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85-year-old uses Montreal World Championships to raise money for charity

Charlie Barnes looking to top the podium and raise money in Montreal this June

Guelph, Ont.’s Charlie Barnes will be representing Canada again this year at the World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships Montreal, looking to move up a couple of spots on the podium from the bronze-medal position he earned at the world championships in 2017 in the 80 to 84 division. This year Barnes “ages up” to the 85 to 89 category.

Barnes, 85, has been steadily moving up in the standings at the worlds – in 2011 he took fifth in 70 to 74, in 2013 he was fourth in 75 to 79, then took the bronze medal in 2017.

Barnes was inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. He ran for McGill university in the late 1950s and started doing triathlons in 1999. After his son-in-law passed away at 40 due to hypoglycaemia (he had type 1 diabetes), and his grandson was diagnosed with the same disease in 2003, Barnes decided to run the 2003 Toronto Marathon to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JRDF). Over the next 15 years he raised over $100,000 for the foundation.

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

Barnes is a founding member of the Guelph Triathlon Club and is also part of the Tour de Guelph Committee and a Tour de Guelph Hall of Fame member. Through the Tour de Guelph he’s raised over $22,500. This year, since the Tour is the same weekend as the world championships in Montreal, he’s using that race to “replace” his Tour de Guelph ride. His fundraising efforts will support “the Guelph General Hospital and other local and national Rotary charities such as Food for Kids, Clean Water for Indigenous People, Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ukraine Relief Fund,” his fundraising page states,

“My goal is to be the top fundraiser for the fourth consecutive year, but also to exceed the all time, overall rider fundraising total of $47,000,” he continues.

You can find out more about Barnes’ charity efforts and donate here.