By Bill Plock
About 30 minutes before the Last Call Triathlon started, a cold wind blew in from the North, tossing tents, paddle boards and casting a little doubt on what kind of day it might become. Instead, the day turned into one of the most inspirational and electric days seen at a sprint triathlon in quite some time.
USA Triathlon sent some of their para olympic and olympic hopeful athletes to compete. As an added bonus one of them, Kyle Coon was guided by Olympian Andy Potts and came in 11th overall. Melissa Stockwell, Kendall Gretsch, Hailey Danisewicz also competed for team USA.
In a close mens race, Tim Hola beat Scott Tonder by 10 seconds with Gabe Fels coming in third just 21 seconds later. For the women Brook Chilton won by 93 seconds over Maricarmen Farias and Megan Doherty was third a little under two minutes back.
But perhaps the story of the day was 79 years separating the youngest athlete from the oldest. Lilah Bohm is 11 years old and Sister Madonna Buder crossed the line at 90 years young.
That cold wind nearly kept Sister Madonna from finishing and after taking some time to warm up after the chilly swim she finished the race. Sister Madonna has completed 45 IRONMAN’s including 22 trips to Kona for the World Championships. In an interview before the race Sister Madonna shared how doing a triathlon is a way to “be part of God’s gift of the beautiful outdoors.”
She stuck around signing autographs and her nephew, Mitch Galligan from Denver coming to watch her race for the first time, said, “seeing the community and how people respond to her, she has always been an inspiration in the family, but it really makes it a reality seeing this out here today, it’s pretty cool!”
Much more to come on Sister Madonna and her exclusive interview with 303 prior to the race.
For all race results please go HERE
Video Interview with Kyle Coon and Andy Potts