If you don't already know Bill Linder, I'd like to introduce him to you. He's a guy that I see at the pool a few times a month maybe and occansionaly at a bike shop. He doesn't race much locally, but he does race a lot and he trains a lot too.
I know from talking to him thoughout the year last season that he raced the Buffalo Springs 70.3, Ironman World Championships in Kona, and Ironman Florida. I know he's run Boston a few times but I'm not sure if he did last year or not. Although I don't know a whole lot about him, I do know that he's one bad a$$ triathlete and if SC had a Triathlon Hall of Fame, he'd be the first inductee. This year Bill will race as a 74 year old; his last year in the 70-74 year old age bracket.
Bill has raced at Kona 5 times that I know of, finishing in 14:26:41 in 2002. He's raced at Ironman Florida at least 8 times and according to our conversation last Wednesday, plans on racing again this year. He seems to have a lot of success at Florida winning his age group there in 2001,2004 and 2005, placing 2nd most other years. In 2005 he also completed the Assualt on Mt. Mitchell. He's a true competitor and athlete. In this article on Ironman.com, Roger Brockenbrough, who's an amazing athlete as well, expected Bill to be the one to beat in the 70-74 age bracket at the Ironman World Championships in 2005.
But Bill is not all about 70.3s and 140.6s, he also happens to hold the 5K SC State Record in the Male 70-74 age group with an astonishing 21:27 at the age of 70 at the Get to the Green 5k on St. Patty's day here in Columbia. That's a sub 7 minute mile pace for a 70 year old!!!!!
Bill is in inspiration to me and real treasure of our state. I hope I keep crossing training-paths with him for a long time to come. This year we'll will both be attempting 140.6 on Nov 1 at different races; Bill for the umpteenth time, me for the first time. Who knows, maybe one day we'll represent SC at Kona together.