Look Who’s Tri-ing
Local Athletes Compete on Land and In Water
By Stacy Rhea
Swimming, biking, running.
The sport of triathlon is when an athlete does all three in one long, grueling race. It’s not just for the young and buff. Watch any triathlon and you’ll see a wave of 50-plus athletes mixed in — and they’re not in the back of the pack.
The length of each portion of a triathlon varies. Sometimes the swimming portion is in a lake or the ocean. Biking is the longest section — 50 or more miles is not uncommon. Distances for the running portion are shorter, but still tough because they come at the end of the triathlon. Ironman triathlons tend to be considerably longer than conventional triathlons.
So why would anyone want to do it? Meet three Northeast Ohio triathletes and find out why one type of competition isn’t enough — they want all three.
Barb Thomas: 61
Residents: Broadview Heights
First Triathlon: 2012, Fairport Harbor
Sports have been part of Barb Thomas’ life since she was a child. Her mother played semi-pro softball and her father was a track star, so it’s no wonder Thomas is a lifelong athlete. At 14, Thomas won the YWCA nationals.
Later, as a mother of four, Thomas supported and coached her children in a variety of activities. One of Thomas’ fondest memories is when her daughter and son competed in the USAT Nationals with her. Her daughter won a national title in her age group.
A High Point:
Ironman 70.3 World Championship, Sunshine Coast, Australia, September 2016. She finished 13th in her age group.
Thomas’ Advice for a Newbie:
“Start out slow. Keep moving and just go out and have fun....