Helen Geoffrion is a 70 year old triathlete who lives in Santa Monica, California, and who attended a private girl’s school in Columbus, Ohio where she played EVERY sport they offered including tennis, soccer, softball, field hockey, basketball, swimming, and badminton. Helen was recognized as Best Athlete in her high school graduating class, and in 2000 was elected to the Columbus School for Girl’s Athletic Hall of Fame for not only being a great athlete while in school, but also because she was one of the first female triathletes in the United States in the 45 year old age group in the mid 1980’s.
Helen has been selected for the USA World Triathlon Team that went to the World Triathlon Championships several times, traveling to Germany, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and places in the USA, as part of the team. She is often ranked in the top ten for 14 of the 17 events in USA Masters Swimming.
Helen got started doing triathlons because she loves swimming and in the mid 1980’s saw people training for and doing triathlons, and thought it looked like fun. Helen completed an Olympic length triathlon in her first outing, and enjoyed it despite it being very difficult for her. When Helen called her daughter to tell her that she had done her first triathlon, she was surprised to hear that her daughter had done her first triathlon the same weekend!
Helen got the bug, and has competed at national and world championship levels in swimming and triathlons ever since. Helen told me that while working with her coach, Gale Bernhardt, she dropped her training from over 20 hours per week, to about 10 hours per week, and has seen great results. Helen is thrilled by the fact that there are over 40,000 master’s swimmers and 100,000 master’s triathletes, and is currently training for the World Triathlon Championships in Queensland, Australia to be held in September, where she hopes to finish strong and have fun.
I continue to interview really interesting people. This week I will interview a 50+ tap dancer. I’m including dancing in my list of activities because many people have asked me whether or not dancers are athletes. I think that if they have a passion, goals, train, and love it, then they fit my definition of athlete. You will be able to read the profile and interview, and judge for yourself.
I also have recently been speaking with a couple that do Kenpo, a gentleman who has done over 125 marathons, and a Special Olympian. Stay tuned as I think they will yield some fantastic interviews.