Boyd Clampitt has finished multiple marathons, hiked the entire Appalachian trail and literally ‘topped’ off his adventures by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro at the age of 75.
At an impressive 19,336 feet, Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest peak on the African continent and is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.
“It took 8 days to get up, we camped at different points to climatize with the altitude, but it took just one and half days to come down. Other than my knees hurting I was just thinking ‘I made it!’.”
The true accomplishment however, didn’t sink in right away.
“As the years passed I found out there are a number of people who don’t make it, some even die on the way up. There is about a 20-percent success rate.”
Clampitt was late to getting his start on this active lifestyle. He was 61 when he ran his first marathon. Now, he works out at least five days a week.
“You hear 50 is the new 30, so I just turned that around, 80 is the new 50, that’s what I’m shooting for! I think the hardest part of getting fit is getting out the front door, getting off the couch and out the door in your workout clothes.”
Clampitt is hoping to recover from recent surgery in time to train for the M-22 Challenge bike race in June. He has a goal to surpass his time last year in the race. In 2011 he had hoped to just make it to the finish line, but instead finished ahead of 110 of his competitors. He is proud of the inaugural race especially since he was 17 years older the closest competitor.
While Clampitt was the oldest in his group to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, he hasn’t set a record … yet. That’s right; he wants to make the trek again in five years at the age of 83 to secure his place in the record books!
While Clampitt hopes to inspire other seniors with his positive outlook on exercise, his family has another opinion.
“My kids think I’m nuts, and they are probably right,” laughs Clampitt.