Age is No Barrier

Alf Lakin has gone from not being able to swim 25m to ploughing through 1500m. (Photo: Mike Batterham)

Age is No Barrier

Gold Coast triathlete proves age is no barrier as he prepares for world title tilt

Posted on 08.06.2017

ALF Lakin is bound for the world triathlon championships in Holland — which is quite a feat considering he couldn’t swim 25m less than two years ago and hadn’t ridden a bike in more than six decades.

The 76-year-old qualified for September’s world titles after finishing second in his age group at the Australian championships to continue a love affair with triathlon that blossomed at an age when many blokes feel tired watching someone else run.

“I had a running background but couldn’t swim a lap of the small pool and hadn’t ridden a bike for about 65 years,” Alf said of his form when a casual chat with a triathlon coach at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre gym inspired him to become her oldest rookie.

“I got a bike from Kmart, although I fell off it a couple of bloody times. Now I’ve got a racing bike and while it’s only worth $1000, at least it’s better than a Kmart one.

“I get out there and those young guys are flying past on their $10,000 bikes but I don’t get nervous. I just want to do my own thing.”

That includes focusing on triathlon’s sprint distance of 750m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run, which takes him up to two hours to complete — minus any hiccups.

“The first race I went in I ran straight past my bike (in transition) and Karen was screaming at me that I’d missed it,” Alf says of his wife, a champion Masters athlete herself.

Source
Dwayne Grant
Gold Coast Bulletin

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