Unstoppable Women 60+: Inspiration for Success and Fitness at Any Age

60+ Women Sizzle: Racing to a Successful Finish Regardless of Age

Last week, we celebrated an inspirational woman who, at 81, realized her lifelong dream of earning a college degree. This week, we celebrate two amazing women who are living proof that “age is nothing but a number.”

Meet Jamie Rivers (age 60) and Melody-Anne Schultz (age 69), two incredible athletes with five victories between them in Marin County California’s historic Dipsea Race.

Now in its 101st year, the Dipsea Race is the oldest cross-country trail race in the U.S. A beautiful yet challenging course, it spans 7.5 miles from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach, and holds a special place in the hearts of many Northern Californians. What makes it even more special is its unique handicapping system, which ensures runners from all walks of life have a shot at victory.

So it was that on Sunday,¬† June 12, Mill Valley nurse Jamie Rivers broke the tape, becoming a two-time Dipsea champion with an impressive finish time of 47:34. A lifelong athlete (she grew up as an avid swimmer in Guam), she is the fourth woman in Dipsea history with multiple wins under her belt. Last year a hamstring injury caused her to finish 622nd – but she certainly didn’t let that keep her down! “This is incredible,” says Rivers, “I wasn’t expecting to win.”

Also running Sunday’s race was three-time winner and Dipsea hall-of-famer Melody-Anne Schultz. This extraordinary grandmother of five has set records in the Boston and London marathons, winning many races by huge margins, and thereby changing perceptions of what older women can accomplish. She began running at age 46 and has set the bar high ever since. Like Rivers, Schultz refuses to allow setbacks to discourage her – for the past several years she has cheerfully competed in the Dipsea against medical advice.

Congratulations to Rivers and Schultz – two unstoppable, inspirational women – and to the top 11 finishers of the 2011 Dipsea Race, ten of whom were 50+!

If you’d like to try your luck next year in this beloved race, keep an eye on the Dipsea website – registration fills up fast!

Dr Walter M. Bortz II, scientific expert on aging and longevity, and author of Dare to Be 100, is an advocate of physical fitness for optimal aging. Click here to visit his inspiring website!

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