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Grandmother, 84, becomes oldest woman to ride zip wire at Leeds Castle, Maidstone

An inspirational grandmother has become the oldest woman ever to ride a zip wire at Go Ape, having completed the challenge in Maidstone.

Eileen Noble, 84, conquered her latest challenge at Leeds Castle - 42 feet above ground - having held a similar record for running the London Marathon earlier this year.

Along with her three grandchildren - aged 14, 10 and six - Eileen pit her wits, nerves and agility against the Treetop Challenge, navigating the 400m course of five zips strung 13 metres above a forest valley, two tarzan swings and a sleuth of wobbly crossings.

A keen runner, she has completed 19 marathons since 1989, including in the capital this year when she crossed the line in six hours and 28 minutes.

Eileen, from Bexleyheath, said: "I’d never done anything else like this in my life before, so I was definitely out of my comfort zone.

"Doing Go Ape was harder than doing the marathon in some ways – at least with the marathon you’ve only got to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other.

"I’m not great with heights, so this was a whole new challenge, but I’m so glad I did it. The zips were a lot of fun.

Eileen Noble, 84, the oldest women on record to do Go Ape. Picture: Matt Walker
Eileen Noble, 84, the oldest women on record to do Go Ape. Picture: Matt Walker

“I don’t feel my age somehow. I don’t associate myself with people my age and I like to keep up with younger people, always out and about doing things.

"My advice to younger people would just be to not let yourself become old.

"I don't associate myself with people my age and I like to keep up with younger people, always out and about doing things" - Eileen Noble

"Just keep doing the same things you did when you were younger and you’ll stay young.”

Jo O'Boyle of Go Ape added: “Eileen is a true inspiration and an amazing advert for life, showing that age is just a number.

"She embodies everything we stand for at Go Ape, and we feel lucky to have had her and her family here this weekend.

"She left a real lasting impression on all of the team - we can all learn a thing or two from Eileen.”

The oldest man to complete the adrenaline-pumping activity was Jack Reynolds from Derbyshire, who celebrated his 106th birthday by taking on a Go Ape zip wire live on TV in 2016.

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

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