August 19, 2008
Triathlon Success for Vernon, 63
By Emma Judd
At the age of 63, most people are counting down the last couple of years until retirement.
Not so Vernon Steadman, who decided in his 63rd year to complete the arduous London Triathlon.
Instead of putting his feet up and watching the Olympics, the surveyor from Penclawdd spent last Sunday swimming 1,500 metres in London's Royal Docks, riding 40 kilometres and finally running 10 kilometres.
It was a follow-on event from a decade ago, when Mr Steadman took part in a shorter, faster, sprint triathlon.
"A lot of people said I've done it the wrong way round - I should have done the sprint triathlon this time round.
"I just wanted to prove to myself that aged 63 I still had gas in the tank, as it were, to prove to myself that I could still hack it.
"I also did it to motivate others in the family, to say if the old man can do it, get off your backside."
A side effect of the training, he said, was shedding two stone in two months.
Mr Steadman also used the challenge to raise money for the Kids Get Going charity, which provides sporting wheelchairs for disabled youngsters.
He said: "The final amount hasn't been quantified because it's still coming in, but it's probably around pounds500.
"It's not too bad. Trying to fit in training in the evenings and working, I must admit the fund-raising took a bit of a back seat until the final two weeks leading up to the triathlon. I also wanted to make sure I'd be able to do it."
Mr Steadman said his family had been very supportive of his endeavour, lending and giving him equipment on which to train and use in the competition, including a bike, running shoes, and vests.
"They were concerned about me while I was doing it," he said.
"They kept ringing my wife during the course of it - they thought I was either going to drown or flake out!" But instead of doing either of those things, Mr Steadman completed the course.
And he did it in three hours, 30 minutes.
"I'll definitely be doing it again next year," he said.
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