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Inspiration: World’s Oldest Ironman Plans To Keep Competing Into His 90s

1 year ago

7185  0
Posted on Sep 04, 2020, 3 p.m.

At the age of 87, Hiromu Inada holds the record as being the oldest person to compete in an Ironman World Championship, and he is still peddling away on his training bike in hope of continuing to compete into his 90s. 

He set the record at the age of 85 in 2018 when he went to Hawaii to set the new mark for the oldest person to compete in the event, which is a feat that is even beyond most people that are decades younger than him. Although this October event was cancelled due to the recent outbreak, this has not put a dent in Inada’s ambition as he is still maintaining his rigorous training schedule for the return to Hawaii next year. 

“My goal is next year's world championship in Hawaii," he told Reuters at his training facility in Chiba. "I will absolutely participate in it, and I absolutely want to break the world record of completing the race at the oldest age again. This is my current and biggest goal."

An Ironman race is considered to be one of the toughest endurance events in the sport, it requires the athletes to swim 3.86 km, bike 180.25 km, and run a full 42.19 km in this will power and endurance testing event. 

At the age of 69 years young Inada bought a bike and began running and swimming, going on to compete in his first triathlon a year later. Ironman competitions became an obsession for Inada soon after the death of his loving wife. 

He took part in the Hawaii Ironman in 2018 at the age of 82 in which he became the oldest finisher on record but falling just 5 seconds short of the time required to be officially registered. This inspired him to train harder and with support from the Hawaiian public, he returned the following year to complete the race in qualifying time to earn his Guinness World Records certificate. 

"Until then, I had thought I would give up if I felt I had enough of it," Inada said. "But since then, I have in my mind that I absolutely cannot give up, and I absolutely must complete (Ironman races), otherwise I feel sorry for those who support me."

Each day wakes up at 4:30 in the morning and shortly after begins his training which includes being at the swimming pool by 6AM. Ever the optimist, with the cancelled event this year Inada is seeing this as an extended lead into his next trip to Hawaii as an opportunity to rest up a sore knee and improve his preparation techniques. 

“I hope I can try new things to build my fitness," said Inada. "I hope I can adjust my physical peak to the postponed race. So, I would rather think it was good that it was delayed."

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