Hundreds Participate In Optimist Triathlon In Winona

Jennifer Peryam
Times-Union Staff Writer

WINONA LAKE – Bob McKeague, 85, has participated in more than 100 triathlons.
He was one of hundreds who participated in the Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Triathlon Saturday in Winona Lake.
McKeague, Chicago, said it was his 10th year for participating in the triathlon in Winona Lake.
“It is a nice, small and comfortable triathlon I look forward to every year, but that doesn’t mean it is easy,” McKeague said.
McKeague participated in the Hawaii Triathlon when he turned 80, and he was the first 80-year-old to finish the Hawaii triathlon.
He said the Hawaii triathlon is his favorite because people from all over the world participate in the triathlon and speak different languages.
“It is definitely a challenge at my age to do these triathlons, but I train year round by biking, running and swimming,” McKeague said.
This was the 17th year for the triathlon in Winona Lake. There were 719 men and women registered for the race and 669 participated, according to Ron Donkers, race director.
The participants raised $16,000 to $18,000 that will go toward programs sponsored by Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club.
Donkers said despite a 45-minute lightening delay, the race went well.
The triathlon included a quarter mile swim, 13-1/2-mile bike ride from Winona Lake to Pierceton and back, and a 3-1/5-mile run on the Greenway Trail, through Southtown Addition, past Rodeheaver Auditorium and back to the park.
Salvador Mujica, 50, Chesterton, participated for the first time in the triathlon in Winona Lake.
He said he has been training since October by running, biking and swimming.
“Running is the most challenging, but my favorite is swimming and biking,” Mujica said.
Alicia Marsh, 23, Marion, also participated in the triathlon for her first time.
She said she had been training since February.
“The run will be the most challenging because I have never ran more than 3.2 miles and my goal is to finish,” Marsh said.