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IronMan 70.3 - Daphne Belt - becoming 85 years old

  • 85 Triathlons to celebrate turning 85!!!

  • Three triathlons per week until the big day in August 2024

Our brand ambassador Daphne Belt has been in touch to tell us about this amazing goal that she's set herself. Having done a similar challenge to mark her 75th birthday, Daphne is midway through attempting three triathlons per week, Mon/Wed/Fri until the big day which will give her 85 triathlons in 2024!!
The weekly schedule is as follows:
Swim 1900 meter pool swim.
20km bike ride
3km run.

In addition, Daphne is competing in organised events, most recently IRONMAN 70.3 Venice-Jesolo.

Daphnes Blog:

Hello from the strange calm place that is home after all the furore, It was a very strange thing going to do another Ironman 70.3 since after doing the very same race in 2021 I was absolutely certain it was curtains for long races. I know that I had done plenty of work that would get me though it, what with the 85 triathlon challenge and all that entailed since January 31st. There had not been any 90 km bike rides though, I have long been of the opinion that weekly our milage can be put together at any time.

I had been swimming 1900 three times a week, but I had had a little tweek in my right calf a couple of weeks before we left and that was still a little tender and I had only walked any of my runs after it. I also had sutures in my shin after a nasty skin split. I was told not to pick them off, but to let them drop off in the fullness of time! They lasted until after the race.

So I was quite sure I could get through the swim and the bike well, but knew I would have to race-walk the run (I think I told you that I actually have a coaching Q to coach that from years ago). So my husband/coach placed me in with the front-ish, of the rolling start (6 at a time every 10 seconds) with the 30 minute swim young men!

I had instructions to simply stay wide of them, (so my swim would end up a little longer in distance). He then planned to start toward the end with slow swimmers and look to catch up in the course of the event so that we could do the 21km run together.

My swim took roughly the same time as my pool swims even without the normal lane ropes, so, a good swim.

I had a really good bike. Flat, as we all know, has the drawback of there not being any downhills though. The only rises were actually a bit worrying since they were narrow scaffolding bridges with felt carpet to take the competitors up and over three main roads out of town and same at the return. Steve had given me a good talking to about how to do that and I did that exactly but of course there was a bit of overtaking and not much room.

Of course with your name clearly on the number I was given lots of encouragement from all the riders who passed me in the fullness of time, many simply making a big strength sign with their arm as they passed with a grunt.

The race commentator had taken a feast day about having a woman as old as me in the field, so everybody knew me and all about me!!!!!!! I made a whole paragraph in the Venice Gazette pre-race, in which there was miss-spell of my name. DAP-N-HE! That got shouted at me a lot and was kind of fun! Steve did not catch me as planned, so I confess to taking a relaxed T2 until he got in, several minutes behind to finish the bike. So we did go out on the half marathon run together.

Major crowd support was a huge help. I made the pace. We did almost exactly the same time for all three laps. There was another huge build up for me at the end of the Awards ceremony that evening. The Ironman Race commentator Paul Kaye, who whipped the crowd up a treat. There actually was not anybody at all in the AG before mine 80-84 I was the oldest competitor overall by over 10 years and double that in the womens AG’s!

Since then I have collected a few hundred followers on Instagram hahahahaha. Some of whom sent me their videos of my moment on the podium that was unbelievable. I hope you will not be disappointed that I declined my slot to go to the World 70.3 Championships in Taupo NZ in December. Then I got a letter from Ironman offering me a slot in the Women’s Full Ironman World Championships in Nice in September this year!

That race is far too hard for me at my age and I have done it, at least three times about 20-30 years ago, so I do know that. Nice gesture though. 

In total we biked about 130 miles including the race and joy rides afterwards, one conducted by one of our many new ‘Friends’. Triathlon No. 44 was as planned on race day as just on the half way mark of the 85 tri’s. No.45 we did on our last day in Jesolo which was our 45th Anniversary, it was 56 km bike. Yesterday we got an Email from Ironman Italy pointing out that registration for 2015 starts this Friday!!!!!!!! I dunno about that!

Although I did love every moment of the race and holiday but I am dead chuffed with my 8 hours 32 for the 2024 event. The race commentary also brought some donations in for the fund-raising which is excellent. We have  Arundel Lido Triathlon this coming Sunday and Royal Windsor Triathlon for the 31st time on June 9th. The season ends with European Sprint Triathlon Championships on September 21st in Vichy, France.

Thank you for all your support.

Love you guys bundles.

Daphne and of course my super coach/husband/Chef too, since you are what you eat.


Follow her at

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