Extraordinary Triathletes: Garth Barfoot (NZL)

18 November, 2022 | espaƱol

Extraordinary Triathletes: Garth Barfoot (NZL)

World Triathletes are aiming for the 2022 World Triathlon Age-Group Championship Finals in Abu Dhabi which take place from the 24th to 26th November.

Businessman and World Triathlete Garth Barfoot, started Triathlon 30-years ago, has qualified to represent New Zealand once again at the upcoming 2022 World Triathlon Age-Group Championship Finals in Abu Dhabi at 86 years of age. Having finished the London Marathon last month the ambitious New Zealand triathlete is continually challenging himself to achieve his personal best goals, across the swim, bike and run sensation. “It’s something money can’t buy” Garfoot says of representing New Zealand as a World Triathlete.

World Triathlon caught up with Garth Barfoot before he took off from home in New Zealand to travel to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

How did you get into Triathlon?
First, my son got involved through school, then my wife and finally myself, up to then, at the age of 55 I had just been a runner with a lifetime of biking and swimming experience.

You have been involved in so many World Championship events, what keeps you motivated?
I did my first ITU (now World Triathlon) event 30 years ago. Then there was no Sprint Triathlon and the oldest age category was 70 plus. I am very fortunate that triathlon has aged up with me. Even now the advent of Super Sprint might be one way of keeping the door open.

What would you consider your best achievement to date?
Finishing the London Marathon last month, was a wonderful feeling after having to pull out in my last two attempts at this distance.

What’s the best part about Triathlon?
Touching the ground after the swim, to me it is my “crossing the Rubicon” moment.

What does your weekly training schedule look like and what’s your favourite part of it?
It has changed over the years to accommodate my decrepitude. Open water swimming is out as I have a fear of getting too cold and losing coordination. Heated swimming pools are a wonderful invention.  Open road cycling is out, reaction time and balance are not what they used to be, wind trainers are a wonderful invention. This leaves “running”  as my main training and I look forward on waking up to my near daily 8km circuit, cleverly designed around the coffee shop in the middle.

Do you train solo or with a group.
Locally, we bought our place 50 years ago because it was on the water, now an equally important attribute is that you have to climb a hill to get out of it! Most of my training is solo, no one goes at my speed anymore.

Who is the most interesting/inspiring person you’ve met through the sport?
Coming into sports in middle age has opened up a new world for me, they have all contributed in some way.

How much does it mean to you to represent New Zealand at a World Championship level?
It is not something I would have even thought about when I was younger.

What makes the experience so special?
It is something money cannot buy.

What is your goal for Abu Dhabi?
It would have to be gold, that is what racing is all about

Why Triathlon Garth?
It is a sport that encompasses the three physical things I am good at, swimming, biking and running.

Who do you think will win the Elite title in 2022 - Alex Yee or Hayden Wilde?
I will be neutral on this one; my own parents were both born in England.

Garth Barfoot_Hayden Wilde

Watch the Age-group World Triathlon Championships for FREE over on TriathlonLIVE.tv (24-26 November)

event website

2022 World Triathlon Age-Group Championships Abu Dhabi