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Tough Girl Podcast

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU! I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges. Please check out the Tough Girl Challenges website - www.toughgirlchallenges.com and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
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Nov 26, 2020
Katie Visco, who has been called a "bubbly and offbeat running, biking, soup-making, people-loving, community-building exclamation mark," started running when she was in middle school, duped into the sport thinking it was some kind of soccer conditioning camp. Oops. She quickly fell in love with running, and then...
 
In 2009, promoting the importance of a bold and passion-driven life, Katie ran solo across America, from Boston to San Diego, and became the 2nd youngest and 13th woman overall to make the crossing. During, and the year after her transAmerican crossing, she raised funds for the charity, Girls on the Run, and also stopped to visit more than two hundred audiences en route to spread her message to young and old alike. Running has been a versatile cornerstone of her wellbeing for years, and she especially loves the trails!
 
Besides trail running, biking, creating delicious food, and traveling, Katie loves her husband and family very much and enjoys getting to hear the stories of others. She's been writing since she was six and hopes to publish a book one day. She's stoked to share her journeys with you in hopes that you will glean something special from them for your own growth and joy. 
 
New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Katie in her own words
  • What she loves in life
  • Growing up in Chicago, USA
  • Being empowered as a young girl
  • Having creative and wild ideas
  • Being supported in her dreams 
  • Deciding to run across America at 23 years old
  • Loving running
  • Wanting to empower young people to follow their passions
  • Figuring out the why and understanding the motivation behind the challenge
  • Figuring out the funding and the logistics
  • The power of breaking down challenges
  • Why it’s ok to ask for support
  • Training the body for big endurance challenges
  • Dealing with stress in life
  • Lessons learned from running across America in 2009
  • Respecting everyone’s story
  • What happened between 2009 and 2019
  • Wanting to put some roots down and starting a company
  • Wanting to run across Australia since 2013
  • Dealing with injury setbacks and having to postpone the Australia run 2x
  • Figuring out the training for for a big ultra run
  • Figuring out the money and taking time off 
  • Being part of a team with her husband
  • Getting to the start line in Australia!
  • Why failure is just feedback
  • The biggest challenge of running across Australia 
  • The mental side of the challenge
  • Giving herself grace on the challenge
  • Mental tips and tricks
  • “Tedious but brief”
  • What a typical day was like
  • Reflecting back on the journey 
  • Adventure blues
  • No more ambitions to run across a country but wanting to do a big cycle around the world
  • Doing a different type of adventure
  • Final words of advice 
 
Social Media
 
Website - www.katievisco.com
 
Instagram - @katievisco
 
Nov 24, 2020
Amazin LêThi was born in Saigon where she was left in an orphanage by her mother. Amazin was then adopted by a white Australian family and became a trans racial adoptee and grew up in Australia. As a young adult, she was homeless for a period of time and it was at this lowest point, contemplating suicide, Amazin realized her passion and love for sport could help her survive. 
 
Amazin got into weightlifting as a young age and through this, she gaining physical and mental strength, which in turn helped her with her confidence. Amazin shares more from her personal journey of homelessness and having to fight against all the odds to overcome enormous barriers to become a leading global rainbow (LGBTQ) sports activist and thought leader. 
 
Amazin is a former competitive natural bodybuilder, TV/Film star, entertainment executive and the first Vietnamese internationally published health and fitness author. Currently focusing on the sport of shooting with her goal of reaching the Olympics in this sport. 
 
Amazin is the first Asian ambassador for Athlete Ally, a nonprofit dedicated to champion LGBTQI+ equality, and Stonewall U.K., Europe’s largest LGBTQ charity. Her own Amazin LeThi Foundation uses sports to develop leadership skills for “rainbow youth” and advocates for LGBTQ allyship in the athletic community.
 
Amazin in her own words:
 
Sport has always been part of my life but I never saw myself in sports, let alone as an LGBTQ athlete, which made me feel very alone and isolated. I never felt I could ever be out because I was always bullied as that one Asian person in sport.
 
Sport should be welcoming to everyone and no one should feel they should hide their sexuality or gender identity. Sharing my story and living authentically and unapologetically gives me the freedom to realise that my emotions are real, that how I feel inside matters and that I’m worthy of owning the space that I’m in. 
 
I want my story to provide a positive message for any Asian athlete who wants to be openly out in sports and to remind them they are not alone.
 
New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Amazin
  • How sport has played apart in her life
  • Being bullied from a young age
  • Being a trans racial adoptee 
  • Being brought up in Australia 
  • Not fitting in anywhere and living in limbo
  • Falling into bodybuilding at a young age
  • Being dropped off at the gym
  • The power of sports
  • Wanting to be a competitive body builder
  • Being your authentic self in sports
  • Reconnecting with the Vietnamese language, country and culture
  • Leaving Australia and being homeless for a while
  • Wanting to create an impact but not being sure what or how to do it
  • Why sports helped her to survive 
  • Deciding to pilot a sports program in Vietnam
  • The start of the Amazin Lethi Foundation
  • Plans for the future
  • Training in shooting and hoping to go to the Olympics
  • Wanting another challenge in sports
  • Becoming a global advocate
  • All major sporting events over the next few years being held in Asia
  • Lack of Asian Representation
  • Wanting to make sports welcoming 
  • The role sports media plays 
  • Final words of advice
 
Social Media
 
Website - https://www.amazinlethi.com
 
Facebook @AmazinLethi 
 
Instagram @amazinlethi 
 
Twitter @amazinlethi
 
Nov 19, 2020
Amy is a professional athlete, career-woman, mother and the founder of the One Step Ahead Foundation. 
 
After losing her left leg below the knee due to a motorcycle accident that occurred in 1994, Amy compiled a tremendous portfolio of world records and firsts for a female amputee in marathons, ultramarathons, triathlons, and ultra-triathlons. As she attained more and more achievements, she found herself in the position of being a role model, especially for young people with physical disabilities of their own. She soon found herself working extensively with children, introducing them to sports and athletics as a way of helping them overcome their physical limitations. After several years, Amy founded the One Step Ahead Foundation in order to provide even more opportunities for children with physical disabilities.
 
In 2011, Amy became the first female amputee to finish the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile course starting at 282 feet below sea level in the Badwater Basin, in California's Death Valley, and ending at an elevation of 8360 feet (2548 m) at Whitney Portal, the trail head to Mount Whitney.
 
In February 2014, Amy completed Ultraman Florida.  This performance during the 6.2 mile swim, 261.4 mile Bike and 52.4 mile run earned her yet another world record for female para-athletes. Later that same year, Amy was the first para-athlete to complete the 2014 Obstacle Racing World Championships, a mandatory obstacle completion format, earning her second place in her age group.
 
As an AGOGE and two time Death Race Finisher,  Summer 2014 and Summer 2018,  Amy continues to push the boundaries of what is perceived as a limit.  Durning the 2018 Death Race,  36 hours into the event after countless miles, task and 3500 burpees, Amy set the longest distance crawled under barbed wire for 12 consecutive hours for both female and para-athletes.  
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast
 
Show notes
  • Growing up and loving the outdoors
  • Playing outside all day, everyday
  • How running became a big part of her life
  • How running was an equaliser 
  • Not taking anything seriously
  • The next steps after high school
  • Getting a scholarship 
  • Dropping out of college and getting a full time job to support herself
  • Deciding to run a marathon
  • Running her first marathon in 3hrs 24 mins….
  • Qualifying for the Boston Marathon
  • Starting to run longer distances
  • Getting hit by a car and fighting to save her leg for 3 years
  • Being worries about losing her job
  • Having her leg amputated at 21 years old
  • Not being able to afford counselling 
  • 10 years to find the right prosthetic leg for her
  • Running the Chicago Marathon in 2006
  • Being given a second chance
  • A step A head Prosthetics
  • "What do you want to do with your life?”
  • Having a goal to run 100 miles
  • Believe
  • Helping to get someone else through the marathon
  • The journey of getting to run 100 miles
  • Having trouble breathing while running fast miles
  • Running at a slower pace for longer distances
  • Becoming a Mighty Mum and doing her first obstacle race
  • Wanting to run at Western States in California and be the first athlete with an prosthetic to cross the finish line
  • Managing pain and dealing with pain
  • The recovery process after big races
  • Working full time (60-70 hrs per week), with 6 children aged from 9 years old to 18 years old
  • Helping other people to achieve their goals
  • Beta-alanine Supplement
  • Being a single mum to two children 
  • What training looks like 
  • Running on a treadmill versus running on the road
  • Final words of advice to motivate and inspire you
 
Social Media
 
Website www.seeamyrun.com 
 
Facebook @seeamyrun 
 
Instagram @amybkw1 
 
Twitter @runamyrun
Nov 17, 2020
Loretta was one of 9 children, and lived with her single mum and siblings. Loretta was born partially blind and intellectually challenged, she was unable to walk or talk until the age four. Through the support and commitment of her mum, Loretta eventually began to speak, walk and soon started to follow her big brother into running. 
 
After being introduced to the Special Olympics her life started to change. She introduced President Bill Clinton at the 1995 Special Olympics World Summer Games has won multiple medals in dozens of its events, and also holds the current women's record in her age group for the 5000 meters at seventeen minutes.
 
Loretta has also crossed the finish line of twenty-six marathons, twice placing among the top one-hundred women in the Boston Marathon. Loretta holds a 4th-degree black belt in karate, communicates in four languages, including American Sign Language, and holds three honorary doctorate degrees from Quinnipiac University, Villanova University, and York College of Pennsylvania, making her the first person with an intellectual disability known to receive such honours, according to Special Olympics Incorporated.    
 
Today, Loretta is a celebrated athlete who was honoured in 1996 with ESPN's ESPY Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. Her life story was told in Walt Disney Productions The Loretta Claiborne Story and in the biography, "In Her Stride" published by WorldScapes.
 
Loretta at 67 years young, still runs every day and is very active in her community. Her motto for life is, “God is my strength, Special Olympics is my joy”.
 
Listen to Loretta on the Tough Girl Podcast. New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast
 
Show notes
  • Who is Loretta
  • Growing up in the 1950s
  • Dealing with discrimination all her life
  • Her strong and powerful mother who had big dreams for Loretta
  • Making the transition from school to work
  • Looking after her mother when she got sick
  • Moving into her first apartment 
  • Advice from her mother
  • Finding out about the Special Olympics
  • Not being allowed to quit the Special Olympics
  • Starting going running with her brother
  • Getting into road racing in the late 70s and early 80s
  • Running in the Boston Marathon
  • Being told she was too good to compete in the Special Olympics as a runner
  • Starting martial arts and self training
  • Not being able to go to the gym because of Covid
  • Book - In her Stride
  • Having a film made about her life
  • Dealing with anger
  • Turning her anger into a positive 
  • Learning to control her anger through martial arts
  • Deciding to learn sign language
  • Loving sports
  • 2 mottos that Loretta lives her life by
  • The joy in her life
  • Being the Chief Inspiration Officer for the Special Olympics 
  • Women who have inspired Loretta
  • Having good people in her life
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • Final words of advice 
 
Social Media
 
Website www.lorettaclaiborne.com
 
 
Nov 12, 2020
Tracy was expelled from school at the age of 15 and with no exams or qualifications she left to travel the world. She began working on charter yachts in Greece at the age of 17 and learned how to sail. 
 
Tracy took part in her first Whitbread Round the World Race as cook aboard ‘Atlantic Privateer’ in 1985/86 becoming the first woman to race around the world on a Maxi.
 
Upon completion she decided to enter the first all-female crew in the 1989/90 Whitbread and ‘Maiden’ crossed the start line on 2nd Sept 1989 and sailed into the history books. ‘Maiden’ went on to win two of the legs and came second in class overall. The best result for a British boat since 1977 and the best result for an all-female crew ever. 
 
Tracy was awarded the MBE and became the first woman in its 34 year history to be awarded the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy.
 
Tracy founded The Maiden Factor in the process of rescuing her beloved yacht Maiden. In 2016 she decided she wanted to do more than just restore Maiden, she also wanted to make sure she was used for something special. 
 
Tracy is Patron of, fundraises for and supports a number of small but effective charities who facilitate the education of girls around the globe.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast
 
Show notes
  • Who is Tracy
  • Growing up in Reading and losing her father at 10 years old
  • Being expelled from school at 15
  • How she fell into sailing
  • Saying yes to opportunities
  • Female role models in sailing 
  • Having amazing male mentors
  • Learning how to navigate
  • Fighting for gender equality and against injustice
  • Deciding to race around the world in the 1985/86 Whitbread Race
  • Taking the first steps into sailing as a cook
  • Gaining new skills and learning as much as she could
  • Finding out that she was tough enough
  • Wanting to prove that women could sail around the world
  • Turning the dream into a reality 
  • Dealing with the negative pushback 
  • Struggling to find the money
  • Getting Maiden to the start line!
  • Competition and collaboration 
  • Why women are STRONG TOGETHER
  • The power of women working together
  • Dealing with the pressure of performance
  • Having to prove that women could sail around the world safely
  • Using the fear to motivate 
  • Struggling to deal with stress
  • The Maiden Factor Foundation 
  • Finding Maiden and getting the boat back
  • Starting a 3 year world tour on Maiden in 2018
  • Inspiring the next generation of girls 
  • The impact of Covid on the charity
  • The process of making - Maiden The Movie 
  • “Girls have got to see success in it’s raw form”
  • “Success can be messy”
  • The impact of Covid and having to cancel the American part of the tour
  • Doing a tour of UK and Ireland in April 2021
  • Missing people
  • Final words of advice 
 
Social Media
 
Website https://www.tracyedwards.com 
 
Twitter @TracyEdwardsMBE 
 
The Maiden Factor - The Maiden Factor's mission is to continue Maiden's iconic legacy and inspire the next generation of girls through education
 
Website - https://www.themaidenfactor.org 
 
Twitter @maidenfactor 
 
Facebook @TheMaidenFactor
 
Nov 10, 2020
Susan took up cycling as a hobby about 10 years ago and since then has gone on to spend over 2 and a half years on a cycle tour around the world. 
 
Susan visited 15 countries on four different continents. Meeting amazing people along the way and having fantastic experiences, which she has shared on her blog
 
Since then, Susan has gone on to become a Breeze Champion and she set up Leicester Women’s Velo with a few other Breeze Champions in Leicester. 
 
Susan is also one of Cycling UK’s “100 Women in Cycling 2019”. Susan hopes to inspire you to go on your own adventure!
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast
 
Show notes
  • Getting back into cycling 10 years ago
  • Coming back from a round the world cycle tour
  • Family life and learning how to ride a bike
  • Wanting to be a ballerina
  • Health and fitness and being the fat kid at school
  • Dislocating her shoulder
  • Going on holiday to NYC
  • The struggle of getting into a routine
  • Leaving her job to become a full time personal trainer
  • How work took over her life
  • Making the transition to becoming a full time personal trainer
  • Getting back into cycling
  • Building up the courage to join a cycling club
  • Sky Ride Locals
  • Being willing to try new things
  • Starting to think about bigger rides
  • Breeze Rides and becoming a breeze champion
  • Getting a group of women to cycle across France 
  • Learning how to cycle tour
  • Gaining new skills
  • Trying to find the right bike 
  • The rush of getting from A to B
  • Where the idea came from to cycle around the world
  • Going back to work to earn money for the trip
  • Starting to tell people about the cycle tour
  • Trying to decide on cycle routes
  • How her journey and plan changed
  • Why New Zealand started to appeal
  • Taking 2 years to plan the adventure 
  • Decluttering the house to rent it out
  • Saving money and the budget for the trip
  • Gaining knowledge regarding bike maintenance
  • Cycling around Taiwan
  • The magical moments from the trip
  • Transitioning back to a normal life
  • Living with her mum
  • Not wanting to come home
  • Thinking about the next cycle adventure
  • A cycle around the coast of Great Britain 
  • Final words of advice 
 
 
Social Media
 
Website pfaffingandcycling.wordpress.com/
 
Instagram @susanlonghaultrucker 
 
Twitter @Susan_Doram
 
 
 
Nov 5, 2020
Kerri Andrews is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Edge Hill University. She writes about literary history, particularly untold or forgotten histories, and has published widely on women’s writing. Her book, Wanderers: A History of Women Walking, published by Reaktion in September 2020. 
 
Tracing the footsteps of ten women walker-writers from eighteenth-century parson’s daughter Elizabeth Carter – who desired nothing more than to be taken for a vagabond in the wilds of southern England – to modern walker-writers such as Nan Shepherd and Cheryl Strayed, Wanderers offers a beguiling, alternative view of the history of walking.
 
Kerri is also one of the leaders of Women In The Hills, an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project aimed at exploring the factors enabling and inhibiting women's access to upland landscapes. The project brings together people from all areas of walking, mountaineering, land access and management, to drive change in women's access and experiences.
 
Kerri is the General Editor of Nan Shepherd’s letters, the first ever edition of Shepherd's, which will be published in 2023 by Edinburgh University Press. She is also a keen hill-walker and a member of Mountaineering Scotland.
 
You can listen to Kerri on the Tough Girl Podcast, NEW episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast
 
Show notes
  • Getting interested in writing about women and walking
  • Living in Scotland
  • Getting into walking 
  • Heading off to university and doing her PhD
  • Deciding to get down to a healthy weight
  • Starting to play squash
  • Her first trip up Snowdon
  • Connecting with people via Meet Up
  • Co-Leader of Women in the Hills - Research Network. What hinders & enhances women's experiences of the hills? 
  • What the research is showing
  • Wanderers: A History of Women Walking
  • Starting to write the book in 2012
  • Doing the research over the years
  • Focusing on women over the past 300 years
  • Being inspired by; Sarah Stoddart Hazlitt  
  • The power of walking 
  • Having her first child and the struggles of finding child care
  • The power of Cheryl Strayed writing 
  • What it means to be female on the trail
  • Female bodies and how they open up new possibilities
  • Finding the information for the book
  • Why women’s walks don’t get taken notice off
  • Doing other kinds of walking
  • Getting the book published 
  • The Literary Consultancy 
  • Reaktion Books 
  • Being inspired by Nan Shepherd
  • First edition of Nan Shepherd’s correspondence to come out in 2023 
  • Key takeaways from the book
  • The idea of a female tradition
 
Social Media
 
Website www.edgehill.ac.uk/englishhistorycreativewriting/staff/dr-kerri-andrews/ 
 
Twitter @kerriandrewsuk 
 
Book  - Wanderers: A History of Women Walking
 
This is a book about ten women who, over the past three hundred years, have found walking essential to their sense of themselves, as people and as writers.
 
In a series of intimate, incisive portraits, Wanderers traces their footsteps, from eighteenth-century parson's daughter Elizabeth Carter ‐ who desired nothing more than to be taken for a vagabond in the wilds of southern England ‐ to modern walker-writers such as Nan Shepherd and Cheryl Strayed. 
 
For each, walking was integral, whether it was rambling for miles across the Highlands, like Sarah Stoddart Hazlitt, or pacing novels into being, as Virginia Woolf did around Bloomsbury.
 
'With the absorbing voice and attention to detail of a favourite hiking companion, Andrews unearths the forgotten women who have walked for creativity, for independence and self-discovery, to remember, to forget, to escape violence, to find physical and emotional strength.' Rachel Hewitt, historian, trail-runner and author of Map of a Nation
Nov 3, 2020
“I want to change the world, one race at a time” - Khadijah Diggs
 
Khadijah is Mother, Project Manager and a Team USA and Silver IronMan All-World Triathlete. Her mission is to Promote a Positive Image of Muslim Women and Islam in General through Sport.
 
Khadijah is currently ranked in the top 5% of her age group by Ironman Triathlon and is the first African American woman to represent Team USA in Long Course Triathlon and the first Muslim women to represent Team USA in any multi-sport event. The single mother of twins competed in her first triathlon in 2012 at age 43, and now aspires to win a national championship in the Master’s division.
 
Khadijah in her own words:
 
"Training and racing started off as my therapy to recover from a failing marriage and the loss of loved ones to cancer. It has remained that but has also become how I express myself and share who I am as Muslim, a Mother and a Woman." 
 
Her GOAL is to open dialogue and connect women of all backgrounds on a personal level by sharing common experiences, joys and struggles through healthy living, group training and healthy competition. 
 
"I have learned traveling all over the country and the World to race, that at the core, we are more the same than different. The struggles of motherhood and just being female are universal and it binds us as women.”
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast
 
Show notes
  • Who is Khadijah
  • Loving swimming from a young age
  • Running track in college
  • Getting her first bike for her first triathlon
  • Doing her first triathlon in 2012 at 40 years old
  • Coming 3rd to last, but loving the whole experience
  • Being encouraged and supported at the start of her triathlon journey 
  • Figuring it out at the start
  • Reading books and looking at training plans on-line
  • Figuring out her method for triathlon
  • Increasing from sprint triathlon to a half ironman distance
  • Deciding to take swim lessons
  • The struggle of finding appropriate clothing to wear
  • ASIYA hijabs 
  • Muslim role models in triathlon
  • Becoming a better athlete through making mistakes
  • Realising the importance of nutrition
  • The importance of planning for everything that can go wrong
  • What’s going on mentally during a race
  • Dedicating races to loved ones
  • Using triathlon training as a mental escape
  • Trying to get the balance right 
  • Having all the equipment to train at home including an endless pool
  • Racing in Cuba 
  • Nutrition and changes to diet to help balance blood sugar levels
  • F2C Nutrition 
  • Looking at nutrition in a holistic way 
  • Training during Ramadan
  • Magical moments from races
  • The power of mantra 
  • Being an introvert and preferring the virtual settings
  • Final words of advice for taking on a triathlon 
 
Social Media 
 
Website - www.khadijahtriathlete.com
 
Instagram - @khadijahtriathlete 
 
Facebook - @trigammalete
 
Podcast - https://anchor.fm/khadijah-diggs
 
Oct 29, 2020
When Claire hit 30, far from settling down and considering herself approaching middle age, she discovered a new lease of life and re-engaged with her love of the great outdoors and travel. Claire loves a challenge and likes to set herself something new each year.
 
This has led to a passion for water based and, in true British style, sitting down sports. She started rowing in 2012 and very quickly caught the bug, racing regionally and nationally. She also loves sea kayaking and the freedom and self-sufficiency of being able to kayak and wild camp.  
 
From there Claire has gone on to do the Rickshaw Run in India, as well as being part of a mixed crew to row across the Atlantic Ocean, earning her a World Record!
 
Claire has experience under expedition conditions around the world, and is now keen to see just how far she can push her body and mind. 
 
Claire also shares more about her next challenge to row the Northwest Passage, the Arctic route that links the Atlantic and the Pacific. This will be a true test of human achievement and endeavour. This challenge will be one of the world’s “last great firsts”.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time! Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out!
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Claire
  • What family life was like
  • Getting into walking at 14 years old
  • Her first ever mountain!
  • Not enjoying school and being lonely
  • Female role models in childhood
  • Thinking of the obstacles that stoped her being adventurous 
  • Starting to get into kayaking 
  • Heading to Canada in 2009 to go Kayaking 
  • Kayaking and wild camping in Norway 
  • The challenging of kayaking in Cuba
  • Confidence and self belief 
  • Lacking confidence 
  • Telling people about adventures
  • Cycling Coast 2 Coast (C2C) in a day
  • Being nervous about holding people back
  • The Rickshaw Run Race 
  • Being a woman in India
  • 12 hours of driving every day
  • Deciding to row the Atlantic Ocean
  • How the team evolved
  • Joining the crew in September 2017
  • Rowing the Atlantic Ocean in December 2018
  • Funding the challenge £100K
  • Her role in the team
  • 2hrs on rowing and 2 hrs off
  • What the cabin was like
  • Being the only woman on the boat
  • Dealing with periods 
  • The lessons learned from rowing the Atlantic Ocean
  • Testing her limits
  • The next challenge - Rowing the North West Passage 2021
  • What has to be done between now and the start of the row
  • The challenge of raising the funds
  • The physical training involved 
 
Social Media
 
Next Goal - to row the Northwest Passage 2021, the Arctic route that links the Atlantic and the Pacific
 
- A true test of human achievement and endeavour, a team of Ocean Rowers & Explorers are attempting one of the world’s “last great firsts”
 
Instagram - @nwp2021
Facebook - @nwp2021
 
 
Oct 27, 2020
At 79 years young, Dr. Betty Holston Smith has the fitness level of your average 30-year old and looks at least 20 years younger than she is! 
 
Dr. Betty was previously a 200-pound couch potato who loved junk food and smoking. Dr. Betty shares more about how she transformed her life 50 years ago. This really is a master class told by a phenomenal story teller, who goes into the details.
 
During this podcast episode Dr. Betty shares more about her early life, how she got into running, how she changed her diet, how she trains, and how she copes on 4hrs of sleep a night. At 79 years young Dr. Betty is still running 60 to 100 miles per week! 
 
If you want to learn the secrets of running, health and fitness, this is an episode not to be missed.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Speaking to Dr. Betty Holston Smith
  • Being a smoker and eating junk food
  • Being 200lbs overweight
  • Why she decided to lose weight
  • Trying all of the crazy diets
  • Being inspired by Dr. Mirkin 
  • Why nutrition and movement is so important
  • Advice for movement - Get outside 3x a week for 30 mins
  • Why you need to strengthen your heart
  • Why you need to eat, fruit, vegetables, whole foods, seeds and nuts
  • What Dr. Betty eats on a daily basis
  • Falling in love with running and how it became the core of her life
  • Starting to feel the difference in her life
  • Running ultra marathons and having no need for recovery
  • The good things that have come from her lifestyle
  • Being monitored by John Hopkins Hospital 
  • Thriving on 4hrs of sleep a night
  • Doing relationship based coaching
  • The importance of respecting the body
  • Stretching and doing Tai Chi for 40 years
  • Growing up in virgin woods and falling in love with mother nature
  • Growing up as 1 of 6 children
  • Her favourite shoes - Vivo Barefoot  
  • Running marathons on 6 continents
  • Running a half marathon (22 miles) on the Great Wall of China
  • Running and teaching deep water running
  • Setting up your body for running 
  • The benefits of chia seeds
  • The power of having good posture
  • Lessons from Michael Jackson with his pelvis
  • Needing a strong core to be any kind of runner
  • Why you need to have relaxed shoulders
  • Why running should be moving meditation
  • Writing her book - Lifestyle by Nature: One Woman's Break from the Unhealthy Herd to Roam Forever Healthy in Nature's Lifestyle Change Herd
  • Focusing on what you love and what you are passionate about
  • Wanting to run for the rest of her life
  • Passion and perseverance 
  • Not caring about the finish line
  • The process of changing a lifestyle
  • Going to school during segregation
  • The lifestyle change line
  • On going challenges
  • Running a 901 mile virtual race
  • Looking for more virtual races
  • Not being on social media
  • What her week looks like
 
Social Media
 
Book - Lifestyle by Nature: One Woman's Break from the Unhealthy Herd to Roam Forever Healthy in Nature's Lifestyle Change Herd 
 
More about the book:
 
How are you? If your truest first thoughts in pondering this question are something like "I could be better," this nature-based lifestyle-change book might help. To be healthy, you must take care of all of you because the total you is made up of your entire self, including your body, mind, spirit, soul-your everything. 
 
If one part of you is not up to par in some way or another, it's impossible for your everything else to be totally healthy. You have tried everything your friends, your doctors, and even the advertisement industry recommended for improving your health. But nothing has worked, except to make you a frustrated person. 
 
Close your eyes right now and allow your conscious mind to contemplate your health situation. Be honest. You are not the healthiest that you can or should be. In fact, you are in dire straits according to how you feel and what your medical team says about your health. I know all of this about you because I was you so many years ago. 
 
Like you, for years I followed the same type of diet herd that you have been following. And like you, after trying everything, I had no clue about what to try next. However, I found a clue. Over forty years, I lived the importance of and learned to replicate nature's wisdom on nutrition and movement in my unhealthy lifestyle. Her focus was on naturally changing lifestyles, not on temporary quick fixes. And in the process, she provided me with all types of support to do so. I carefully recorded her step-by-step wisdom and provided the details inside. 
 
Ditch your next quick-fix cosmetic diet, and put your trust in nature's simple but trustworthy lifestyle-change wisdom.
 
Oct 22, 2020
Hetty in her own words:
 
I live for adventure. Being outdoors is more than a hobby to me - I thrive on it, rely on it and couldn’t imagine life without it. When I am not out exploring, I'm usually planning or daydreaming of my next adventure - which could be anything from a weekend running around my local hills to some epic endurance event or obscure challenge further afield.
 
I love pushing myself both physically and mentally to find my limit. I can't explain quite why this is, but I have often found this is when you discover amazing things about yourself. I am not naturally talented or gifted - in fact, at school, I was once told I would never make a long distance runner. I have achieved what I have from having big dreams, being slightly stubborn and working hard! My main inspiration and drive come from loving what I am doing and the environment I am in - whatever the weather. 
 
I want to find adventure. See beautiful places only accessible from sheer human effort. I’d like to climb mountains and at the end of the day sit back with a beer, totally worn out, and watch the stars. I’d love to run, bike and climb all over the world! 
 
I might be a relatively ordinary individual but believe me, I am determined to make an impact in every way I can.
 
*************************************************
 
New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Hetty
  • Growing up in the Peak District, UK
  • Not being good at sports 
  • Her dreams and wanting to ride for Great Britain
  • Struggling to fit everything in
  • Making the transition from riding horses into the outdoors
  • Starting with google
  • Wanting to get into climbing and mountain biking 
  • Loving to push and challenge herself
  • Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3 FUN!
  • Her passion for the mountains 
  • Setting up her website and personal blog
  • Wanting to support women in the middle ground of adventure 
  • Female role models in the adventure space
  • Being able to see what other women are doing
  • Wanting to understand more about women in the outdoors by starting - Women in Adventure
  • The first survey from Women in Adventure - Inspiration and Barriers
  • The second survey from Women in Adventure - Mental Well-Being
  • What’s next for Women in Adventure 
  • The Women’s Trad Festival based in the Peak District
  • What Trad climbing is
  • Loving the headspace of climbing
  • Climbers Like Me
  • The values and mission of the festival
  • Less Plastic would be Fantastic
  • The mental health challenges in 2020
  • Why we need the data
  • Being even more passionate 
  • An exciting new project… creating a historic global event to bring people together
  • The One Run Global Challenge - 10th December 2020 - 7pm Local Time 
  • “Love is a human right and no one should be hated for who they are”
  • Not always getting the balance right
  • Being a big fan of the to do list and keeping things simple
  • Next challenge… small and big!
  • All Points North 
  • Final words of advice and top tips
 
Social Media
 
Personal Blog and Website - www.mudchalkandgears.com 
 
Instagram @mudchalkandgears
 
Twitter @HettyKey 
 
Women In Adventure - Women in Adventure aims to narrow the data gap surrounding women and the outdoors. Through research, we want to increase participation, improve diversity and widen the accessibility of the outdoors for women.
 
Website - womeninadventure.com 
 
Instagram @womeninadventure
 
Facebook @womeninadventure 
 
Twitter @women_adventure
 
Women Trad Festival - Women's Trad Festival is a trad climbing festival in the Peak District, bridging the gap between indoor and outdoor climbing. We support, connect and inspire climbers of all abilities, ages and genders.
 
www.womenstradfestival.co.uk
 
Instagram @womenstradfestival 
 
Facebook @womenstradfestival
 
 
Oct 20, 2020
Jools shares more on her award-winning blog, VéloCityGirl, which focuses on different aspects of cycling, including cycle-style, her own adventures on two wheels, and how to widen participation in cycling.
 
Jools’ blog and social media presence have evolved from being her ‘tiny corner of the internet’ (as she still calls it) to inspiring women and young girls around the world to get on the saddle and ride. Leading publication BikeBiz lists her as one of the most influential women in the UK cycling industry. 
 
The well-respected US publication Bicycling Magazine touts her as one of the 107 Cycling Digital Superstars in the world to follow. Instagram named Jools as one of the most influential female storytellers in their #MyStoryUK campaign.
 
Jools now finds herself talking about cycling culture, and what it’s like to be a woman in that domain on platforms as varied as BBC Newsnight, the Design Museum, BBC Radio 4, and Southbank Centre’s WOW Festival.
 
Jools most recent book - Back In The Frame was published in May 2019.
 
About Back In The Frame:
 
Jools Walker re-discovered cycling aged twenty-eight after a ten-year absence from the saddle. When she started blogging about her cycle adventures under the alias Lady Vélo, a whole world was opened up to her. But it’s hard to find space in an industry not traditionally open to women – especially women of colour.
 
Shortly after getting back on two wheels, Jools was diagnosed with depression and then, in her early thirties, hit by a mini-stroke. Yet, through all of these punctures, one constant remained: Jools’ love of cycling.
 
In Back in the Frame Jools talks to the other female trailblazers who are disrupting the cycling narrative as well as telling the story of how she overcame her health problems, learned how to cycle her own path and even found a love of Lycra shorts along the way.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast
 
Show notes
  • Who is Jools
  • What her passions and interests are
  • Her love for cycling 
  • Being inspired by her older sister and brother
  • Starting with a BMX bike
  • Her dreams as a little girl and wanting to be a barrister
  • Taking a break from cycling for 10 years
  • Not feeling comfortable as a teenager on a bike
  • Not feeling safe or confident on the roads in London
  • Re discovering cycling at 28 
  • Feeling that cycling wasn’t a space for her
  • The lack of diversity in cycling media 
  • Commuting on a bike in London
  • Wanting to make cycling more diverse and welcoming 
  • Working in the cycling industry
  • Starting blogging at Velo City Girl
  • Having a focus on cycling style on the bike
  • Not knowing what to do after university
  • Going to Trinidad with her mum
  • Getting her first bike - through the Cycle to work Scheme 
  • Starting to work in the cycling industry
  • Trying to figure out what to do with the rest of your life in your 20s
  • Earning an income from her passions - cycling and fashion
  • Deciding to write a book
  • Sharing the personal stories from depression to having a mini stroke in her early 30s
  • Talking about the lows and the highs
  • Why you are not alone
  • Sharing stories via VeloMail
  • Bikes and bike names!
  • Final words of advice to encourage you to get into cycling
 
Social Media
 
Website velocitygirl.co.uk 
 
Facebook @LadyVelo 
 
Instagram @LadyVelo 
 
Twitter @LadyVelo 
 
Back in the Frame (How to get back on your bike, whatever life throws at you), was published by Little Brown UK in May 2019. 
 
In Back in the Frame Jools talks to the other female trailblazers who are disrupting the cycling narrative as well as telling the story of how she overcame her health problems, learned how to cycle her own path and even found a love of Lycra shorts along the way.
Oct 15, 2020
Deana Ortega is a badass single mom who has jammed her way around the roller derby circuit for the past 12 years. Having overcome addiction, negotiated difficult relationships, and endured numerous traumatic losses within her family, she has survived against the odds to become a successful derby captain, triathlete, and hairstylist. 
 
Hailing from the vibrant border city of El Paso, Texas, she is the author of Forget Soldadera: A Book of Personal Poetry (Ghostlight Creative, 2018) and My Derby Romance (April, 2020).
 
New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Growing up in Texas
  • Having a positive attitude
  • Spending a lot of time alone 
  • Loving being on her roller blades
  • Dreaming for some normality in her life
  • Getting into sports at a young age
  • Not being able to graduate school
  • Feeling very lost at a young age
  • Going back to school to get her GED
  • Finding roller derby in her 30s
  • Forgetting how to enjoy life
  • What is roller derby
  • Derby Names
  • The awesome community at Roller Derby 
  • Getting back into Roller Derby after babies
  • Deciding to stop drinking for good
  • Celebrate Recovery  
  • Working on her self worth issues
  • Being roller derby captain
  • Lessons learned from roller derby
  • Looking within
  • The importance of having balance - “you can’t do life without balance”
  • Her book - Derby Romance 
  • Getting through tough times
  • Balance and harmony
  • Deciding to write her first book
  • Changing her beliefs about herself
  • Figuring out her purpose
  • Changing from the inside out
  • Words of advice for those women who want to give roller derby ago
  • “Nothing is ever as hard as we think it’s going to be”
  • Final words of advice for those going through a tough time
 
 
Social Media
 
Instagram @queenbumble_dee
 
Facebook @deana.l.ortega
 
Oct 13, 2020
Sara Safari is an author, speaker, mountain climber, college professor, Electrical Engineer and advocate for women empowerment. 
 
Sara was born in Iran and moved to the USA in 2002 to continue her education in electrical engineering. While teaching at California State University Fullerton, Sara met the founder of the Empower Nepali Girls foundation. She decided to climb Mt. Everest to raise funds and awareness for the girls who become victims of human trafficking or are forced into early marriage. She is now a board member and director of development of Empower Nepali Girls and she dedicated her book “Follow My Footsteps” to this organisation.
 
Sara will be the first Iranian in history to climb the Seven Summits, the seven highest peaks in each continent.
 
New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
 
Show notes
  • Just another Everest climber!
  • Born in Iran and moved to the USA at age 20
  • Living in California
  • Being very grateful to her parents for their sacrifices 
  • Studying electrical engineering 
  • Wanting to raise money for the Empower Nepali Girls foundation
  • Starting from zero
  • Getting outside her comfort zone
  • Being a shy person
  • Asking strangers for money
  • Climbing Everest - April 2015
  • Meeting the girls from Nepal
  • Being on an ice wall during the earthquake at 20,000 ft
  • The turning point in her life
  • Starting to climb the 7 summits
  • Going back to climb Everest again…but ended up breaking her arm
  • Going through a divorce in 2008
  • Getting the idea to cross Greenland
  • Getting excited about the next expedition 
  • Using the time to reflect back on her life
  • The uniqueness of the challenge
  • Advice for women going through a tough situation
  • The patience needed in mountain climbing
  • The team dynamics in Greenland
  • The National Geographic article about the Greenland crossing 
  • Funding challenges and adventures
  • Building mental resilience and determination
  • Being a work in progress
  • Learning new habits and transforming herself
  • The power of saying it out-loud to the world 
  • Training to get fit and building muscle and endurance
  • Living with a heavy pack on 
  • Tips for rest and recovery 
  • Walking in the sun everyday for 20 mins
  • Why you have to START NOW!
 
Social Media
 
Website - http://www.climbyoureverest.org 
 
Instagram @sara.safari.everest 
 
Facebook @sara.roma.90 
 
Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_9cyPCB97LUKinSh2Fgpsg/videos
Oct 8, 2020
Catherine Dixon (Cat) and Rachael Marsden (Raz) – known as TandemWOW – had an ambition to raise £1 a mile as they cycled around the world on a tandem bicycle. 
 
After 263 days they arrived back in the UK at the end of March 2020, just before lockdown. 
 
After cycling 18,000 miles they raised a massive £37,000 for charity. They also set a new world record, beating the previous men’s record by more than 17 days. 
 
Always with a smile they cycled through storms, monsoon rains, brutal headwinds and fires. They endured emotional and physical hardships, hunger and exhaustion and, through their incredible determination, have shown us all that anything is possible.
 
Listen to Cat and Raz on the Tough Girl Podcast. New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast
 
Show notes
  • Who is Cat and what she does
  • Who is Raz and what she does
  • How Raz and Cat met about 3 years
  • Who’s idea was it to cycle around the world!
  • What Raz’s first thoughts were about cycling around the world
  • The planning and the preparation for the challenge
  • The rules for the Guinness World Record 
  • Thinking about and planning the route
  • Working on the bike spec
  • Figuring out the sponsorship and getting kit etc
  • Thank you to Stolen Goat 
  • Getting travel insurance with Saga 
  • The budget for the trip and trying to stick to £50 per day for the 2 of them
  • Camping across Europe to keep costs down
  • Having families and telling them about the challenge
  • Naming the bike ALICE…
  • The magical moments on the bike 
  • Spending 24hrs a day together
  • The challenges of being part of a team 
  • What did they learn about themselves from doing this challenge
  • Getting tested physically and mentally while cycling
  • Luxury items
  • Listening to lots of audio books
  • Raz sharing more about cycling over in America
  • The struggles of getting food in America 
  • To go to McDonalds or not….
  • Flying over to Morocco from America
  • Heading back to Europe for the final ride home back to the UK
  • Having to race against the pandemic to get the ferry back to the UK
  • The final few weeks of the adventure
  • Crossing the border from Spain to France
  • The challenge of riding through France when shops and accommodation was closed
  • Leaving France on the day of the lockdown
  • Finishing the journey and getting to the end of the trip and not being ready to stop cycling
  • Planning to take a month off
  • Starting new jobs
  • Making the transition from cycling everyday to being back in a full time job
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • Final words of advice and top tips
 
Social Media
 
Website www.tandemwow.com 
 
Tandem WoW Facebook Group 
 
Instagram @tandemwow 
 
Twitter @TandemWow
 
Oct 6, 2020
As a young woman from a Bangladeshi, Muslim family, Ruqsana struggled for years to balance her faith and culture with the fast, furious and brutal sport she fell in love with - even hiding her trophies. Now she's fighting to help other young Muslim women to find their own balance between fitness and faith.
 
Ruqsana's story is a tale of empowerment that will inspire anyone who has ever had to battle against the odds and against all the opposition to achieve their goal. 
 
With the reluctant blessing of her parents, she completed a long journey to the top, battling against prejudice, depression, panic attacks and ME. 
 
A role model to many, she was part of the Adidas Here to Create campaign and Karen Millen's #WomenWhoCan campaign.
 
You can listen to Ruqsana on the Tough Girl Podcast - new episodes are every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time, make sure you hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss out.
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
 
Show notes
  • Who Ruqsana is
  • Growing up watching Bruce Lee and being fascinated by the martial arts
  • Getting into kickboxing at 18 years old
  • Growing up in London in a muslim family
  • 36 years old and growing up in the 80s
  • Being restricted in what she could do 
  • Discovering kickboxing while at college
  • Studying Architecture at university
  • Training in a mixed gym
  • What she loved about going to the gym
  • Wearing a hijab to the gym
  • Having the conversation with her parents
  • Having an arranged marriage
  • Dealing with panic attacks and depression
  • Being suppressed in her marriage
  • Becoming numb and how sports changed her life
  • Discussing mental health issues
  • Having the support of her GP
  • Dealing with Chronic Fatigue and ME
  • Napping during the day
  • Starting to fight professionally in 2008
  • Going for the British Title!!
  • The Warrior Princess 
  • What it was like getting into the ring
  • Starting to master her own fears and emotions
  • Is she a born fighter…
  • Being supported by her parents
  • Religion and fighting
  • The legalities of wearing a hijab when competing 
  • Not being allowed to wear leggings
  • Designing a hijab for muslim women to wear while doing sports
  • Becoming the World Kick Boxing Champion!
  • Having nothing left in the 4th round 
  • Mental resilience and mental toughness
  • Making the transition from kickboxing to boxing in January 2018
  • Funding her lifestyle as a professional athlete
  • Writing her book - Born Fighter
  • Handling the negative people 
  • Why other peoples opinion of you don’t matter
  • Her dream to become a world champion in boxing
  • Wanting to inspire people 
  • Final words of advice for other women going through challenging times 
 
Social Media
 
Website ruqsanabegum.com 
 
Instagram @ruqsanabegum_mt 
 
Twitter @RuqsanaBegum
Oct 1, 2020
On 22nd February 2020, Welsh ice swimmer Cath Pendleton made history by becoming the first person to ever swim an Ice Mile inside the polar Antarctic circle. She swam in Hanusse Bay in latitude of 66:56 South.
 
Cath is a single mum to two gorgeous girls and doing exercise has always helped her to manage her mental health. Cath discovered her passion for winter/ice swimming in September 2015, since then Cath has tried to go swimming everyday and she refers to it as her "Reset Button”.
 
Cath’s dream is to complete the IISA Ice Sevens Challenge next year and is looking to get back into long distance swimming as-well. 
 
Cath is always up for an adventure and enjoys inspiring others to give new things a try. 
 
After listening to Cath, she will inspire you to give open water swimming a go!!
 
You can listen to Cath on the Tough Girl Podcast. New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast
 
Show notes
  • Her passion for ice swimming
  • Growing up as a water baby
  • Being a natural in the water
  • Joining the Royal Air Force 
  • Starting triathlon in her 30s
  • Having her time to swim
  • Falling in love with open water swimming
  • Loving the freedom of swimming and being in the water
  • A winter swimming gala…
  • Having a bad back 
  • Deciding to ditch the wetsuit
  • Getting addicted to the buzz from open water swimming
  • How does ice swimming work…
  • Start in the spring and keep going
  • How long to stay in the water?
  • 1 minute per degree of water temperature - but it does depend on the person
  • Never swim alone and make sure you have a good warm up routine for afterwards
  • Becoming the first welsh woman to swim an ice mile
  • Struggling to find enough cold places to train in
  • Needing to have a good team around you
  • Not being able to have cold showers
  • Why ice swimming will be with her for life
  • Swimming in Antarctica 
  • Ice Sevens Challenge 
  • Doing a zero ice mile
  • Deciding to swim the English Channel
  • Having 18 months to train for the English Channel swim
  • Paying for the swimming challenges
  • Being followed by BBC Sports Wales
  • The challenges of swimming the English Channel
  • “Thank you, I’m having a nice day” 
  • Keep your head down and keep swimming
  • Positive self talk…
  • Always needing the next goal
  • Heading off to Antarctica for the big swimming challenge! 
  • Dealing with the pressure of the swim
  • Being the first swimmer 
  • Getting into the water
  • Dealing with cold water shock
  • Why the recovery is really hard on the body 
  • Dealing with the After Drop
  • Making sure you warm back up properly
  • Confidence and self belief
  • Getting to represent Team GB in Ice Swimming
  • Why you have to train
  • Follow along with Cath on Social Media
  • 4 more big swims to go!
  • Feeling frustrated about not being able to plan future challenges because of Covid
  • Building the swimming pool in the garden
  • Top tips for getting in the water
 
Social Media
 
Facebook:  @CathPendleton 
 
Instagram:  @swimcathswim 
 
Twitter: @swimcathswim
 
 
Sep 29, 2020
International human-rights advocate, Cara Elizabeth Yar Khan, deep in the throes of an aggressive, fatal muscle-wasting disease, ventures out on a daring, 12-day Grand Canyon descent and expedition – on horseback and in whitewater rafts. 
 
The journey into the Canyon mirrors Cara’s personal journey, as she and her team battle physical and mental adversities that threaten to kill, wound, or undo them without warning. But a journey that begins as a quest for representation and dramatic advocacy quickly becomes an exercise in survival. 
 
When Cara suffers a serious head injury one hour into the descent, the team and crew realize that her life, and theirs, hang on each step, each handhold, each group decision. 
 
Cara’s journey to live an extraordinary life and shatter stigma against people living with disabilities unexpectedly becomes a deep dive into fear, trust and vulnerability. As the entire expedition team grapples with unanticipated dangers in a truly remote wilderness, they also come face to face with their individual demons, insecurities, and internal conflicts. 
 
HER INESCAPABLE BRAVE MISSION is a story of fear, adrenaline, ambition, determination, hubris, courage, and perseverance against the odds. An emotional and transformational journey for anyone who has ever found themselves, inescapably, on the edge of a cliff.
 
Cara in her own words: - My life has been extraordinary, full of ups and downs. I’ve had enormous privilege and a fair share of adversity to overcome. I was born in India, November 20, 1976 to an Indian father and English mother. 
 
We immigrated to Canada where I grew up and completed my studies up to my undergraduate degree. Thanks to a lot of determination and hard work, I fulfilled my childhood dream to help vulnerable and marginalized children  by working with the Untied Nations.  
 
So far it’s been an exhilarating international career that has spanned 11 countries but not without enormous challenges.
 
At age 30 I was diagnosed with a rare muscle wasting disease that leads to quadriplegia: Hereditary Inclusion Body Myopathy (HIBM). It was frightening news because I did not have any experience with disability or chronic illness. But the journey has been powerful. 
 
I now live proudly as a woman with a disability, and advocate against stigma and discrimination to break as many glass ceilings as possible.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out!
 
*Please be aware suicide in mentioned during this episode (we do not got into any details) but it is talked about.
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Cara
  • Being born in South India to an Indian Father and a British Mother 
  • Moving to Canada as a baby
  • Figuring out what she wanted to do when she was 6 years old
  • Wanting to help children
  • Wanting to work for the United Nations
  • Growing up shy
  • Getting through major life challenges
  • Losing her mother at 17 years old
  • Having amazing role models in her life
  • Correlation between confidence and performance 
  • Doing her Masters after 10 years of working
  • Winning an international competition with the UN to do a paid internship
  • Being poached by the private sector
  • Having a life shift in her career
  • Being diagnosed with HIBM - Hereditary Inclusion Body Myopathies
  • The impact on her life and career
  • Moving to the USA at the end of 2013
  • Wanting to have a grand adventure in America
  • 2014 - 2018 - the planning and preparation
  • Learning how to ride a horse
  • The challenges of the descent into the Grand Canyon
  • Making a movie/documentary film
  • Finding out she was scared of heights
  • Dealing with a head injury on the descent down
  • Lessons learned from the challenge
  • Why you will surprise yourself
  • Final words of advice
 
Social Media
 
Website - https://carayarkhan.com 
 
Twitter @carayarkhan 
 
Instagram @cara_yarkhan  
 
Facebook @cara.e.khan 
 
Ted Talk - https://www.ted.com/talks/cara_e_yar_khan_the_beautiful_balance_between_courage_and_fear
 
Sep 24, 2020
Ashly Winchester an avid ultra-runner, backpacker, rock climber, and mountaineer. She also loves chasing FKT's (Fastest Known Times) and revels in immersing herself in solo, unsupported records in the wilderness. 
 
Ashly created and began hosting the podcast, Womxn Of The Wild, in December 2019 with the aim to inspire, educate, and empower women in the outdoors. 
 
Ashly in her own words:
 
“As I developed my skills and proficiency in the outdoors, I started meeting and connecting with a ton of really amazing ladies. I realized that I wanted to help bring more women into this world of adventure. I don’t care what anybody says, we belong out there. I want women of all shapes and colors and abilities and ages to understand that you can do these things too, and it’s never too late to start.”
 
New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
 
Show notes
  • Who is Ashly
  • Quitting her job
  • Deciding to make big changes in her life
  • Becoming a freelance writer
  • Being in an abusive marriage
  • Being deep in depression and not knowing what to do with her life
  • Going backpacking with a friend
  • Her love of being in the wilderness 
  • Making a living from freelance writing
  • The financial struggles of writing 
  • Living a nomadic lifestyle
  • Getting into Fastest Known Times (FKT's)
  • Getting to explore different areas
  • Getting into running
  • Running further and further distances
  • Training solo
  • Evidence for FKT’s
  • Training for FKT’s
  • Running 74 miles through the desert
  • Race tactics and strategy
  • Dealing with periods while running
  • Using 2 cups
  • What’s going on mentally
  • Wild animals…
  • Using FKT’s as training runs
  • Womxn of the Wild - community and podcast
  • Why the X in Womxn
  • Learning about the challenges of podcasting
  • Focusing on quality content
  • Final words and top tips and advice for you
 
Social Media
 
Website - https://womxnofthewild.com 
 
Womxn of the Wild Podcast - aims to highlight the badass women who explore, adventure, and crush in the outdoors. 
 
Instagram
@womxnofthewild 
@ashly.winchester 
 
Facebook @womxnofthewild
 
Sep 22, 2020
Vedangi Kulkarni recently became the youngest woman to have circumnavigated the world on bicycle. It took her 160 days to pedal 29000km, across 14 countries. She was 19 when she started, and 20 when she finished, celebrating her 20th birthday around the halfway point in Canada. Most of her journey was solo and unsupported.
 
Vedangi in her own words:
 
My childhood was a lot about my parents and I travelling out and about through every summer/winter break. I used to write poems and short stories. My father encouraged me to explore the outdoors- mountains and sea, from his own travel experiences. From tying a rope between the safety door and gymnastic rod, experimenting with valley crossing in our own house to creating an Everest out of the high end of a wall, and mountains in the vicinity, my father has been a rockstar in my adventurous upbringing. 
 
Of course, my school played a major role too. Although I didn’t have many friends as a kid, I definitely had an outdoorsy spirit and schools’s extra-curricular activities made sure that I spent more time with the like-minded, doing things that I really loved.
 
But when, as a 17 year old, I decided to cycle across the Himalayan passes, my perspective towards the world really changed. It was truly exciting, and I felt the most confident when putting myself through tough situations or getting better at pushing my previous limits. The harder it got, the better I felt, and the better I felt, the more I wanted to push myself further into any challenge. 
 
New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • How her journey into cycling and adventure started
  • Moving to the UK at 18
  • Finding it hard to make friends
  • Being inspired by Juliana Buhring  
  • Deciding to cycle around the world
  • How the adventures went wrong
  • Planning expeditions for others
  • Her passion for the outdoors and getting inspired by her father
  • Being inspired to dream bigger
  • Cycling 800 km across the Himalayas at 17
  • Falling in love with the outdoors
  • Female role models growing up
  • Wanting to become text book worthy
  • Getting exposed to bike packing in the UK
  • The planing and preparation for her round the world cycle ride
  • Wanting to film the expedition
  • The biggest issue with getting visa’s
  • Having to start in Australia due to visa issues
  • Pausing university
  • Canada and the grizzly bear
  • The end of her record challenge for time in Spain
  • Dealing with concussion 
  • Losing her confidence
  • Getting her performance back 
  • What’s happening with the film/documentary
  • Thinking about cycling around the world again…
  • Launching an adventure planning crash course
  • Wanting to make adventure accessible
  • Starting a youtube channel
  • Final words of advice and top tips
 
Social Media
 
Website - https://www.theadventureshed.com - making adventure accessible 
 
Adventure Planning Crash Course - https://www.theadventureshed.com/adventure-planning-crash-course 
 
Website - http://www.vedangikulkarni.com 
Instagram @wheelsandwords
Facebook @wheelsandwords 
Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnohHVFDnoPLXexfNDaNzNg
 
Sep 17, 2020
Rosaria “Rosie” Barreto, also known as the Vitality Coach, helps women and seniors live happier and healthier through the power of exercise! With a background in clinical exercise, she is on a mission to change the mindset from 'exercise is for active individuals' to 'exercise is also for people who struggle to move due to clinical health limitations’.
 
Rosie runs the Vitality Hub which is a health and fitness movement encouraging people who find exercise difficult to move more, eat well and feel amazing.
 
You can listen to Rosie on the Tough Girl Podcast - new episodes are every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time, make sure you hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss out.
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Running a health and wellbeing business
  • Working with women and older adults
  • Running a Youtube Channel 
  • Being the eldest of 9 children
  • Being a role model and encouraging others to get involved in sports
  • Wanting to work in health and wellness
  • Growing up active
  • Hating school and academics
  • Deciding what to do next 
  • Her role models when growing up 
  • Wanting to be a personal trainer and be self employed
  • Developing her business plan 
  • Trying new things and failing
  • Dealing with personal challenges at university
  • July 2018 finding her niche in health and wellbeing
  • Moving to Kent
  • £50 p/h —->> £8 p/h
  • Building the business up
  • Needing to cover running costs
  • Taking a part time job
  • Dealing with the stresses of making a difficult decision
  • Dealing with Covid-19
  • Moving the business online 
  • The reality of being self employed during 2020
  • Figuring out new technology
  • Movement is medicine
  • Helping patients
  • Wanting to encourage more people to exercise 
  • Helping people to move more
  • Talking to your friends and family
  • The power of group exercise 
  • Dealing with the problems of social isolation 
  • Starting a new project for virtual services for older adults
  • Why movement is about  having fun 
  • 50 challenges in 2020
  • Final words of advice to motivate and inspire you
 
Social Media
 
Website - http://www.vitalityhub.co.uk
 
Facebook @VitalityHubUK 
 
Instagram @the_vitalitycoach
 
Sep 15, 2020
Darcy Gaechter is the first and only woman to kayak the Amazon River from source to sea. She has been whitewater kayaking for twenty-one years and, for the past fifteen years, she has been considered one of the world’s best female kayakers and one of the most accomplished expedition kayakers. 
 
Darcy has won whitewater kayaking races throughout the world, and has participated in and led kayaking expeditions in eighteen different countries. In addition, she has been a kayak, raft and adventure travel guide for two decades and has owned and operated two kayak guiding businesses. She currently spends half the year in Ecuador running Small World Adventures and showing kayakers down some of her favourite rivers in the world. 
 
Darcy has long been a groundbreaker of women pushing the limits in both kayaking and other outdoor pursuits. 
 
Leading by example of what women can accomplish in a predominately male sport, she has inspired other women athletes to push themselves to achieve extraordinary things.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out!
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Darcy
  • What life was like growing up
  • Growing up in the mountains and spending time outdoors
  • Wanting to follow in her dad’s footsteps
  • Changing the direction of her life
  • Going to Nepal at 19 years old
  • Exploring parts that other tourists don’t get to see
  • Wanting to get better at kayaking
  • Figuring out the combat role
  • Deciding to go kayaking in Ecuador
  • Saying yes to opportunity
  • Meeting the people that would change her life
  • Female role models in kayaking
  • Saying yes to a job in Ecuador
  • How the idea came about to kayak the Amazon River
  • Stats  - 4,300 miles done over 148 days
  • Having the adventure fully funded
  • Figuring out the logistics for this challenge
  • Dealing with naysayers
  • Balancing the risks
  • Getting mad and getting determined
  • Being the only woman on the team
  • Cutting off all her hair
  • Magical moments - Day 135
  • What a typical day was like out on the river
  • Dealing with sand flies
  • Paddling for 8 - 10 hours per day
  • The perfect last adventure
  • When will they settle down?
  • Getting to the end point and what it was like
  • Coming up with new goals
  • The book of legends in Siberia
  • The motivation for writing the book
  • To film or not to film
  • What happened after the adventure
  • Final words of advice 
 
Social Media
 
 
Small World Adventures
 
Instagram 
 
 
Sep 10, 2020
Black Girls Hike (BGH) is a safe space for black women to enjoy the outdoors and be themselves without feeling judged or misunderstood.  It's is about removing barriers and challenging stereotypes and reinforcing the message that the outdoors is for everyone.
 
In Rhiane’s words:
 
Created in 2019, Black Girls Hike UK is an organisation that offers a safe space for black women to explore the outdoors. We know that the outdoors is great for mental and physical health but it’s not very inclusive. 
 
For many black women, getting outdoors can feel intimidating especially when you don’t see people you identify with. 
 
That’s why BGH was created; to empower black women to feel comfortable outdoors and create a community and sisterhood. 
 
We believe representation matters and aim to diversify all aspects of the outdoors.
 
New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Rhiane
  • Feeling the pressure of going to university
  • Going to Open University 
  • Struggling to know what to do
  • Wanting to work in international development
  • What childhood was like
  • Being in every sports team
  • Starting to play rounders again
  • Getting into walking in 2019
  • Taking the first step into hiking
  • Setting up an Instagram account for Black Girls Hike 
  • The 5 best walks around Manchester 
  • Not knowing what she was doing
  • The support of family and friends 
  • Her love for getting outdoors
  • How Black Girls Hike has evolved
  • Having a Midlands and London BGH group
  • Having over 100 people attending a walk
  • Being overwhelmed by the numbers 
  • The lack of Black women role models in hiking
  • Balancing a full time job with building the BGH community
  • The dream for BGH and becoming a non profit
  • Training up the regional leaders in Low Land Leader Qualifications
  • Favourite walks
  • Black Girls Hike - Snowdon Challenge!
  • Tales of a hiker
  • Doing an instameet up with @beckythetraveller 
  • Dream hikes….
  • Helping to build confidence in other women who come hiking
  • Being nominated for a National Diversity Award
  • Fundraising Black Girls Hike Healing Retreat
  • Dealing with racism all the time
  • Forest bathing, grounding and hugging trees
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • Final words of advice - “start small and start local”
 
Social Media
 
Black Girls Hike
 
Instagram @bgh_uk
 
Twitter @UkBgh 
 
Go Fund Me Black Girls Hike Healing Retreats 
 
Tales Of A Hiker - Where adventure enthusiasts share their stories
 
Website - https://www.talesofahiker.com 
 
Facebook @talesofahiker
 
Instagram @talesofahiker
 
Sep 8, 2020
In 2009, after a crippling divorce that left her heartbroken and directionless, Kristin decided to accept an offer to live at a friend's cabin outside of Denali National Park in Alaska for a few months.  In exchange for housing, she would take care of her friend's eight sled dogs. 
 
That winter, she learned that she was tougher than she ever knew. She learned how to survive in one of the most remote places on earth and she learned she was strong enough to be alone.  She fell in love twice: first with running sled dogs, and then with Andy, a gentle man who had himself moved to Alaska to heal a broken heart.  

Kristin and Andy married and started a sled dog kennel.  While this work was enormously satisfying, Kristin became determined to complete the Iditarod -- the 1,000-mile dogsled race from Anchorage, in south central Alaska, to Nome on the western Bering Sea coast.
 
On her blog at www.kristinknightpace.com, she writes:
 
“What our hands do these days is shape the dream of our childhoods. There it thrived in two different kids, and as we grew up and in turn grew older, even when our attentions turned to other things, the dream waited there patiently. Whether or not we knew the kind of purchase that dream held in our insides did not matter, because we both ended up following it. The drive of it, the excitement it held, the pure and simple promise in it – all those things were impossible to ignore. Very much the same fear in each of our hearts cast a net toward something familiar and we ignored it, facing instead north and driving away, away. Something in us must have known all along how that dream would be nurtured by Alaska, even if we could never have known the rare kind of love we would find in one another here. And to see that clearing in the woods now, the footprint of our home in the wilderness made by our four hands…The dogs are the only ones who can perfectly describe what that reward feels like - they being incapable of speech and capable of the purest joy, manifested in leaps and snorts and rolls and howls. It is the filling in my heart.”
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out!
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Growing up in Texas
  • Ending up in Alaska in 2009
  • Accepting an internship in Alaska
  • Dealing with heartbreak
  • Being in the wilderness in Alaska
  • Driving from Montana to Alaska
  • Arriving at the remote cabin
  • A new beginning
  • Getting through the first winter
  • Moose & Maximus
  • Becoming a dog musher
  • Her first 1,000 miles race in 2015
  • The joy of travelling with dogs
  • Dealing with the freezing cold
  • The Yukon Quest
  • Running with a team of 14 dogs
  • Not wanting to finish the race
  • What the Quest taught her
  • Meeting Andy for the first time
  • Surviving in Alaska
  • Needing to take a break from the lifestyle
  • Being a woman in dog sledding
  • Being supported and encouraged
  • What makes a good dog driver?
  • Calm and assertive 
  • Writing the book 
 
Social Media
 
Website
 
Personal - https://www.kristinknightpace.com
 
Business -  https://www.heymoosekennel.com 
 
 
THIS MUCH COUNTRY: A Memoir (Grand Central Publishing; March 10, 2020) is about the love between a woman and her dogs, which intensifies with every rollicking adventure and mishap, from mushing under the northern lights to literally running smack into a 2,000-pound wood bison with a dog team. 
 
It is a story about starting from scratch, stripping away all but necessity and living by animal instincts to find life’s richness. From the first time Kristin hooks up a dog team to the moment she roars across the finish line of the Iditarod, readers witness the chaos of starting over in the din of barking, lunging dogs and the peaceful resolution of 15 dogs moving in unison as the Kristin comes to her own realizations about what it means to be wildly singular.
 
Sep 3, 2020
Dr. Tekemia Dorsey is the CEO of the International Association of Black Triathletes, and Owner of IABT MultiSport Racing. Dr. Dorsey is the founder of the 2018 “Youth & Junior TRI-Conference®/EXPO*Event!” 
 
Dr. Dorsey received her Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix and Masters of Education in Guidance & Counseling from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. 
 
Using her leadership principles and core pillars, Dr. Dorsey has become an established, best-selling and awarding winner author and business professional, keynote speaker, facilitator/workshop presenter, curriculum specialist, publisher, professor, entrepreneur, radio show host, executive leadership trainer/coach, community activist, athlete and Child of God. 
 
She is a well-rounded athlete as a runner (marathoner), duathlete, triathlete, and an IRONMAN.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time! Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out!
 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Tekemia
  • Getting into sports 
  • Playing softball at college
  • Getting into running
  • Running her first race
  • Falling in love with running
  • Inspiring people with her running
  • Making the transition into triathlon in 2013
  • Starting with a Duathalon - run - bike - run
  • Doing her first Ironman - Ironman Eagleman
  • Learning how to swim
  • Why she does challenges
  • Why quitting has never been an option
  • Applying lessons from her life to doing the Ironman
  • Creating SMART goals and achieving them
  • Being her own worst enemy
  • “Failure is not an option”
  • Being raised by her grandmother
  • Starting the IABT - International Association of Black Triathletes
  • The vision and the goals for IABT
  • Being new to the multi-sport industry
  • Figuring out her niche
  • Getting her children involved in triathlon
  • Having a focus on youth
  • Getting to understand the industry more
  • Creating a guaranteed pathway to college through triathlon
  • Creating opportunities for youth
  • Dealing with set backs and stress
  • Being a single mum 
  • Changing the narrative
  • What a typical week looks like
  • Launching a new initiative   
 
Social Media
 
IABT/IABT MultiSport Racing - Mission is to develop athletic talent and the whole Child, living in urban communities through the Multi-sport Industry.
 
Website - https://www.iabtyouthnjuniortriconference.org
 
Facebook - @IABTriathletes
 
Instagram - @iabtriathletes 
 
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