Ben Powell at the finish line of the Woodson YMCA Triathlon in 2016. (Photo: Carrie Hutton/Woodson YMCA)

Anyone can celebrate growing a year older by inviting friends and family over for birthday cake.

Ben Powell is celebrating his 80th year by racing in the Woodson YMCA Triathlon with ten members of his family, including his brother Glenn who’s coming from Australia to do it.

By the way, Glenn is also 80.

Ben said there are several relay teams and his grandsons are competing in the elite wave. Ben will once again run the Short Course. He’s been swimming laps in the lake up north, biking and running about 80 miles a week to prepare for race day on August 5th.

“I don’t have nerves,” Ben said. “I’m familiar with the distance and I know I can do it.”

There will be about 50 of Ben’s relatives gathered at Sunny Vale Park to support him. Ben has entered the triathlon for many years so he knows it offers a hilly bike ride and he’s warned the relatives who are competing in the race. Ben tends to place in the top 3 for his over 65 Men’s Division in the Short Course.

Yet, Ben said, it’s not about the timing.

The goal is to finish together, as a family. They will be wearing matching “Team Powell” shirts and after the triathlon, they’ll celebrate their shared accomplishment and belated birthday parties for Ben and Glenn.

Ben is humble about his athletic ability at age 80 and said, he wishes that it wasn’t out of the norm for older adults to compete in challenges like the Woodson YMCA.

(Photo credit: Carrie Hutton/Woodson YMCA)