The streets of the Windy City are about to be decorated in racing bibs as nearly 4,000 age group athletes from 64 national federations travel to Chicago to partake in the 2015 ITU Age Group Triathlon World Championships.
Competing in both the sprint (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) and standard distance (1.5km swim, 40 km bike, 10km run), age groupers from all over the world have earned their right to represent their country in the pinnacle race of the triathlon season.
Amongst them is 90 year old Robert McKeague (USA) who is the oldest competitor to take part. The tri legend has already made a name for himself by becoming the first octogenarian to make it to the Ironman championships in Kona ten years ago. He did it in 16:21:55 and even sprinted the final stretch to the finish.
(Amazingly his record was beaten by Lew Hollander who , at 82 years old, became the oldest male finisher, crossing the line in Kona in 16:45:52)
You’d think Robert would be happy to rest on his legendary status and slow down a bit but it seems he’s not slowing down – In fact he’s speeding up by taking part in the shorter ITU distance world champs.
Apparently Robert wasn’t much of an athlete until his late 50s when he began running. Since then he’s won Chicago marathon in his age group (3hrs 18mins) and turned his attention to tri. And he’s never looked back.
What a legend. We’ll be cheering him on, as well as Javier Gomez who aims to make history of his own and become the first triathlete to win 5 ITU world champs.