Michael Read won the Sprint Triathlon in Hyde Park on a boiling hot August day. The racers split into age groups and Michael was in the 70+ group.
The sprint Triathlon starts in the Serpentine. On finishing the 750 metres, our fit geriatric athlete collapsed in agony when transferring to dry land. Ligaments in both ankles were severely strained. Despite this reversal he completed the 20k bike ride and 3 mile run around Hyde Park. Four months on and the injury has not healed.
Michael can be seen regularly running around Kings Langley and Chipperfield. Our ageing athlete competes regularly in duathlon and triathlons. He also won his age group in the St Albans Triathlon earlier in the year, the silver cup for the Kings Langley 2008 run. He runs 650 miles a year around our lovely hills and woods; cycles 750 miles to Latimer and Chenies and swims 25 miles in Bricketwood Pool.
There is a cost to this in injuries for which the long suffering doctors in the Kings Langley Nap Surgery and Chinese acupuncturist Lily Lai of Apsley provide excellent support.
When our ageing fitness freak is not pounding the hills, he runs a successful stamps business with his son and 4 other support staff. This has been in operation for 34 years. Michael welcomes home visits from anyone who has the odd hour to spend. There are over 1 million stamps to look at; tea and biscuits are on tap together with an interesting chat on like-minded matters. He says that a mix of dusty stamps together with the clean and lovely countryside work well.
The Villager, Kings Langley, December 2009.