Woman, 75, racks up 75th triathlon

Daphne Belt and husband Steve in training

Daphne Belt and husband Steve in training

First published in News
Last updated
by , Reporter

MOST 75-year-olds would celebrate their birthday by putting their feet up, but this fearless fitness fanatic completed her 75th triathlon in as many days.

Yesterday, Daphne Belt, pictured, 75, from Littlehampton tackled the last leg of her mammoth 1,550km challenge on her birthday in front of a sea of well-wishers in her home town.

Mrs Belt started the feat on May 31 and has completed the same route around West Sussex with minor alterations 75 times, swimming a staggering 75km, cycling 1,250km and running 225km in total – raising more than £5,700 for Chestnut Tree House on her way.

After 75 consecutive days of action, she admitted the highlight was being sprayed with celebratory champagne at the end of her swim yesterday.

The former competitive tri-athlete said: “It was absolutely fantastic.

“The sea was a bit bumpy, but six or eight of my friends joined me for the swim which was nice.

“I was out on my bike and I heard this booming voice shouting ‘Daphne Belt’ and I turned around to see my team manager from 25 years ago.

“He came in handy later because there was a massive headwind on the way back and he’s quite a large chap so I slipped in behind him and I couldn’t feel a breath of wind.

“I didn’t feel at any stage during the 75 days I couldn’t go on because my husband Steve and I planned it meticulously.”

She challenged herself to get everyone to say hello as she passed them on the seafront.

Mrs Belt said: “Us Brits don’t say hello, but I managed to crack everyone by the end – even a chap who clearly liked heavy metal in his day because he wore headphones and a Deep Purple T-shirt.

“By the end, he was saying ‘good morning’, and I always got a nice welcome by the homeless man at the bus shelter.”

She will now compete at the ITU World Triathlon Championships in Edmonton, Canada, on September 1, but admitted she will need to get some hill sessions in after 75 days of running on the flat.

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