Get in a car and start driving like Art Fredricks did recently and you will travel about 203 miles from Tehachapi to Carlsbad.
But Art didn’t drive Sunday a.m. Didn’t step on the gas pedal. Didn’t turn on a blinker. What Art did was swim a kilometer in the Pacific Ocean, ride a bike 25K and pound the pavement (i.e. run) 5K to complete yet another triathlon.
Not all that unusual considering about 1,000 others did the same thing. What was unique was that Art is 80. He was the oldest competitor in the 31st annual Carlsbad Triathlon. Art is older than the winners of the men’s and women’s event… combined.
“Ran my first triathlon 25 years ago,” Art said after the race as he waited for 65-year-old wife Amy to cross the finish line. Art had an office supplies company in Las Vegas until he retired and moved to Tehachapi.
“I think I do better on the bike than swimming or running,” he said. “I do about five of these a year. I never played sports other than maybe a little street football. Best thing I ever did was stop smoking. Smoked for 30 years and stopped when I was 45.”
Art was neither huffing nor puffing as he crossed the finish line on Sunday morning. He finished well back, but he wasn’t last. Far from it.
Art didn’t win on Sunday. Or did he?