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I am writing this letter in support of all triathletes who may find themselves in the same situation as myself. I started in the sport of triathlon at the age of 53, I am still competing at 77 and recently competed in the Worlds in Rotterdam.
I have noticed a dramatic drop-off in the numbers competing in the 70+ age group. This is partly due to the physical demands of our sport, but I believe a major factor is the fact that they are almost totally ignored in most triathlons. Very few cater for 70+ triathletes (the exception of course is at national level where we do have 70+ at 5 year age groups).
The reason I am highlighting 70+ is at this age physical performance drops off dramatically, thus it is unreasonable to expect a 70+ athlete to compete equally with say a 60 year old, which I often have to do.
I would like to see British Triathlon take the lead and encourage all triathlon promotors to make provision for older athletes. This I feel would entice many triathletes to continue with their sport for a little longer. I am sure many triathletes of my age feel that the only events they can compete in in their age group is at national level, but many of these
“I would like to see British Tri take the lead and encourage promoters to provide for older triathletes”
folks perhaps are not at this level, hence their interest wanes. I don’t expect to see any change in my lifetime but I hope the future in competition for 70+ triathletes will hopefully improve. Brian Grierson Andy Salmon, CEO British Triathlon, replies: Firstly, can I say how fantastic it is to read your letter Brian. The fact that you are competing at World Championships at the age of 77 is another reason that triathlon is the envy of so many other sports. At BTF, we do recommend that event organisers create age categories in 5-year bands but in some cases, this is not practical due to the number of entries. In all of our championships and/or qualification events, we include age categories from 8 to 85+.
Still smashing it at age 77, reader Brian Grierson is keen to see more races include an age-group for 70+ triathletes.