Thursday, November 19, 2009

Never Too Old: Margaret Bomberg

For the last 30 of her 72 years, Margaret Bomberg—who has five children and six grandchildren—has been a lawyer. For the past nine years, the local family-law attorney has also been a triathlete (she didn’t take up the sport of running until she was in her 50s). Bomberg belongs to the Chico Women’s Triathlon Club (; she was one of a group of 12 club members who made up part of the U. S. team at the 2009 ITU Triathlon World Championships in September. Bomberg came home from that event—held this year on the Gold Coast of Australia—with a medal for placing first out of six in the 70-74 age group in a sprint-distance triathlon (750-meter swim, 20k bike ride and a 5k run). She will compete at the 2010 ITU Triathlon World Championships next September in Budapest, Hungary.

What made you become a triathlete?

I didn’t do a triathlon until I was 63. And then I only did because I thought it would be fun to do and I thought I’d lose weight. I wasn’t going to do any competitions, but then I thought, “Why not?”
How many triathlons have you competed in?

Something around 50. … I’ve also done a half-ironman [1.9k swim, 90k bike ride, 21.1k run]—Barb’s Race in Sonoma County.
What do you do for exercise on a regular basis?

I swim three times a week. I don’t bike outside in the winter. I do a spinning class, not a stationary bike—I don’t do anything unless I’m encouraged by a group. And I run with different groups, including the Fleet Feet running group.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened during a race?

When we have supporters who come to a race—some supporters came to Australia with us—you’re sort of distracted and you recognize those voices and wave to them. I sort of have to remember not to turn and wave to them, to just tend to business.

In 2007 when we were [at the ITU Triathlon World Championships] in Hamburg [Germany], they were taking pictures of the teams from different countries. The Australian team came up behind us and put a kangaroo behind us in the picture. This year, we held the American flag behind them in their picture. We thought that was turnabout [smiles].

So, why do you do triathlons?

I do it because it’s so much fun.

Some people think it’s grueling.

Oh no, it’s not.

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