THE world’s oldest triathlete was celebrating yesterday after completing his 41st race, aged 91.
The grandfather, from Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, raced through his home town’s Burnham Sprint Triathlon, despite suffering from a hamstring injury.
Mr Gilbert completed a 500 metre swim, followed by a 20km bike ride and a 5km run, sprinting past the finish line in two hours, 47 minutes and 22 seconds. It took the pensioner 31 minutes and 54 seconds to complete the swim, one hour 11 minutes and eight seconds to cycle the 20km and 59 minutes and 20 seconds for the run. Mr Gilbert’s rigorous training regime includes going to the gym twice a week, cycling 25 miles every Sunday and swimming 50 lengths of his local pool every morning.
Speaking after the race, he said: “It was really tough. As the years go by it gets harder and harder, you do go backwards as you get older. But you have to do it before you get too old. We had lovely weather, it just about stayed nice for the event, and the crowds were so supportive.
“I had been training for a triathlon back in April, which was smaller distances, but we had the most terrible storm and it was cancelled.
“So it was back to training for this one, which was really hard because it was much longer distances.”
Mr Gilbert, a veteran of the Second World War who worked at the Westland helicopter plant, was handed the title of the world’s oldest triathlete in December last year by The World Records Academy, having completed his 40th triathlon. –TG