Her mother, Patricia Johnson, said, “At first I was concerned when she started to do marathons in her late 50s, then somewhat alarmed when she moved on to Ironman triathlons and 100-mile endurance runs. However, I have come to accept that, with proper training and motivation, age is not as important as setting goals and doing whatever needs to be done to achieve them. She has shown me that you don’t have to be young to be a true athlete.”
She’s competed in Sprint, Olympic, half and full triathlons. Her first Ironman was in 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky, finishing in 13 hours and 20 minutes. She left last week to compete in the Ironman World Championship in Kona for the third time. Her goal is 13 hours for the much longer full distance. To train, she runs 35 miles per week, bikes 150 miles a week and swims 4 miles a week.
In her Ironman women’s division/age group, she’s finished second in Chicago, third in Montreal and fifth in Australia. She’s also finished a full 100-mile run in Texas.
“At my age, I don’t have a lot of role models for what I do, so I like to think of myself as a role model,” said Kohstall. “I hope that I can inspire other people to live active and healthy lives. It doesn’t have to be running or triathlons, just find something you like to do, and do it.”
So what’s on the bucket list for this grandmother of six? Finish the HURT 100, a grueling, 100-mile trail race in Hawaii; do a marathon in every state/she’s done 22 so far; and compete at an Ironman in Europe.