80-year-old Roger Little prepares for Kona: “I’d just be happy to finish the damn thing”

He will be the oldest participant at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii (Oct. 9, 2021): 80-year-old Roger Little. Little doesn’t only have enough experience in life, he’s also got lots of experience in Kona, too. It will be the 19th time that the athlete, who is originally from Russia, will travel to this “magical” island for the race. After Little, who used to do triathlons, lost his wife a few months ago, he decided to pick up the sport again: “I am just trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life,” he told Tampabay in an interview. “So I said, well why don’t I go back and jump into triathlons? That’ll give me complete focus and keep me totally busy, and get my head out of losing her.”

Little decided to dedicate a lot of his time to the sport again, cycling about 200 km a week and running around 65 km every seven days. But he doesn’t only have the goal of winning his age group, which has two more contestants: “At my age and rate of speed, right now I’d just be happy to finish the damn thing.”

He’s crossed the finish line of full-distance races 40 times before, and not only in his own part of the world. Little used to work as an engineer in solar energy, and flew all over the world. “I had customers in Korea, so I’d say what the hell, I’ll go to Korea for a week, and then I’ll jump on a plane to Perth, Australia, for the World Championship this year. I did this my whole life. I raced everywhere in the world, all the time.”

Read the full interview with Little on Tampabay.