79-year-old woman proud to have completed SOMC triathlon


Jean Troike, a 79-year-old woman from Akron, approaches the finish line during Southern Ohio Medical Center's 'Tri For Your LIFE' Sprint Triathlon on August 12. She completed the event, which included a 200-meter swim, a 20k bike ride and a 5k run, in under two hours.

At 79 years old, one might assume that Jean Troike’s greatest obstacle when attempting a triathlon would be her age. That’s not what she was worried about, though.

“I don’t like to swim,” she said. “It’s really difficult for me.”

In the end, neither age nor water could keep Jean from crossing the finish line at Southern Ohio Medical Center’s ‘Tri For Your LIFE’ Sprint Triathlon on August 12. As part of the event, Jean conquered a 200-meter swim, a 20k bike ride and a 5k run.

The triathlon took her under two hours to complete, which is actually less time than it took her to get there.

“I live in Akron, so that’s quite a drive,” Jean said. “But, my son wanted to participate so we did that together. It was a lot of fun.”

Jean believes she was able to complete the event at her age because she has been blessed with “perfect health,” and understands that not many 79 year olds would be up to the task. She did, however, have some advice for anyone that wanted to give it a try: Don’t give up.

“I worked at it and I pushed myself,” Jean said. “My mind said, ‘I don’t want to do that’ but I said ‘Yes, you’re going to do it.’ You just have to push yourself. Start out with a little and just keep adding on, and you’ll be surprised by how much you can do.”

Jean was able to push herself to finish in part because of the support and encouragement she, and all of the participants, received during the event.

“The people at SOMC were so encouraging. They were always standing around and encouraging you to go on,” Jean said. “It’s just a great feeling to have people that are all for you, cheering you on.”

Including Jean, the SOMC ‘Tri For Your LIFE’ Sprint Triathlon brought in 110 competitors. To see photos from the event, “like” SOMC at www.facebook.com/SouthernOhioMedicalCenter. Or, to learn more about how SOMC can help you improve your overall health, call the SOMC Life Center at 740-356-7650.