Welcome to the next installment of Meet Your 'Mates - your lane mates, that is. In the last installment, we met long distance open water racer, Mark Spratt. This time, we turn our attention to the triathlon world as we meet Perry Heath.
Often found training at the IUPUI Natatorium, this 66 year-old triathlete didn't take the "normal" route into swimming. After working for 37 years at Eli Lilly as a Process R&D Chemist, Perry found his way to the pool when he was 50. "I wasn't athletic earlier in my life," says Perry. "At the age of 50, I joined the swim team and have been swimming now for 16 years." Then, 6 years ago, a friend asked Perry to be the swimmer for a team triathlon at Eagle Creek. "After that experience," Perry grinned, "I was hooked!" He immediately bought a bike and began seriously training - both in and out of the pool. He's been competing in triathlons ever since. Not surprisingly, his favorite stroke is freestyle and he loves open water swimming.
Perry's favorite swimming moments include swimming at the Ironman World Championship and the Ironman 70.3 World Championship. The best coaching advice he's ever received? "Trust the coaches. We will teach you everything you need to know to become a better swimmer." Not sure that advice came directly from Mel, but it certainly sounds like it. And, it's advice Perry has certainly taken to heart.
Away from his training, Perry enjoys eating out, watching football and basketball games, and enjoying Star Trek reruns. What is the one thing Perry would like to pass on? "You are never too old to learn something new." Never too old, indeed!
Be sure to introduce yourself the next time you see Perry and Meet your 'Mate! You'll be glad you did!
By Karen Gernert
Indy Aquatic Masters
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