At Age 90, Atlanta Resident Completes Sprint Triathlon, Heads to National Senior Games

John C. Taylor Started Running at Age 60 And Stays Active Jogging, Swimming, and Biking

For someone who didn’t start running until the age of 60, John C. Taylor has quite a collection of gold medals. Plus, he may be the only 90-year-old ever to have completed a sprint triathlon. 

After finishing a triathlon in Florida exactly two months after knee replacement surgery at Resurgens Orthopaedics—Georgia’s largest orthopaedics practice—he confessed with a chuckle, “I walked, I didn’t jog,” the 5K portion of the course. 

A sprint triathlon involves swimming 600 meters, biking 13.8 miles, and completing a 5K run. “I was on my bike about two weeks after surgery, but I didn’t jog for a month and a half.” 

Dr. Mark Hanna, who practices at the Resurgens St. Joseph’s office, performed a total knee replacement on Taylor’s left knee. 

“At Resurgens, they recognize that old people who have done athletics are different,” Taylor said. “I like them because they don’t tell you not to exercise.” 

On April 30, Taylor finished a triathlon at John C. Tanner State Park in Carrolton, his first since turning 90. 

Although it may be 2012 before records confirm he’s officially the only man in his 90s to complete a USATriathlon Association sanctioned sprint triathlon, Taylor isn’t sitting around waiting. He’s too busy training for the National Senior Games in Houston, Texas, in June. 

Taylor finished a triathlon in Florida exactly two months after knee replacement surgery at Resurgens Orthopaedics.

At the Senior Games, Taylor plans to compete in the 5K, 10K, 20K, and 40K cycle races, as well as the triathlon in the 90-94 age group. 

In the 2009 Senior Olympics in Palo Alto, California, Taylor came home with a gold in the triathlon, plus a silver and three bronze medals in bicycling. 

Taylor started running in 1981 when a young man in his church challenged him to do a 10K. 

“I came in third of three people in my age category, but the competition bug bit me,” he said. “I never was real fast, but my motto is keep on keeping on.” 

Last year, Taylor flew to New York for a guest appearance on the nationally syndicated Dr. Oz Show. He has been featured in numerous news stories in Southern Illinois, where he taught journalism at Shawnee College and Southern Illinois University, worked as associate editor of the Illinois Baptist weekly newspaper, and served as pastor of several churches. After retiring from the university and the ministry, he completed a PhD in health education at the age of 75. 

He moved to Atlanta in 1993 to be near his family, and Taylor and his wife, Sally, live in Brookhaven. 

Dr. Hanna’s area of expertise is hip and knee replacement. He completed his medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York and his residency at Emory University in Atlanta. He completed a fellowship in Total Joint Replacement and Biologic Reconstruction at Harvard University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Hanna is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.