Is there an age limit for adventure sports? If there is, no one told Gene Hodsdon. Aged 90, the pensioner from Linlithgow has just celebrated her birthday in style, by rafting the rapids of the River Tay.
While her contemporaries in the Bield Nursing Home settled down for a quiet afternoon next to the fire, Gene was risking all through the icy waters and raising money for charity too.
Adventure sports activities are commonly bound up with youth, freedom, and envelope-pushing. Now, while it’s true we generally become more cautious with age, we should be careful not to write off our octogenarians too soon.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes, long-term vertigo sufferer, topped Everest aged 65. Are most 65-year-olds not starting their gardening leave, pottering around in sheds or shuffling into charity shops? Actually, they are probably online booking an adventure sports holiday to some far-flung paradise while people a quarter of their age are stuck working.
Hold on, society has then clearly got this wrong. Eddie Izzard, yes Eddie Izzard has just completed 43 consecutive marathons: What! He’s 49 and had never run before.
It must be down to stamina then. Look at the holy grail of endurance adventure sport: the Marathon de Sables – a six-day (243 km) marathon across the Sahara Desert. Surely this is beyond the hardiest of pensioners?
Well not if you are Noriko Iida, age 73, from Japan, who decided she should give it another bash, having enjoyed her two previous desert forays. I can just picture it now: the three-man team from the S.A.S taking a breather while Norika jogs by, iPod on.
Even though it may not be common to see older sports people ripping it up on the half-pipe, or pulling off cloud-busting aerials in the Winter X Games, watch out. In fact, just check over your shoulder; you might just spot them on the slopes enjoying a skiing holiday!
Is there an age limit for adventure sports? No there is not! Just get out an enjoy yourself all the time you can!!
Not sure what exciting trip to take? Check out our adventure holidays for inspiration!