Ron Griswold, 61, of Brookings, placed 17th out of almost 300 competitors at the Hagg Lake Triathlon in Forest Grove on Saturday, July 7.
Griswold was in town visiting his 84-year-old father-in-law, Ray Amaral, when he realized the triathlon was to take place and decided to compete.
He dedicated the race to Amaral, who was in the hospital and too ill to attend.
"I felt my father-in-law's presence throughout the race and he gave me the extra energy I needed to complete it," Griswold said.
Griswold completed the half mile swim, 13-mile bike ride and 3.1-mile run in 1 hour, 16 minutes and 20 seconds.
The time placed him first in his division and set a record for the super masters.
Despite having two artificial knees, which makes it difficult for him to run, Griswold's split time in the run was the eighth fastest overall.
After the event, Griswold gave his medal to Amaral, a World War II veteran, for their "combined efforts" during the race.