Triathlete finishes Ironman wearing 12 tattoos

Periodically, we’re led to believe that we’re as fit as we should be. Lately, we’ve been treated to a series of videos of “real” people demonstrating that they run, jump, jump and run some more in high definition with the fastest of speed. The world of Olympic triathletes is different. If there was a metric for winning or breaking records, you’d probably look at the number of tattoos on your arms, the numbers written in your hair, the size of your “natural landscape” of muscle.

According to Gareth Morgan, of King’s Lynn, the “oldest triathlete in the world,” on Sunday, he finished the Ironman triathlon — a 2.4-mile run, followed by a 112-mile bike ride and a marathon — in the next-to-last position. The 78-year-old doesn’t race anymore, having needed four orthopedic surgeries to recover from a horrific motorcycle accident. All told, he covered 11.1 miles on his bike, 6 hours and 44 minutes on his run, and 54:52 in the grueling 26.2-mile run.

Morgan had thrown up at the start, which isn’t uncommon. His competitors, meanwhile, had lost themselves in the scenery, spreading their arms in triumphant gestures. In spite of his age, no one seemed to notice the doctors and nurses who went to his aid after he crossed the finish line. Just like in years past, he was saved by the goodness of people.

Read the full story at the New York Times.


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