Dale The 81 Year Old Marathon Runner Takes Up Surfing

(In case you needed any more proof that adventure sports really can be for everyone.)

Published on Tue 02 Apr, 2019

Dale Lyons is no ordinary 81 year old. He has completed 101 marathons, including being one of only 12 people in the ‘Ever Presents’, the group exclusively for those who have run every London Marathon since 1981.

So it was a very special honour when Dale got in touch with us at Ongosa because, no surprises here, he was thinking about having a crack at some surfing. Of course he was. Having been a keen windsurfer for many years, with true Ongosa spirit Dale decided why not take some surf instruction and find out what all the fuss is about. We were only too happy to book surf lessons for Dale for his trip to one of our ever popular spots in France, Biarritz.

Megan from Team Ongosa, who booked Dale's surf lessons, asked how he got on when he got back, and here is what he had to say about his first surf experience...

Megan: So how was your first surf experience?

Dale: Had a great time in Biarritz and managed my first day before the knee gave out. I did quite well by all accounts and really enjoyed the experience to try it again.

M: What made you want to try surfing for the first time aged 81?

D: Why at 81? I like a challenge and having sailed and windsurfed to a reasonable standard and having been a triathlete I thought yes I can cope with sea and waves. Getting the sequence of movement whilst coping with the surf was the difficult bit but the instructors were really helpful and on the spot.

M: And the big question, how did you find surfing and would you do it again?

D: Eventually I did stand upright a few times for a few seconds which was an amazing feeling. Had the knee held up better I would have spent the week on the surf! Yes I'll be giving it another go next time I'm near the surf - probably in Cornwall.    

M: You mentioned being a keen windsurfer, can you tell us more about that?

D: My windsurfing started back in the eighties and became an addiction taking my board whenever I went on holiday strapped to the roof rack. The Lakes was my preference because there are so many opportunities in different conditions - Ullswater, Coniston and Windermere are my favourites although I did take my board to Lanzarote (free) on British Airways! Can you imagine that today?

M: Are there any other adventure sports you take part in, or are looking to take up?

D: Recently I was on a beach in Brittany and caught a group hydrofoil windsurfing and kite surfing and wished I was just a little younger. A year ago I managed a tandem parachute jump as a charity event for the local blind school. Two years ago took some flying lessons and managed to take off and land a Piper!

Dale Lyons taking a surf lesson after booking with Ongosa
Dale Lyons, 81, taking his first surf lesson after booking with Ongosa

So there you have it. Still feel too old to take up a new adventure sport? Ongosa's qualified instructors can help anyone and everyone get out in the snow or surf and find new ways to have fun, just let us know what you are looking for.

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