Local Senior Athlete: Willie Manteris
There’s been a lot of news recently of exceptional seniors achieving amazing physical feats from “World’s Toughest Horse Race Won by 70-Year-Old Idaho Man Named Bob” and “This 71-Year-Old Grandmother Just Smashed a Half-Marathon World Record”. These people are amazing athletes but I also want to highlight that many local individuals are breaking the stereotypes of senior living even if they aren’t breaking world records.
I would like to introduce you to Dr. Willie Manteris, DMD, our local “old man” in my weekly cycling group. Willie is 69 years old and graduated from University of Pittsburgh dental school in 1975. During his years as a practicing dentist, he’s volunteered in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, Vietnam, Bhutan and Cambodia treating patients in need though various charitable groups.
In addition to his local dental practice, volunteer trips, and raising 2 children; Willie started running marathons at 47, triathlon events at 50, and focused on cycling at 65 years of age. His longest ride to date is a 12 hour ride in Spain in 2017 when he got lost. His other longest ride was a 112 mile ride as part of an Ironman event in 2002.
During the summer months, Willie rides his bike 2-4 times a week while going to the gym to work on upper body strength 2-3 times a week. Willie’s weekly mileage on the bike is typically 120-140 miles but I’ve been on single day 100 mile rides with him this summer where he’s easily exceeded his typical weekly mileage.
Willie has been fortunate to not have suffered from a major illness but has come back from multiple broken collarbones and shoulder separations. Willie does suffer from arthritis in both hips and has gone to physical therapy to help manage the pain.
“Just keep moving. Pretty amazing what you can do in later years.”, says Willie. Some good advice.