Triathlon gold for 80-year-old Jim in memory of his wife

Triathlon gold for 80-year-old Jim in memory of his wife

Resident Jim McKellar has proved it's never too late to take up triathlon after scooping gold in an international event. 

Jim, 80, who lives at Anvil Court, one of our Extra Care schemes in Horley, Surrey, won gold in his age category at the Leeds World Triathlon event on Sunday June 12. 

Jim didn't even learn to swim until he was 74 and didn't take up running until the age of 51 after he was made redundant.

The event had an added poignancy for Jim as he was running in tribute to his late wife Lily who died at Anvil Court earlier this year after a battle with cancer.

Jim, who is known as 'Old Bullet' by his running mates, said: "It was an absolutely fantastic event, a very difficult one but the crowd were just brilliant.

"I had a couple of scares, I got cramp while I was swimming but managed to shake it off with some help and I got through it.

"I was the oldest competitor in the event and when I reached the finish I got such an amazing response. My daughter, my granddaughter and my great granddaughter who is named after Lily were there waiting for me it was just brilliant."

Jim won gold in the 80-84 age category; swimming 1500m, cycling 40km and running 10km on his way to raising £700 for Macmillan Cancer Support. 

He took up running after being made redundant.

"My doctor told me that if I carried on like this I'd be dead in five years," Jim said.

"So I entered the London Marathon - that was back in 1992."

After catching the bug Jim completed 20 consecutive marathons and after completing his 120th marathon decided to stretch himself even more and took up triathlons.

Shortly after Jim was involved in a car crash and seriously injured his leg which took 18 months to recover from. But he was undeterred and he has no plans to hang his running shoes up yet.

Picture by James Carnegie, with thanks to International Triathlon Union

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