CLEVELAND -- More than 11,000 athletes -- a larger number than those in the Olympics -- are expected to descend upon Cleveland for the 2013 National Senior Games.
WKYC's Joe Cronauer has the story of two athletes ready to compete.
The first is 65-year-old Jeannie Rice, who has run 89 marathons all over the world. Rice, who will be running in the Senior Games, plans to complete her 100th marathon at some point next year.
GUIDE | 2013 National Senior Games in Cleveland
Then there's 67-year-old Bill Cloninger who is competing as a bicyclist.
"There's a sensation of speed," he says. "Yes, I breather hard if I'm working hard, but at the same time, I'm flying. It's just a lot of fun."
Cloninger is looking forward to his time in the Senior Games.
"The best athletes in their mature years in the country, these people, most of them, have been competing their whole lives. I mean, they're the real deal. I'm an interloper. I've been competing now for two years."
Three years ago, Cloninger couldn't walk a mile without getting winded.
"At that point, I was a rather fat man," he says. "I weighed 245 pounds."
A turning point came in 2010 when co-workers asked him to take part in the Cleveland triathlon -- he would be the bike leg.
"It caused me to get the bike out, get it going and riding again."
Cloninger hasn't stopped since. He upped his training and pounds started to fall. Throughout a three-year span, he lost a total of 100 pounds.
"One thing you have to understand about weighing 100 pounds more, that weight is a burden," he says.
By shedding the heft and hindrance, he gained a renewed outlook on life.
"It's a great adventure. Every day is new, bright and shiny. It's absolutely wonderful."