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Diane on an afternoon run in the rain in Snow Canyon State Park

Featured Article

Championing Health at Every Age

Diane Tracy is IRONMAN royalty

Diane Tracy is a champion of active aging—a world champion, to be exact. At the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship held in St. George, she bested every competitor in the category of female triathletes, ages 70 to 74. Posting a time of 6 hours, 51 minutes, 45 seconds, Tracy completed the grueling contest nearly 50 minutes ahead of the second-place age group finisher.

At a time of life when many of her contemporaries consider a stroll around the block with the family dog a challenge, Tracy is by no means ready to slow down. When interviewed for this story, she had just finished the first of several hours she logs on her bike trainer daily, preparing for the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside. Between intermittent huffs and puffs, Tracy shared the details of a life devoted to fitness and a refusal to let age dictate limitations.

Ever since she can remember, Tracy has been on the run—literally. From track and field in middle school, to field hockey and softball as a Brigham Young University undergrad, Tracy’s school years were driven by her many athletic pursuits. While earning a doctorate in Exercise Science from the University of Oregon, her workouts often brought her into contact with the likes of running icons, Mary Decker Slaney and Alberto Salazar. Following her move to southern Utah, she ran the St. George Marathon 22 consecutive times. She then qualified for the 100th anniversary edition of the Boston Marathon in 1996, an experience she deems “absolutely wonderful”—despite frigid temperatures and logistical nightmares—and one she has repeated several times since.

When she turned 60, with the encouragement of local running legend, the late Debbie Zockoll, Tracy found her true passion. In 2012, she signed up for her first IRONMAN competition. She has since completed 19 full-distance contests—including the legendarily arduous Kona competition—and 17 of the 70.3 distance, a feat she still finds somewhat surprising.

“If you had told me that I’d be an IRONMAN World Champion one day, I’d have looked at you very strangely,” she laughs. “When people ask me how I do what I do at this age, I tell them, ‘just take one step at a time.’ Also, take care of yourself, and most importantly, make sure to get your annual health screenings!”

  • Diane on an afternoon run in the rain in Snow Canyon State Park
  • Going for the gold
  • Running the trails in Snow Canyon
  • Diane Tracy's passion for running inspires all generations
  • Training is essential to achieve IRONMAN status