of more family trips abroad. 

“The whole experience of going away with a team is fantastic,” he said. 

“You see everyone in the airport wearing their kit, it’s that sense of belonging, of being part of the bigger picture as well as working towards your own individual goal. I think the success of the Brownlee’s drove a lot of people to triathlon as well. 

“My wife loves coming around the world with me, travelling and supporting, she enjoys it just as much as I do. 

“Age-Group triathlon can really be a family affair when you go away, you get to travel around to places you might not ordinarily get to see and build so many connections.” 

British Triathlon Core and Ultimate Home Nation members who are a British citizen are eligible to qualify and race for the Great Britain Age-Group Team. Each year there are a series of qualification races and opportunities to represent the team in a variety of disciplines and distances that are only open to members. 

Find out more about the Great Britain Age-Group Team and British Triathlon Home Nation Members by clicking on the buttons below. 

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