Posted by: Heart of America News | August 11, 2014

Ron Is Back!

By Ron Adkins

Heart of America Triathlon News


Nothing keeps Ron Ottaway down. Nothing.

Not even cancer.

2014-08-03 09.22.59Ron was diagnosed with lymphoma early in 2013 and underwent the full battery of chemotherapy. The effects of the treatment left him weak and tired.

But that didn’t keep him down. He still found the energy to run the last leg of the 2013 Camp Courageous Tri Sprint, approaching the finish line to the cheers and applause of everyone there.

Ron finished final last round of chemo last November and now, as August begins, he is proud to announce that he is in remission. “I thank God for that,” he says. “I still have to get scanned every four months,” he adds, “but everything looked good at the last one.” Ron laughs about how, at a recent haircut (he’s also quite pleased that his hair is growing back), the barber told him he still had some of the chemo drugs in his system. “I’m not sure how she knew that, but she did,” he chuckled.

“I’m still recovering,” the 77-year-old Ron admits. “I take a lot of naps now. I’m still trying to get back into shape. But I’m glad to be getting back in the groove.”

2013-08-04 10.49.37Ron is the undisputed anchor and spiritual heart of the Midwest Extreme Triathlon Club. They are like his second family. Throughout his diagnosis and recovery, they rallied around him and gave him unconditional love and support.

Teammate Brita Loynachan understands the power of the positive energy Ron received from the Midwest Extreme family. Herself a cancer survivor, she credits her team with a major role in her recovery. “The support from the team definitely kept me positive and still keeps me motivated.”

Ron’s return to triathlons was marked by his completion of the recent 2014 Camp Courageous Tri Sprint. He posted a respectable 1:44:56.

The day was even more special since it was part of Ron’s and his wife Lawanna’s 57th wedding anniversary. They began the celebration the night before by going out for dinner.

“They didn’t have the kind of brandy I like,” Ron says with a smile, “so I had to settle for single malt scotch.”

Although Ron calls his finish in the Camp Courageous Tri “slow,” he was glad to be out competing again. “Last year was such a bad year. It feels so good just to be able to work out again,” he says. “I’ve always been an athlete. It feels so good to be moving again.”

Ron’s official return to athletics actually began last spring. He spent the better part of April and May biking across the United States in 27 days. He and his friends covered 3000 miles over nine states. He averaged 120 miles a day. At age 77. While still recovering from cancer. If that doesn’t convince you of Ron’s strength of spirit, nothing will.

Ron is a 17-time veteran of the Hawaiian Ironman. He won his age group in 2007, at age 70. “I’d like to do it again,” he says.

No one doubts he will.

Welcome back, Ron!


  1. Ron is keeping up his training . I think it helps his keeping healthy all the time. I think it even helped him get rid of that cancer, he never gave up at all and keep going .he just had his catscan and he is still cancer free. Of course his faith had a lot to help him .

  2. Of course when we need help we will call upon Laure and Cecil

  3. Ron, you are an inspiration to all of us. Faith and determination is what you have. Hugs.

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