June McMinn and Gerard Turbitt are not your average age group athletes, they are passionate accomplished triathletes who have no intention of slowing down in sport or in life as they embrace getting older. Their journey to triathlon and success in the sport is fascinating with both of them really taking to triathlon at what for many would be seen as a late stage in their lives. June took up the sport at the age of 55 and Gerard returned to the sport in his late 50’s after taking an extended break from running and triathlon.
June who is now 62, completed her first IRONMAN whilst winning her age group in Barcelona in 2018 on her 60th birthday, she went on to have an incredible year in 2019 winning her age group at IRONMAN Lanzarote and IM70.3 Dun Laoghaire. She finished 7th in her age group at the IM70.3 World Championships in Nice and went on to finish 6th in her age group at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona just missing out on a 5th place podium spot. Although racing plans were put on hold for 2020, she recently completed a charity cycle of 403 miles around Northern Ireland in 3 days, the only woman with 10 men to complete the cycle.
Gerard Turbitt has also risen to the top step of the podium in triathlon in recent years, now aged 67 he is as focused and ambitious in sport as any man or woman half his age. Last year, Gerard also raced at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona. Narrowly missing his slot in Lanzarote in 2018 he raced IRONMAN Wales a few months later, just a week after racing the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in South Africa. In Wales 2018 he won his agegroup to secure his place for the Big Island in 2019 finishing 8th on the day.
Both June and Ger are multiple Triathlon Ireland Age Group Champions across a variety of distances, they are humble, proud and passionate about a sport that has given them so much and are proof that age is just a number, it’s how you choose to embrace your life regardless of age that makes the difference. They epitomise the idea that growing older is not a barrier to enjoying a successful and happy life of sport and triathlon.
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