Why Is FitOldDog Competing In The Lake Placid Ironman Again With His Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Stent Graft?


Hi folks,

FitOldDog's son Duncan the artist, Family,

FitOldDog with his Number Two Son, Duncan the artist, athlete and great guy, and am I a proud and lucky Dad? I’m also lucky because Duncan kindly points out my ‘BS’ when it turns up. Photo by Meghan Truesdell.

You might think that after going through abdominal aortic surgery that your days as an athlete, especially an older Ironman competitor, would be over. Benjamin Carey of Heartosaurus fame demonstrated in his great book, ‘Barefoot in November, that this is not the case for thoracic aortic aneurysm surgery in a younger person. So, as FitOldDog, I’m pushing the boundaries for abdominal aortic surgery in the older guy (I’m now 69), as I take my abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) stent graft to compete in the Lake Placid Ironman for the sixth time, this being my second with an AAA stent. I do this because I enjoy it, and if it kills me, which I suspect that it won’t, well, I died happy and alive and living life to the full. One reason I work on this issue is to explore safe exercise for better health in older adults, and another is for the love of my kids and grandkids, as my training and life-style generally set a good example for them (though I’m not perfect by any means, as Nick, Duncan and Nigel can attest).

In this short video, by Meghan Truesdell (thanks, Meg, it is so much better than my handheld videos), FitOldDog explains why he does what he does with respect to the Lake Placid Ironman each summer, as he prepares to drive north in his trusty old Chevy Tahoe truck yet again for this great event.

If you happen to have a family member with an AAA, please encourage everyone related to them genetically to have an AAA scan – less than $100, apparently. Two of my three sons have done this already, and now we just have to persuade Duncan to follow suit. When it comes to AAA, which appears to have strong genetic underpinnings, a stitch (or stent) in time saves lives. It sure did mine, with the help of a little body awareness combined with Ironman training.

Be safe, but not so safe that you don’t have any fun.

-k @FitOldDog



  1. Pauline Watson says

    Best of luck with the LP race this year!

  2. Marsha Schauer says

    Is it a qualifier for Hawaii? Good luck!

    • Hi Marsha, Yep, it’s a qualifier, but I have two strikes against me, oldest in age group, and usually the first two years win (we really do slow down as we age, in this case perceptibly), and I am fighting a tight calf that came out of nowhere. So, I have no illusions, but you know, YOU NEVER KNOW, so I’ll go as fast as I can. Thanks for the good wishes. -kevin

  3. Good luck to you Kevin and to your “co-pilot”, THE STENT GRAFT. May you both perform admirably! Wishing you cooler weather and a steady wind beneath your wings…

  4. Kevin and co-pilot, Rupert.

  5. That’s a clarification.

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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.