Grandad who has 11 full Ironman Triathlons and 24-hour marathons under his belt now plans to be Ironman WORLD CHAMPION
An ‘Ironman’ pensioner is looking to take on the world by winning this year’s Ironman World Championships.
Muscly Marek Musiał, 70, from Bielsko-Biała, south-west Poland, who gets up at 4.30am and does between 3-6 hours training every day, is preparing to go to the qualifying Ironman competition in Lanzarote in May.
From there he hopes to get into the top three for his age group and qualify for the World Championships in Hawaii in October.
The 70-year-old told Sport.pl: “In the morning the temperature is 20 degrees Celsius, and during the day it reaches up to 37.
The asphalt warms up, there is nothing to breathe, but you have to survive.
“If you want to achieve a good result, you really have to give absolutely everything and overcome the next barrier of pain.”
Considered one of the most gruelling one-day races, to compete in Ironman competitors must swim 3.8km, cycle for 80.2 KM and run for 42.2 KM.
With no breaks allowed the race is an extreme test of endurance and willpower.
But the super grandad is no stranger to pain.
He first started running when he was over 50 years old.
From light jogging to feeling “like he was going to die” in his first 4KM run, Musiał continued his running streak for the next decade.
In 2010, while at his local gym, he learned about the mother of all triathlons - Ironman.
“His name was Jerzy Szyller,” Musiał told Sport.pl in a recent interview. “He persuaded me to take part in the so-called Ironman half. 1800 meters of swimming, 90 km of cycling and 21 km of running.”
He continued: “I found a group in my age category, I was third. I caught the bug. However, the quick halves turned out to be too short for me. Two years later in Regensburg, Germany, I started in Ironman for the first time. And that's how it began.”
To date, Marek has now taken part in three Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.
Considered the cradle of triathlon, to qualify for the championships participants must be first place in the top three of their category as a full Ironman.
And according to Musiał, it’s where the best athletes on the planet gather to compete.
Musiał is already fitter than his peers and most men half his age, however it isn’t enough for the triathlon addict who admits he next plans to “become a world champion”.
Even the 70-year-old athlete is surprised at his own physical ability.
He explained: “Somehow I do not really feel the aging process. It seems to me that everything is in our head. Often we limit ourselves and say: ‘I cannot’, ‘I do not want to’, or ‘I am too old’. You cannot think like that.”
He went on: “Our body is fascinating. Maybe more than we think. All you have to do is give it a chance and send it an impulse to act. If we really change our thinking and believe in ourselves, many positive changes will take place in our lives.”
Hiring a trainer and completing insane 3-hour training sessions six days a week, Marek still stays fully committed to his fitness. “I get up at 4.50 am. At 6 am I'm already at the pool. Training takes about 3 hours. In addition to swimming, cycling and running, gym classes are also necessary at my age.”
For now the 70-year-old piano repairman isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.
Already this year he is readying himself for Ironman in Lanzarote which is taking place in May.
Marek plans to get into the top three for his category to qualify and get the chance to compete in the Ironman World Championship, again.