Meridian Star


July 12, 2014

Grandfather, grandson to both compete in first triathlon

MERIDIAN — An avid biker who also enjoys hiking, Wiggins resident Ross Sherman had two of the three skills he needed for a triathlon — he just needed to get back in the water.

Now, at age 75, Sherman will be joining his son, Kelvin Sherman, and two grandsons, Kale Thomas and Christopher Sherman, in the annual Sunfish Triathlon this morning at Bonita Lakes.

“I told Kelvin I hadn’t been in the water in 15 years, but I can do this,” Ross said. “I know I can do this.”

Approximately one year ago, Kelvin approached his father about doing a triathlon, since Ross already biked regularly and also hiked. He’s been in Meridian twice in the last three months riding his bike at Bonita Lakes, and he’s split time between riding, hiking and swimming in order to prepare.

“I don’t do it all on the same day,” Ross aid. “My first time back in the water, I was a little apprehensive, and I got out of breath immediately. But I found out I could finish if I swam on my back and floated a little, because you don’t have to breathe as much.”

For most men age 75, a triathlon might be a tall task. Ross, however, has managed to stay active, even overcoming coronary bypass surgery five years ago.

“I feel pretty fortunate I’m still able to run 5Ks every now and then,” Ross said. “I’ve been active, I’ve just never done a triathlon (before now).”

Ross’ goal is simple: Just finish in under three hours. It’s a goal shared by Thomas, 12, who is also competing in his first triathlon.

“I feel pretty good,” Ross said. “I feel good for the whole family.”

Thomas said his grandfather pitched the idea about doing a triathlon to him when his grandfather first began training. After starting to train two months ago, Thomas decided to fully commit to going with his grandfather. It’s not the first time they’ve done events together — Ross and Thomas have done a few 5Ks together and have also biked and swam together.

“I feel good,” Thomas said. “This beats a lot of people who sit on the couch all day.”

In fact, Thomas said he takes after his grandfather when it comes to being active.

“I like being active,” Thomas said. “It’s good for you, and I was raised on being on bike trips and camping trips with him.”

When he sees his grandfather attempting to do a triathlon, Thomas said it’s his grandfather’s disdain for not being active that motivates him.

“There aren’t a whole lot of people who can still be active at that age,” Thomas said. “To be honest, I think he can’t stand being inside all the time.”

Said Ross, “It’s true.”

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