Caistor schoolboy William Chico targets GB place after marathon breakthrough year

MARATHON MAN: William Chico of Caister Grammar School with his haul of medals after a year of marathons, half-marathons, duathlons and triathlons.
MARATHON MAN: William Chico of Caister Grammar School with his haul of medals after a year of marathons, half-marathons, duathlons and triathlons.

Caistor student William Chico has pushed his body to the limit after an extraordinary marathon year of races.

Chico, a Year 11 student at Caistor Grammar School, finished marathons in Barcelona, Edinburgh and Dublin, as well as half-marathons in Newcastle, Sheffield and Leeds, all within the last 12 mind-boggling months.

FIRST WIN: William Chico proudly holds his certificate as under-20 category winner at the Spalding Sprint Triathlon in June 2015.

FIRST WIN: William Chico proudly holds his certificate as under-20 category winner at the Spalding Sprint Triathlon in June 2015.

But the 15-year-old went even further by taking on the Lincoln to Sleaford, Spires and Steeples Challenge, Grimsby to Liverpool 180-mile coast-to-coast bike ride and won the under-20 category at the Spalding Sprint Triathlon last June.

Chico, twice runner-up at the Lincolnshire Young Environmentalist Awards, said: “I didn’t enjoy PE, running or, in fact, any sort of physical exercise.

“I was quite inactive until the late summer of 2014 when I really got it into my head that I wanted to do a marathon.

“In October 2014, I did my first Spires and Steeples off-road race, a 13-mile run over the biggest hills in the area, after doing the Belchford Three Churches 10k in the summer.

“At that stage, I wasn’t aiming for a time, but just to say that I’d completed them.

“But I wanted to be fitter and, even though I was getting in way over my head, my dad said we should do some great marathons in great cities.”

With the help of keen distance-running dad Dan and nurse practitioner mum Lorraine, Chico stepped up in distance during 2015 which started with a half-marathon of eight laps around Gosforth Park racecourse, in Newcastle.

He added: “Then my dad and I went to the Olympic Velodrome in London for a run-bike-run duathlon where I grabbed a silver medal for my age group.

“It was also the first time I’d beaten my dad which was important because it was his array of marathon medals that was always the thing that spurred me on.”

The sprint triathlon, a 400m swim, followed by a 18.76km bike ride and a 4.6km run, brought Chico his first success at an event, with Dan alongside him to share the experience.

“I’d never done a triathlon before, but it looked like quite a fun event to do,” he said.

“It was fantastic to come first and that’s when it started to creep up on me what I could achieve.

“The other highlight was running in Barcelona which was a very positive change from running in front of no spectators to having 30,000 people watching you.

“I’d like to do a full marathon and break four hours, then get on one of the Triathlon GB squads which I could do with enough training.”

Dan added: “When William got a category medal at the duathlon in London, it made me think that if he wanted to be an elite athlete then I needed to support him a bit more with better gear, better equipment and better coaching.

“I’m very proud of how my son has developed as a young man and the fact that the majority of people taking part in the races are older than him.

“William tends to hold me more to account than I hold him to account because he knows all about nutrition and training.

“It wouldn’t be unrealistic for my son to represent Lincolnshire in a sport, but he has to want it really badly and that’s for William to decide.”