Littlehampton triathlete celebrates 75th birthday with race

Daphne Belt Daphne Belt competes in triathlons around the world as part of the Great Britain Age-Group squad

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A pensioner celebrated her 75th birthday by taking part in her 75th consecutive mini-triathlon in Littlehampton, West Sussex.

Daphne Belt has swam 0.6 miles (1km), cycled 9.3 miles (15 km) and ran 1.9 miles (3 km) every day since 1 June.

Mrs Belt, who competes in triathlons around the world as part of the Great Britain Age-Group squad, only took up the sport when she turned 50.

The final triathlon involved a swim in the sea and a run along the harbour.

'Couch potato'

Over 75 days, Mrs Belt will have swam 47 miles (75 km), cycled 699 miles (1,125 km) and ran 140 miles (225 km).

Daphne Belt The pensioner took up the sport at the age of 50

She said she would normally finish a mini-triathlon in an hour-and-a-half, although the final one took longer as she was joined by her husband Steve and about eight others.

Mrs Belt said she took up the sport after being a "couch potato" for many years who was "on a downward spiral".

"When I became 50, I realised I needed to do something about it," she said.

She said she was "amazed" to have completed the challenge and had posted quicker running times over recent weeks.

In September she will compete as part of the Great Britain squad at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Edmonton, Canada, where she expects to be the oldest member of the team.

The pensioner said she would spend the rest of her birthday having a quiet meal with friends.

"I'm not quite up to going clubbing," she said.

The Littlehampton resident has been fundraising for Sussex children's hospice Chestnut Tree House and has already raised more than £5,500.

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