Publication Details

Lepers, R. & Stapley, P. (2019). It's never too late to become an Ironman - The example of an 85-year-old triathlete. Movement and Sports Sciences - Science et Motricite, 104 (2), 69-73.


This study aimed to analyse the performance of Hiromu Inada (HI), an 85-year-old triathlete, who became the oldest athlete in the world to complete the famous Hawaii Ironman triathlon consisting of a 3.8km swim, 180-km cycle and 42-km run. HI swam in 1 h 51 min, cycled in 8 h 02 min, ran in 6 h 28 min and took 31 min for his transitions, for a total time of 16 h 53 min. Compared to the winner's speed, HI was 55, 47 and 58% slower in swimming, cycling and running, respectively. For the same age-group category (i.e. 85-89 years), the agerelated decline in performances of HI are more pronounced compared to the age-related decline in performance of shorter duration endurance single discipline such as 1500-m swimming, 1-h track cycling or marathon running. To our knowledge, the performance of HI represents the first written observation of a master athlete older than 85 years old who officially finished an ultra-endurance event. The HI case is a clear example that humans can retain remarkable functionality until the end of their life span⋯ if they train for it.



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