Never ask John Cook if he feels his age. At 75 years young, John, a Stamford resident and retired airline pilot, has been competing in triathlons for 20 years. In fact John's athletic career is a relatively recent development since he started competing in marathons at age 46. John says he does not have any secret to his longevity other than a simple love for competing.
"I love the sport," John said. "It's fun to do. I swim about three times a week. I bike three times a week. I run three or four times a week."
John's extensive and exhaustive history of racing is simply staggering. He has competed in an average of eight triathlons a year since 1990. He ran in the New York, London, Marine Corps, and Boston marathons. His personal best time for a marathon is an impressive three hours and 25 minutes. John sets an example for old and young that exercise is the key to wellbeing and longevity.
"I just think it's so important for your health to be physically fit," John said. "There just aren't enough people who want to do it."
John will compete in the third annual KIC IT triathlon on Sunday. The triathlon raises money for Kids In Crisis, an organization that helps children dealing with abuse, neglect, homelessness, mental health issues or extreme family conflict. Having been a Stamford resident for 32 years, this race is very special to John.
"That's the best when it's in your home town," John said. "I've traveled pretty much all over to do these, but this is the best."
John is well aware that competing at so high a level for his age is a rarity.
"I'm lucky that I can keep doing it," John said. "It does take quite a bit of motivation to stay in it. I'm fortunate enough to not have had any serious injuries so I can keep competing and working out."
The 3rd annual KIC IT triathlon begins at Cummings Beach Park at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday and ends in Columbus Park.
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