On March 7th, the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame announced their 2019 inductees, and one of them was Charlie Barnes, 82. A former varsity runner for McGill University in the late 1950s, Barnes started triathlons in 1999 and has since become a regular in the triathlon community.

In 2003, Barnes’ son-in-law tragically passed away at the age of 40 due to hypoglycemia (had type 1 diabetes). Three weeks later, his seven-year-old grandson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. With his son-in-law’s death and grandson’s diagnosis, Barnes decided to run the 2003 Toronto Marathon and raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Between 2003 and 2017, he raised over $100,000 for JDRF.

Charlie Barnes at the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Championships in Rotterdam.

Since 2003, Barnes has raced triathlons and other endurance events to raise money for JDRF. Barnes has competed at three World Triathlon Age Group Championships. In 2011, he placed fifth in the M70-74 division. Then in 2013, Barnes placed fourth in the M75-79 age group. And in 2017, he won bronze in the M80-84 category. His next goal is to win gold in 2022 – he will be 85 years young.

Along with his athletic achievements, Barnes is heavily involved in the community. He was a founding member and coach of the Guelph Triathlon Club and helped with TriKids races in Fergus and Elora.

The induction ceremony will take place on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.

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