PLATTSBURGH -- Clinton County Legislator Robert Heins recently completed the Ironman World Championship race in Hawaii.

The 69-year-old finished the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26-mile run in 15:07:41.

"It was slower than what I've done before, but I was just glad to finish," Heins said.

"The final quarter-mile -- when all the cameras and people are there cheering -- was very cool."

Heins qualified for the event this past summer at the Ironman race in Lake Placid.

He finished 15th in the 65-69 age group in the Oct. 11 race in Hawaii.

"The swim was about 40 minutes slower in Hawaii. There were all kinds of fish, turtles and dolphins swimming right next to us.

"I was lucky I didn't get stung by a jelly fish."

Heins, a Plattsburgh dentist, did suffer some misfortune on the bike portion of the race.

"I was killing the bike course, and then a big gust of wind came up and knocked me right off my bike."

Heins had to receive medical attention for scrapes and bruises but continued the race.

At one point, he stopped to aid a fellow competitor who had fallen and suffered an apparent broken hip.

"There wasn't much I could do for her, though."

Heins said he plans to continue to participate in Ironman events next year, when he'll enter the 70-to-74 age category.

jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com

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