60-year-old triathlete competing in Katy for 375th triathlon

KATY, TX (KTRK) -- When the gun goes off next weekend at the Rotary Club of Katy's Annual Triathlon at Firethorne, a milestone will be reached for one longtime athlete.

Jeff Gill did his first triathlon in 1980 and says it's a thrill.

"When the gun goes off, it doesn't stop until you cross the finish line," he said.

He was just 25 at the time,

"I gave it a try and because it was so hard, I got hooked on it and haven't stopped ever since," says Gill.

The 60-year-old will swim, bike and run towards a total of 19 this year, but that is low gear compared to his grand total. This will be his 375th triathlon!

We asked, "Do most people say, 'wow, you're inspiring' or 'you're crazy?'"

Gill replied, "My family says both."

He says his main inspiration behind his hard work is his mother.

"My mom died at 42 of a stroke so at that point when I was entering the 6th grade, I decided I was going to have a healthy lifestyle," says Gill.

His secret weapon?

"Pickle juice and low-fat chocolate milk," he said.

The HR Leader for a petrochemical company says every race has something special about it.

We asked, "Would you say you're in the best shape of your life now? I think when I'm 65 is when I'll be in the best shape."

He's still riding at his high school weight and says if he could have seen this snapshot of himself back then he would have thought it was ridiculous.

"If you put your mind to it and come up with a sensible plan, you can do just about anything you set your mind to," says Gill.

Only four athletes are known to have competed in more triathlons than he has to date across the U.S. He hopes to reach 400 races by 2017. The Katy Tri kicks off next Sunday at 7 a.m. at Firethorne off FM 1463. Proceeds support Rotary Scholarships for many Katy area students. For more information go to Katytriathlon.com
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