Triathlon mission accomplished

It didn’t work out as well as she planned, but Cherie Jones can say she completed her first-ever triathlon – at the age of 60.

Jones, a Marshalltown resident, has trained for several weeks and was featured in the Times-Republican leading up to Saturday’s Hy-Vee My Y Tri at the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA.

Her event results weren’t as solid as her training results, but she did finish 7 minutes of swimming, 18 minutes on a stationary bike and 15 minutes walking.

“I’m disappointed in what I did, but I did cross the finish line,” Jones said.

Jones is a lung cancer survivor who was encouraged to take part in the triathlon by Y staff. She started training three times a week and was up to five times a week leading up to the event.

She swam 8 laps, biked 2.6 miles and walked nearly a mile Saturday. Her walk was slowed by a cramp that came on.

She also sensed that it wouldn’t be her best day in the middle of the bike portion of the event.

“I’m just having a tough time catching my breath,” she said while biking.

Jones was inspired by her family and friends who arrived. Her husband Chris and son Tommy were there supporting her as well.

“A bunch of my friends came that I didn’t even know they were coming,” she said. “I’m absolutely touched.”

After crossing the finish line, she got big hugs from her friends and family who cheered her on throughout the event.

“From where she came from, it’s just amazing,” said her husband Chris.

Cherie said she has enjoyed the support she has received from the Y staff, patrons and people who read about her training in the T-R.

“It has been absolutely wonderful,” she said.

Cherie said she will continue to work out at the Y, but also has other plans for her future.

“Now, I’m going to concentrate on a less strenuous sport – improving my golf game,” she said with a laugh.