Weekend Warrior: Nancy Willingham ~ triathlete

AGE: 65

BIRTHPLACE: Georgia

OCCUPATION: Retired Web Developer; New Balance part-time sales associate for fun!

SPORT: Sprint Triathlon

FAMILY: Brand new great niece, Maris; Tucker (dog) and Sissy (cat)

FIT CLUB: Memphis Runners Track Club, Victory Big Dam Bridge 50 Milers Group. I love all the guys working at Victory Bicycle who help me train and improve my performance.

WW BRAGGING RIGHTS: Annie Oakley Super Sprint Triathlon, won my age division and placed 76 out of 117 overall.

MOST MEMORABLE WW EVENT: Training and completing the San Diego Marathon when I was 50. It was the most memorable and excruciating event ever. I burned out and stopped running for 15 years.

I RUNNING & TRIs: I started running for Memphis State track team around 1970 and as I recall was the first female miler. Back then women’s maximum distance was a mile. I’ve run all of my life, about 33 years, until age 50 when I completed the San Diego marathon. After that I quit most sports. On last year’s 65th birthday, I got the bug to train for triathlons to see if I could do it.

FITNESS MOTIVATION: Trying to reverse the aging process for a better quality life

PRE-RACE RITUALS: Always asthma inhaler with a “you can do it” mantra.

NEXT WW CHALLENGE: Victory Big Dam 50 miler

“My fitness motivation is trying to reverse the aging process for a better quality life.”

WW GEAR: Hoka, Garmin, Merckx, New Balance

BUCKET LIST: Olympic distance sprint triathlon

BEST EATS: Union Ave Outback for tilapia and great service. Always eat at the bar with Ian.

IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ANYONE FAMOUS, WHO WOULD IT BE? Frida Kahlo because she painted her soul and was a pioneer for female artists.

IF YOU COULD COME BACK AS AN ANIMAL, WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE? Cat because they get nine lives.

ON MY NIGHTSTAND: “The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga” and “Older, Faster, Stronger”

BINGEWATCH: CNN and MSNBC

VICE: Vodka on the rocks

MANTRA: Work hard, play hard, love hard, live well

Interview by Hailey Thomas. Photo by Philip Murphy.

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