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An Ironman podium at 50? Meet the super-athletes who have achieved top finishes after turning 46

Age is just a number for these impressive 46+ athletes!

Photo by: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images for Ironman

Last weekend Canada’s Melanie McQuaid became the first 50-year-old to reach an Ironman podium. A three-time Xterra and two-time World Triathlon Cross world champion, McQuaid has enjoyed a spectacular career, but her achievements over the last few years at Ironman races have been truly impressive. She’s reached the podium at least once at an Ironman event for the last three years. In fact, the only year she didn’t make a podium since she turned 46 when she was 47. That was 2020 – a year in which COVID wiped out most racing.

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While McQuaid is the only person to achieve an Ironman podium at 50, American Dede Griesbauer has also proven to the triathlon world that age is just a number. At 50 she won the DeuceMan Long Course race, a half-distance race in Arizona. At 52 she won the Ultraman World Championship in Hawaii, setting a new record along the way.

52-year-old wins women’s Ultraman World Championship and finishes third overall

While McQuaid and Griesbauer have been tearing things up on the women’s side of things, earlier this year the Czech Republic’s Petr Vabrousek added his name to the “impressive at 49” list with a third-place finish at the Israman Triathlon.

The other multiple podium finisher from this prestigious list is six-time Kona champ Natascha Badmann, who rounded out her triathlon career with her final Ironman World Championship appearance in 2016, just shy of her 50th birthday.

Here’s a list compiled by Trirating.com‘s Thorsten Radde of the athletes who have achieved podium finishes at professional events after turning 46:

athlete race rank Age birthday DATE
Dede Griesbauer DeuceMan Long Course 1 50 1970-09-22 2021-06-05
Melanie McQuaid IM Coeur d’Alene 3 50 1973-05-17 2023-06-25
Melanie McQuaid IM Wisconsin 3 49 1973-05-17 2022-09-11
Petr Vabrousek Israman 3 49 1973-09-27 2023-01-27
Dede Griesbauer 70.3 Steelhead 3 48 1970-09-22 2019-06-30
Natascha Badmann IM Malaysia 3 48 1966-12-06 2015-11-14
Natascha Badmann IM Vichy 3 48 1966-12-06 2015-08-30
Melanie McQuaid IM Chattanooga 3 48 1973-05-17 2021-09-26
Andreas Niedrig IM Copenhagen 3 47 1967-10-12 2015-08-23
Dede Griesbauer 70.3 Bariloche 3 47 1970-09-22 2018-03-11
Natascha Badmann IM Switzerland 2 47 1966-12-06 2014-07-27
Cameron Brown 70.3 Shanghai 2 47 1972-06-20 2019-10-20
Dede Griesbauer IM Boulder 3 47 1970-09-22 2018-06-10
Dede Griesbauer 70.3 Eagleman 3 46 1970-09-22 2017-06-11
Melanie McQuaid IM Wisconsin 2 46 1973-05-17 2019-09-08
Eneko Llanos Vi Half 2 46 1976-11-30 2023-06-03
Dede Griesbauer 70.3 Costa Rica 3 46 1970-09-22 2017-06-18