Triathlons Are Not Just For Young People
When we hear the word triathlon we think of ultra fit young athletes, powering their way through lengthy events. But triathlons, like all sports, can cater for all ages and abilities. Here in New Zealand triathlons for women are extremely popular, with the emphasis on participation rather than elite sportsmanship.
I participated in my first triathlon as the swim member of a team at the age of 54. The photo here shows me, the one in the black and pink wet suit, approaching the end of the swim leg. That swim was from one wharf to another, about 1 km from memory. Swimming in the sea is quite different from swimming in a pool, where I'm more at home.
After two team events that had sea swims I started participating as an individual. I've done quite a few tris since then, all with a pool swim. The tri usually consists of a 400m swim, a 10 km bike ride and a 3 km run or walk. I usually did a mix of running and walking in that last leg. I haven't done one for about three years, so forget what the time factor was, but seem to remember it wasn't too much more than an hour.
These events do take a lot of training leading up to them, but are a wonderful way of keeping fit and healthy. They're also a lot of fun. Although everyone competes as a mixed group, there are age group placings and usually lots of spot prizes as well.
I've used the excuse of being too busy to train in recent years, but now I'm wondering if maybe next summer I'll make an effort to participate once again.
Image Credit » Personal photo of Val Mills