PDT Staff Report
Southern Ohio Medical Center’s first ever Tri For Your LIFE Sprint Triathlon on Aug. 12 brought more than 110 participants from as far away as Florida and Minnesota — including 79-year-old Jean Troike, of Akron, Ohio.
“It was a fantastic, and tremendously successful, event,” Wendi Waugh, director of Cancer Services and Community Health and Wellness, said. “We’re thrilled that our first triathlon was able to generate so much interest and support.”
The event began with a 200-meter swim, followed by a 20k bike ride and a 5k run. Athletes were timed and, at the end of the event, awards were distributed to the individuals and teams that turned in the best performances.
Troike said the most difficult part for her was the swimming, but in the end, even that could not stop her from crossing the finish line.
The triathlon took her under two hours to complete, which is actually less time than it took her to get there.
“I live in Akron, so that’s quite a drive,” Troike said. “But, my son wanted to participate so we did that together. It was a lot of fun.”
She believes she was able to complete the event at her age because she has been blessed with “perfect health,” and understands that not many 79 year olds would be up to the task. She did, however, have some advice for anyone that wanted to give it a try: Don’t give up.
“I worked at it and I pushed myself,” she said. “My mind said, ‘I don’t want to do that’ but I said ‘Yes, you’re going to do it.’ You just have to push yourself. Start out with a little and just keep adding on, and you’ll be surprised by how much you can do.”
The fastest male performance came from Don Caine, who finished with a time of 52:57. Ann Marie Allen had the fastest female performance at 59:42.
The SOMC Life Center can be reached at 740-356-7650. To view photos from the triathlon or other SOMC events, “like” SOMC on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SouthernOhioMedicalCenter.