- Title: A 70-year old biking grandmother conquers Bolivia's 'Death Road.'
- Date: 6th October 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CYCLIST, MIRTHA MUNOZ, SAYING: "At 58 I started jogging until I ran a marathon in Santa Cruz. Two years ago, at 67, I started swimming." VARIOUS OF MUNOZ SWIMMING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CYCLIST, MIRTHA MUNOZ, SAYING: "From Yolosa to the summit we climb 1,200 metres (3,937 feet) above sea level to 4,680 metres (15,354 feet), which is where the summit is. It is a very vertical climb." VARIOUS OF MUNOZ JOGGING VARIOUS OF MUNOZ ON BIKE, LA PAZ IN BACKGROUND (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CYCLIST, MIRTHA MUNOZ, SAYING: "And this time I also said it was my last time. I'm already 70-years-old, I've matured, now it's the last one. But you never know. Because the competition is theatrical, it bewitches you, you like it. There is the enthusiasm that there is with friends, seeing people move, training. One joins that maelstrom. Yolosa the summit is haunted." LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (OCTOBER 04, 2019) (REUTERS) ORNAMENT AT MUNOZ'S HOME MUNOZ AT HOME VARIOUS OF MUNOZ SHOWING OFF MEDALS MUNOZ HUGGING BICYCLE HELMET LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (OCTOBER 03, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CYCLIST, MIRTHA MUNOZ, SAYING: "Words teach but example is the one that moves. My grandchildren are all athletes. I have two grandchildren who have already run marathons. I have a triathlete grandson. Vicente who is 12-years-old is a great swimmer and in the future a triathlete. My daughter Milenca is a tremendous cyclist. I have also dragged my whole family and many friendly people with me, but of course they see me and they will say: 'If she can, why not me.'" LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (OCTOBER 04, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MUNOZ WITH HER FAMILY AT HOME LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (OCTOBER 03, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CYCLIST, MIRTHA MUNOZ, SAYING: "We reached the summit 4,600 metres (15,091 feet). Any respected mountain biker has cycled from Yolosa to the summit. It's hard. I know I'm going to die trying but it is a fight with oneself. You have to have mental strength. The mind finally helps you reach the finish line because you arrive by pedaling about 40-45 kilometres (24-27 miles). The heart and mind help you about 20 but when you reach the goal, you are already crying because one has to arrive." YUNGAS, LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (OCTOBER 05, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SKYRACE, AN EXTREME BIKE RACING COMPETITION
- Embargoed: 20th October 2019 03:30
- Keywords: 70-year old Bolivian Mirtha Munoz Bolivia Skyrace extreme bike racing competition
- Location: LOS YUNGAS AND LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- City: LOS YUNGAS AND LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Living / Lifestyle,Society/Social Issues,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA003AZYKIFB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Bolivia's "Death Road" might seem an odd place for a septuagenarian grandmother on two wheels.
The world's most dangerous road spirals skyward nearly 11,000 feet (3,350 metres), from the country's lowland jungles to the snow-capped peaks of the Andes. Fog, rain, rockslides and sheer cliffs are the main attractions.
But for 70-year-old Bolivian Mirtha Munoz, the oldest ever competitor in Bolivia's 60 km (37-mile) Skyrace, an extreme bike racing competition, it was a natural extension of a passion she picked up years ago.
Munoz took up biking on the advice of her family and a psychologist friend after her son died unexpectedly.
Saturday's race was a pinnacle achievement, no pun intended.
"It's a vertical climb," she told Reuters upon finishing the race.
Munoz, one of the race's founders, says she enjoys more low-key bike-riding with her six grandchildren, though admits she hopes the eldest, now approaching 18, will soon follow in her tracks.
(Production: Santiago Limachi, Monica Machicao)
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