Caters News Agency
Arthur Gilbert, 91, runs on Sunday in his 41st triathlon. He completed it in two hours, 47 minutes, and 22 seconds.
On Sunday, Arthur Gilbert took over two hours and 47 minutes to complete the 500-meter swim, 20K bike ride and 5K run that comprise the Burnham Sprint Triathlon in Somerset, England; he came in last. But that was still quite a feat when you take into account his age: He’s 91.
In fact, the World Records Academy has certified Gilbert as the world’s oldest triathlete (Guinness has no current record in that category). And that’s only one of the retired helicopter engineer’s accomplishments: He’s also been British champion in the duathlon (like triathlon, only without the swimming) seven times; was named a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for his decades of charity work, and has been chosen as an Olympic torchbearer in this summer’s games.
Sunday’s was the 41st triathlon Gilbert has completed, which is all the more remarkable given that he only started competing seriously when he was 68. The widowed granddad attributes his health to abstaining from drinking and smoking, eating lots of fruit, and donating blood: a total of 45 pints since age 51. “The old blood goes out, the new comes in to replace it and rejuvenates you,” he told the U.K. Daily Mail. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he hits the gym three times a week, bikes 25 miles on weekends, and swims 50 laps at his local pool every day.
Even so, the Burnham event was “really tough,” Gilbert admitted to thisissomerset.co.uk. “As the years go by it gets harder and harder; you do go backwards as you get older. But you have to do it before you get too old.”