Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Woman who learned to swim at 57 now a defending Ironman triathlon champion

An invitation to participate in an indoor triathlon 16 years ago changed the course of Bobbe Greenberg's life.

The 73-year-old Highland Park, Illinois, resident was intrigued by the idea of an indoor triathlon, but had to overcome one major obstacle in order to take part: she had to learn how to swim. So, at 57, she started taking lessons. Greenberg ended up winning first place in the indoor triathlon, and caught the bug. She now trains at least 15 hours every week, and races as often as possible during the spring and summer.

This weekend, the retired English teacher will be in Hawaii for the Ironman World Championship triathlon, where she expects to finish swimming 2.4 miles in the ocean, riding a bike for 112 miles, and running a marathon in 14 or 15 hours. She is the defending women's age 70-74 champion, and told The Washington Post the entire process is "exhilarating. I think it's that feeling of youthfulness or vibrancy ... There's something it gives to me that I'm not able to get in any other way in my life."