‘IronGran’: Nothing can stop this 78-year-old triathlete

Nicknamed ‘IronGran’, Brocrumby is the oldest British woman to have completed IRONMAN: the world’s toughest triathlon challenge that includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26 marathon ,2 miles.

Ideally, she says, in Lanzarote, which has always been Bronkingby’s favorite practice spot.

“The water is crystal clear… the bike paths will take you through all the beautiful parts of the island. It’s always fun to run. You’ll pass bars late at night and, you know, another lap of the run and… the disc jockey plays ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ every time I pass,” she added.

Edwina Brocrumby and Serpentine Golden Girls at RAAM 2019 (credit: Paul Allsop)

Not that Broprisby had any intention of stopping. Far from it – she just signed up for the 2023 Trans-American Race (RAAM).

RAAM is one of the longest annual endurance events in the world, where participants have nine days to travel from the West Coast to the East Coast of the United States, or about 3,000 miles (4,800 km).

As they did in 2013 and 2019, Brocrumby will be one of four Serpentine ‘Golden Girls’ to join the women’s relay team with an average age of 70.

“I would raise the average age of the team,” Brocrumby joked. “My friend pointed out that, to my horror, I am 80 years old and the oldest woman to have done RAAM.”

Late bloomer

It is worth mentioning, Brocrumby did not practice any sports until the age of 50. But she’s always enjoyed a challenge, she said — like running a first half marathon at 52.

“I can remember walking up to see a friend running the Nottingham Marathon around the college my husband and I attended,” she recalls living in Northampton a few years ago.

Brocksby at Ironman Cozumel 2017 (credit:

“I turned to my husband and said, ‘You know, I’d love to run a half-marathon.” And he said, “You can’t even go three miles into Northampton!” “And I thought, ‘Yes, I can! “It’s a challenge that I have to overcome.”

After a few marathons – and a few more injuries – Brocrumby started to become more aware of the benefits of running; not only material, but also social and spiritual benefits.

In her book, Irongran: Staying in shape taught me that getting older doesn’t mean slowing down, Brocrumby says her group of jogging friends helped her cope with her husband’s premature death.

‘I have to learn how to swim’

When he reached the age of 60, Brockby thought that learning to swim could also be a cure.

“In school, I swam a little, but never swam the entire length of the pool. So I learned and started swimming! And actually for the first time ever, swimming a long distance,” she said. .

However, swimming is still Brockerby’s biggest challenge. Road cycling is her favorite of the triathlons that make up the triathlon.

Although, as she admits in her book, there are some problems with early teething when climbing steep hills.

“I recall the embarrassment of having to zig-zag my new Giant bike up the last bend of Box Hill,” she writes of Surrey. “I’m not used to cycling on the road and it’s really hard climbing uphill.”

Silverfit Pilates at Hyde Park in London (credit: Susanne Hakuba)

Brockerby’s pursuit of athletic development also inspired her to try to convince others that age is just a number.

“It’s been such a privilege to know that you can do it, and that’s why I chose Silverfit to participate,” Brocrumby revealed.

Silverfit is a London-based charity that promotes healthier aging through physical activity and social connection. “People get together, sometimes for refreshments, then they join an activity,” Brocrumby said.

Silverfit currently runs activities at 17 different locations across London with 46 different classes, including Pilates, Nordic Walking, walking football, Bollywood gymnastics and silver cheerleader.

“We started in Hyde Park and then very quickly moved to Burgess Park,” Brocrumby said, referring to a few of London’s green spaces.

She added that she is always trying to establish new operations in economically deprived and diverse areas, “where you can really make a bigger difference to the people there.”

Her participation in charities has earned her various awards, such as the Pride of Sport Award and the British Empire Medal (BEM) for Service to People’s Health and Lives. old.

Brockerby attends the 2019 Pride of Sport Awards held in London.

Brushes with royalties

Two years ago, Brocrumby was invited to attend the National Council of Volunteers’ (NCVO) centenary celebrations chaired by Queen Elizabeth II herself.

“I didn’t expect at all that I would actually get to meet our Queen,” Brocrumby revealed.

“We gathered in a large hall inside historic Windsor Castle. There we were greeted with champagne and the most delicious drinks. A queue began to form from that room. to pass through an open archway into another great hall.

“It was only when I joined the queue and moved slowly to reach the door within a few feet that I realized the Queen was on the other side, greeting each guest individually.

“I passed, her equerry announced, ‘Dr. Brokeckby, Silverfit.’ “How lovely,” she said as she shook my hand, and I bowed to her.”

Royalties aside, Brockerby’s life is now committed to sharing a more universal message.

“That you enjoy getting older. You’re encouraging others that it’s never too late to start becoming a little more active and a little more fun. I think it’s important to make experiences enjoyable. taste.”


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