Wednesday, September 17, 2014
TAKING THREE GENERATIONS TO THE TOP - AGE IS NO BOUNDARY WHEN CONQUERING KILI
A 76 year old grandfather reached the summit of Kilimanjaro with his son and young grand-daughter, 57 years his junior. He revealed the secret of his success to Tanzania's leading businesswoman Zainab A. Ansell, who thought she'd seen it all.
When you're in the business of hosting thousands of travellers as they set off for the summit of one of the world's most famous mountains, you'd think you'd seen it all. Yet for Zainab A. Ansell, there's always something new and inspiring on the horizon.
On 6th September, Zainab, Tanzania's Businesswoman of the Year 2012, met a former North East UK Businessman of the Year, Bent Henriksen OBE (Hon.), as he began his first ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro.
The famous dormant volcano is Danish-born Bent's fifth peak in five years. He has already tackled Everest Base Camp, Mont Blanc, Mount Elbrus and Monte Rosa. An impressive achievement in its own right. It becomes even more impressive when you consider that he's 76 years old. At a time when many of us may be winding down after a lifetime of activity, Bent shows no signs of stopping.
Ever the leader, Bent has taken a week off work to bring his sons and grand-daughters on this adventure. This three generation expedition is the first of its kind that Zainab has witnessed as owner of Zara tours.
When he's not climbing mountains, Bent is Managing Director of Pharma Nord in the UK. A role he has had for over 25 years. The Danish company is known worldwide for its preventative nutritional supplements and commitment to research . And it appears that Bent is a good advert for the products he sells.
When they met at the Springlands hotel, Bent and Zainab discussed their mutual passion for working hard and keeping busy. Bent believes that he can generate more energy and stay active thanks to the coenzyme Q10 Pharma Nord make.
Q10 is a vitamin-like nutrient that's responsible for turning the food we eat into the energy used by over 100 trillion body cells. It's especially important for the normal function of muscle cells, including the heart.
Our internal production of Q10 drops drastically with age and exercise, so Bent is a firm believer that it should be 'topped-up' if we want to stay healthy for longer.
When you see the toll that altitude can take on even the toughest adventurers, it's evident that increasing your body's natural resources really can help. The fact that Bent reached the peak of Kili, where other more athletic types failed, is testament to this.
"Pharma Nord have spent years perfecting the way their Q10 is absorbed into the body. This is really important if you want to feel the effect," Bent explains.
"We wanted to summit the mountain in good time to raise Q10's profile as a natural body fuel. My whole family, even my grand-daughter Celine (19) and son Rasmus (38) used it on this trip to ensure we could cope with the demanding ascent."
But as an experienced traveller, Bent knows that it takes more than just good nutrition to make it. He made sure that he used Zara Tours to plan and host his trip and he put his trust in Zainab's reputation for smooth and efficient service.
He also travels with Noel Hanna. The World Record holder and endurance athlete from Northern Ireland is internationally renowned for his skills and attention to detail. Noel now lives in Johannesburg and makes regular trips to Tanzania and is a valued customer of Zara Tours.
Noel discovered Pharma Nord's Bio-Quinone Q10 when he was looking for a natural way to boost his energy while tackling his World Record. He successfully summited the highest peak on seven separate continents, returning back to sea level at top speed under his own steam.
Noel believes that his attention to good nutrition gives him the edge, and his passion for Pharma Nord is such that he completed an Ice Bucket Challenge at the peak of Kilimanjaro in freezing conditions at Mr Henriksen's request. This brave act was not just to promote the brand, but also to raise funds for the Newman Trust, which helps young people go on expeditions.
After reaching the top, Bent took his family to the Springlands hotel for some brief relaxation, before jetting back to the UK and into the office.
"I found Kilimanjaro very inspiring and it was so special to be there with my grand-daughter as she turned 19. I think it's important for her to learn that the harder you work, the greater the reward. I do everything I can to keep myself healthy enough to face new challenges."
"I was happy to meet Zainab and see how she too is committed to a running a good business and recognising new opportunities to stay on top," Bent enthused.
For those yet to experience the peak of the world's highest freestanding mountain, Bent Henriksen is proof that it's never too late, as long as you stay healthy and choose an experienced team to handle your expedition.