Iron Man Not Just For Youngsters
By Anne McKay Garris
Rick Usher, left, from Long Island, New York, and Bill Lloyd from Sydney, Australia, were among the participants in the Ironman Triathlon on Clearwater Beach last week-end. Mr. Usher, who claims 64 years, has been participating since 1986. Mr. Lloyd has been at it for two years, and was also in Clearwater's competition last year.
With a mother living in Leesburg, Florida, Mr. Usher reported that he has long been familiar with the Clearwater Beach area. "We are staying over for a few days," he said. "We like it here."
He complimented this year's Clearwater competition as run even better than last year. "I made the same time," he said, "but that put me in fifth place last year and, this year, I was in eleventh because of the number of participants whose time was better."
Mr. Lloyd expressed enthusiasm for how well-planned the event was this year. "It was a beautifully run race," he said, "and the whole place is beautiful. I look forward to coming back."
Other participants were equally complimentary. Mr. Esteban Rojas was here from Costa Rica accompanying his seventeen-year-old son who was competing in the Ironman.
"Clearwater Beach is beautiful," he said, "It is great to be here. We hope to come back."
Stephanie Liles was down from Tallahassee. Asked if she was a student there, she smiled. "I'm a mom with three kids," she said, "but I love the triathlon in Clearwater Beach. This is my second home and we come here often."
From Australia to Tallahassee and all stops in between, athletes of all ages, their families and friends enjoyed the beauty, the perfect weather and the excitement of the Ironman and many of them vowed to come back. That should please the City Fathers and the Chamber of Commerce.
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