'Inspirational' Sidmouth gran, 75, completes first triathlon
PUBLISHED: 11:18 28 June 2016 | UPDATED: 12:09 28 June 2016
'Oldest competitor' raises more then £1,800 for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund
An unlikely 75-year-old athlete proved age is no obstacle when she conquered her first triathlon to boost pancreatic cancer research funds by more than £1,800.
Grandmother Christine Baker had never even ridden a bike before the age of 70, but went on to become the oldest competitor in her category at the Blenheim Palace event this month.
It was the words of late journalist Kingsley Squire that inspired Christine, of Orchardside, Sidbury, to embark on the tough three-part challenge.
Kingsley, 78, was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer last year and Christine said his accounts in the Herald moved her to take action to raise awareness of the disease and money for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.
The first-time triathlete completed a 400-metre lake swim, a 13.2km cycle ride, and a 2.9km run in less than two hours, alongside her son’s partner, Nina Ferstner.
Describing the experience, she said: “In a word, it was fantastic.
“I was very nervous to begin with, but my family were there and I had Nina with me.
“It’s such a wonderful, friendly atmosphere that we got really bowled over.
“The crowd was wonderful; the spectators all shouted encouragement. A lot of my family and friends were there and we had such a lovely time. The volunteers were lovely and encouraging as well.
“I was near enough the oldest – in fact, I was the oldest of the super sprinters [a shorter distance category].”
Her family, including granddaughters Evie and Olivia, were there on June 4 to support Christine, as well as husband Bill, who described his wife as ‘inspirational’.
There is still time to donate by visiting: www.justgiving.com/ChristineBaker308