‘What a badass’: The 80 year old triathlete proving that age is just a number

Jun 24, 2023
The 80 year old crossed the finish line to the sound of thunderous applause and congratulatory cheers from a sea of supporters. Source: Getty Images.

Completing a grueling triathlon at any age would be a challenge for most but 80-year-old George Hulse has made it look easy after defying all the odds to emerge as an awe-inspiring symbol of determination, proving that age is merely a number.

Hulse finished the daunting 226-kilometre course in 16 hours, 24 minutes and 39 seconds.

The 80-year-old completed the 3.9 kilometre swim leg of the event in one hour, 30 minutes and 44 seconds before jumping on the bike to ride the 180 kilometre course from Port Douglas to Cairns in seven hours 47 minutes and nine seconds.

With the end in sight, Hulse completed the final gruelling 42.2 kilometre marathon leg in six hours, 38 minutes and 49 seconds.

Eight hours after the first competitors finished, Hulse crossed the finish line to the sound of thunderous applause and congratulatory cheers from a sea of supporters.

The official Ironman Oceania Instagram shared Hulse’s incredible feat on social media, praising the 80 year old for his efforts.

“Our final finisher and our oldest competitor, at 80 years of age, George – YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!” they wrote.

“And with that, we wrap up another amazing #IMCairns! Thanks to everyone who came along and partied with us at the Worlds Best IRONMAN – you showed us that #AnythingIsPossible.”


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Following the race, the triathlon community celebrated the athlete’s remarkable achievement, praising the 80 year old for his efforts.

“What a legend. Give that bloke the biggest medal and a standing ovation at the presentation ceremony. Honestly. What a remarkable man,” one person wrote.

“There is no one quite like George. He has been an inspiration to others for decades

“Way to go George, was great seeing you prove age isn’t a barrier out there on course today. You have my respect legend,” commented another.

“What a badass.”

“George is one of the toughest competitors you will ever come across. The next generation could learn a lot from him.”

“Absolute legend.”

Hulse isn’t the only senior athlete wowing onlookers with his incredible feats of strength and endurance, recently celebrity coach and over 60s fitness influencer Lesley Maxwell left fans in shock after performing an extremely challenging push-up workout with complete and total ease.

The 64-year-old took to Instagram, posting the video of her doing “decline push-ups” without so much as breaking a sweat.

“If you’re newer and can’t do these yet, progression goes like this: Wall Push Ups – Incline Push Ups – Half Push Ups (Knees on the Floor) – Floor Push Ups – Decline Push Ups,” Maxwell captioned the video.

“Such a great upper body exercise and easier than you think.

“A true indicator of strength and health, is being lean enough and strong enough to push your own bodyweight. Try this for yourself! Great for core – chest – shoulders – triceps.”

Much like Hulse, Maxwell’s post was flooded with people who found the grandma “totally inspiring”, with a lot of the younger generation shocked their fitness level was below that of the fitness guru.

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