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Unni Brinchman faced her fear of heights on Saturday: She jumped 12,000 feet out of a small plane.

After the plunge, one thing still scared Brinchman."I'm afraid to tell my mother, who is 85. She might want to try it, too," said Brinchman, 58.

Hundreds of older women tested their limits and strove to break stereotypes during the three-day Grandmothers Festival that ends Sunday in Bodo, a small town 50 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Women jumped out of airplanes and raced cars or horses at Grandma's Field, so named because in the 1800s it was given to a minister's widow so she could raise food.

"Having a festival like this stimulates women to continue to have interesting, exciting lives. They are at a stage when they can take risks," said Anna Kerr, a 61-year-old grandmother of three from Toronto.

She said women are told to play nicely as little girls, are cautious as young women because of their children, and in middle age because of their own or their husband's career.

"Now they can see the end of the tunnel," she said. "They can either slow down or they can speed up in the time they have left."

Bodo was looking for an event to hold on Grandma's Field, a sports area near town.

Vigdis Waernes, the 46-year-old grandmother in charge of the festival, said they hit upon a gathering in which grandmothers could let their hair down, share experiences and try new things.

The local government helped cover the $154,000 cost of the event.