Age is certainly no barrier for three not-so-' />

Mark Twain once said: "Age is an issue of mind over matter - if you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

Age is certainly no barrier for three not-so-young athletes who competed as a team in yesterday's Port of Tauranga Half Ironman at Mt Maunganui.

The trio, appropriately named the Old Farts, have a combined age of 230, which organisers believe is a world record for a half ironman event. The race is held over a 2km swim, 90km bike and 21km run.

Sid Salek is the elder statesmen of the side at 80 and has competed as the team's swimmer in the gruelling event since 2005. He was joined yesterday by 76-year-old cyclist Don Robinson and runner Graham Stewart who, Salek said, "is the youngster in the side at only 74".

Their aim was to do the best they could and not finish last in the team's event.

"It's great fun," Salek said. "There's nothing special about what we are doing. But many people have said to us, 'if these old buggers can do it, I can do it, too', and that makes it for me."

Salek has no plans to slow down. He's the second-oldest active surf lifesaver in the country (the oldest is 82), will compete at the masters surf nationals in March and recently returned from the world masters swimming games in Sweden with a silver and three bronze medals. He's ranked in the world's top 10 in swimming for his age, holds "about 17 or 18" national swim records and also flies gliders. In yesterday's race, the Old Farts came 148th out of 174 teams with a time of 6h 9m 8s.

TVNZ newsreader Peter Williams came 441st out of 551 men in 6h 36m 55s.