RILEY COOK: Back in the groove

After breaking several vertebrae and suffering from a life threatening disease in 2019, Stablemate Riley Cook burst back onto the racing scene at the Bryce half marathon, taking third with a jaw-dropping 65:15.

No doubt Cook’s return to racing will leave the Utah running community quaking. With his catalogue of decent PBs (3:42 1500m, 63:46 half marathon, and 2:16 marathon), Cook will take some beating at this year’s St George marathon—if it goes ahead. The only runner capable of living with Cook at St George is fellow Stablemate, Dustin Bybee. 

Since Covid-19 kicked-in and trashed the racing scene, Cook has focused on the Stazza’s Stable, Stablelove ‘Match’ Series: ‘Matches’ held over distances ranging from 5km through 10 miles. Cook’s standout ‘Matches’ came in the 5 miles where he dropped out a 24:27 at altitude (equivalent to 23:40 at sea level) and in the 5km, where he ran 14:47 at altitude—equivalent to a 14:17 at sea level.

The Stable News tracked down The Stablemaster at the beach shack restaurant, The Home (Crete) and asked his thoughts on Cook’s stunning return to racing: “Help yourself, fella; dive in—the chilli nachos will blow your mouth and your mind. This yard’s serious: the music, the food, the decor, the staff, and the view—to get all these things right and make it look so easy, so natural, and chill is the quintessence of perfection. Yes, Marley—what a track. Anyway, what were you asking me? Ah yes, Cook…”

Chilli Nachos: HOME stylee

After dabbing his mouth with a napkin and looking out across the bay, he continued: “Riley’s special. You get a lot runners talking buffalo shite about how great they want to be and how hard they’re prepared to work. No chat from Riley. He just gets out and gets it done. Simple. To come back the way he has from last year shows he has inner strength, what the Spartans called, dýnami.”