Brackett holds world champion triathlon title

September 22, 2010 5:16:52 PM PDT
Chicago broadcaster Elizabeth Brackett, who surprised herself by becoming a world champion last year, recently defended her title in the world triathlon competition in Hungary. "Well, I'm old enough to collect social security," Brackett said.

OK, age is all relative, right? And it's part of the challenge for someone like Brackett, who is fiercely competitive-- be it in her day job as a reporter for WTTW or in the arena of sport. The thrill is the same today as it was years ago as a diver of Olympic caliber.

"I would stand there on top of that tower, and look down and say, 'Oh my gosh, I can't do this. I'm gonna die.' And my coach would say, 'Yes, you can. Just do it.' And you do it and you say, 'Oh, I can.'"

Last year, Brackett surprised herself by winning a world championship in the triathlon for her age group. Earlier this month she was off to Budapest to defend the title with a one-mile swim, 40 kilometer bike race and 10K run.

This year the competition looked tough .But the swim went well, the bike went better- with a more than 22 ½ mile hour average- and the run was splendid when Brackett looked back, no one was behind her.

"I'm thinking this is great. That's what I'm thinking," Brackett said.

After two hours, 51 minutes and 14 seconds, Brackett crossed the finish line triumphant.

She held on to her world age group title and finished six minutes ahead of second place?and six minutes faster than she did last year. So much for that age thing.

Next year it's China. Right now that's a maybe for Brackett, but whether she defends or not, the tri-athlete won't rest.

"A friend of mine who's a tri-athlete - who's a mature tri-athlete- was asked the same question and she said, 'I'm gonna keep going until a major body part falls off.' That's my goal," Brackett said.

Brackett said some female athletes competing now are in their 80s.

"I still have a ways to go," Brackett said.


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