80 Year Old Triathlete Represents America In The 2023 World Half-Ironman Championships

80 Year Old Triathlete

As an “English American,” I was surprised to be so pleased to have the American flag against my name in these race results, but America has been extremely generous to me. You have to work to enjoy this country, but with a little luck you have a chance to do well.

In a way, I feel both American and English.

I came in after the 8:30 cutoff, but the race officials insisted on giving me a medal. Maybe this is alright, as in other races, such as the Boston Marathon, adjustments are made for the age of competitors. I still find it hard to believe that I am actually 80 years old.

I feel like a five-year old trapped in an old body.

80 Year Old Triathlete
My Boston marathon qualifier race, in Charlotte required a sub-4:15:59 marathon time, for which I held an average mile pace of 9:28. This gave a 4:07:59, Boston qualifier, and Boston was a blast.

I feel extremely lucky to be able to continue my favorite sport, Ironman triathlon, though I’m currently limited to the 70.3 distance, until I manage to overcome the challenges of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Fortunately, my abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) stent graft has kept me going since 2010, another reason for me to be grateful.

I had to make a number of adjustments to my training in order to overcome both the AAA, and more recently, PAD, in order to finish that race in Lahti, Finland.

I do wish physicians would take the following image more seriously. I just can’t seem to get them interested, as they offer me pills I reject. Exercise is almost always better than pills, when it comes to enjoying our later years.

80-year old triathlete
MRI scans through the thighs of three guys. Grey is muscle, white is fat, clear ring around the central white spot (bone marrow) is the femoral bone. Note the loss of both muscle and bone mass in the sedentary guy.

Never give up, I say.


-kev aka FitOldDog of Wrong Name Books


  1. way to keep going, Kevin!

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.