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 - and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts







All Episodes
Now displaying: 2018
Dec 25, 2018

On the 10th September 2018 - I started my next challenge, cycling over 4,000km down the Pacific Coast Highway to San Diego, before crossing the border into Mexico to cycle the Baja Divide to Cabo San Lucas.

During this podcast I share more about the journey and what I learned along the way!

Show notes

  • What this episode is about
  • Flying of to Vancouver in September 2018
  • Check out the previous episode which is all about the planning and preparation before the trip
  • Talking the talk and walking the walk
  • Stepping outside my comfort zone
  • Questions from the Tough Girl Tribe
  • Choosing my bike… 
  • Flying into Vancouver and buying a second hand bike
  • Being scared the first time I rode the bike
  • Navigation on the Pacific Coast Highway
  • Packing…. being a minimalist and being conscious of weight
  • Clothing and wanting to be warm at night
  • Taking my laptop with me….
  • Trying to do two very separate challenges
  • Borrowing an off road mountain bike
  • Riding the off-road section and breaking my chain
  • Breaking my back rack in the desert
  • FASS Bike Shop - Baja California - deciding on options
  • What would you do differently…
  • Posting the bike back from Cabo San Lucas
  • What I should have done!
  • Navigation on the Baja Divide - Garmin etrex 10
  • Where I stayed and how I organised my accommodation
  • Looking one day a head for camping
  • What I packed and what I didn’t use
  • Why I took my laptop with me
  • Swapping bikes half way through
  • Highlight from the trip
  • Meeting awesome people to cycle with
  • Biggest difficulty from the trip
  • What I loved about the trip
  • What I learned about myself
  • Food and nutrition
  • Bike repair and bike maintenance
  • Safety while travelling
  • Injuries and chafing


Check out the vlogs from the adventure on Youtube —>>

Support the Tough Girl Podcast —>> Become a patron

Dec 18, 2018

Allie has run over 60 races, from half marathons to 100 mile ultras, and her race sheet for 2018 is looking pretty interesting. In 2017 she gained her first podium place at The Ox 50 where she came first woman, repeating this at the Cotswold Ultra 44 mile race. 

In October 2017 she finished her first 100 mile race in under 24 hours. She’s passionate about empowering women in sport and especially about endurance racing. 

In January 2018 she became the first woman to cross the largest body of freshwater in the world on foot, taking part in a 100 mile multi-stage event on Lake Khovsgol in Mongolia. She has also trained people to run marathon and ultra distance. Having suffered from mental health problems for a lot of her life, she’s a passionate advocate of running as therapy and will be supporting Mind Hackney as her charity of choice in 2018. 

Show notes

  • Coming back from Man V Lakes (Rat Race Event
  • Why she introducers herself as a mid pack runner
  • Getting into running 6 or 7 years ago
  • Being rubbish at sport
  • Deciding to go on her first run
  • Working in the music industry in a high stressed environment
  • Running her first 10K
  • Trying to raise some money and entering the London Marathon
  • ITB Injury…
  • Why she had to run another Marathon.
  • How her running journey progressed and why sibling rivalry motivated her
  • Doing her first trail run and what she loved about it
  • Deciding to do an ultra!
  • Venn diagram of runners
  • Swapping music festivals for running
  • Comparing her 20s to her 30s
  • Playing a role
  • Becoming a freelancer
  • What she loves about running communities
  • What she thinks about while running
  • Bad Boy Running - Online Running Community - Facebook & Podcast
  • Creating her own running community for women - She’s Electric
  • Running 100 miles across a frozen lake in Mongolia
  • Not liking the cold!
  • Using running spikes on the lake
  • The issues with sleep and nutrition
  • Wanting to get to the end
  • The book - Relentless Forward Progress


Social Media

Website -


Dec 11, 2018

Tough Girl Kikkan Randall - 5X Olympian, Olympic champion cross-country skier 2018 & World Champion, “Get-Activist” and Mom Athlete.


Kikkan Randall is an American, Olympic champion cross-country skier. She has won 17 U.S. National titles, taken home 17 U.S. Championships, made 16 podiums in the Stage World Cup, made five trips to the Winter Olympic Games and had the highest finish by an individual U.S. woman at the World Championships (2nd in the Sprint FS at Liberec, CZE in 2009). She was the first American female cross-country skier to take a top ten finish in World Cup competition, to win a World Cup race and to win a World Cup discipline title. She won the silver medal in the individual sprint at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009 in Liberec, becoming the first American woman to win a medal in cross country skiing at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, and in 2013 teamed up with Jessica Diggins to win the first ever American FIS Nordic World Ski Championships gold medal in the team sprint. She and Diggins won the United States' first ever cross-country skiing gold medal at the Winter Olympics in women's team sprint at Pyeongchang in 2018.


Show notes

  • Retiring from cross country skiing and being diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Seeing herself in a number of different ways
  • Being focused, energetic and determined
  • Where her name comes from
  • What life was like for her growing up
  • Being on skies since she was 1 years old
  • Growing up in an active family
  • Starting cross country skiing at age 6 - but not loving it at first
  • Setting goals at a young age
  • Having benchmarks to reach which help to keep her motivated
  • Creating her roadmap to the Olympics
  • The female role models she had growing up
  • The motivation to keep going to get her Olympic gold medal
  • Patience
  • Working to fund her training
  • Getting out of the dark places in her mind and how she changed it around
  • The 2008 season - the high points and low points
  • What a week looks like for an athlete at this level
  • Spending a lot of time being her own best cheerleader
  • The 2018 Winter Olympics (her 5th and final)
  • The race and winning gold!
  • What happened next, after 20 years of chasing a goal!!
  • Finding out she had breast cancer
  • Being diagnosed and what it was like
  • Staying practical and focusing on what she can control
  • Get Activist - what it means and where it comes from
  • “Little goals, small success. build your confidence and become the person you want to be”
  • Having her son, 2 years before the Olympics and the impact on her life
  • Having an amazing support system in place

Social Media

Website - 

Instagram - @kikkanimal  

Facebook -  @kikkanrandall 

Twitter - @kikkanimal 

Dec 4, 2018

During this podcast we speak to Kat and Bettina about solo female travel in Asia and Africa, what it’s like being location independent, how they met and why they decided to create Aurora Wild Women of the World.

More about their mission with Aurora Wild Women:

“A mission to bring back the knowledge of the female wisdom from the depths of Africa, the continent of the heart, the birthplace of the Sapiens.  Engage with its medicine women. Visit its sacred spaces where rituals were performed, generation after generation. Bring back our learnings to a world that is re-learning to honour mother earth, care for her and care for each other. The world as we know it is changing, shifting, from a patriarchal system that is becoming obsolete, to a balanced union between the masculine and the feminine. Our aim is to do our bit to bring the balance back.”

Bettina Guirkinger

Fascinated with "why people do what they do", Bettina has been engaged in a 10 year-long exploration of human nature - including her own! - Which has taken her to the four corners of the world in an attempt to figure out what it is that makes us truly human & alive. Half-french half-colombian, Bettina grew up in France, Belgium, Benin and Peru before pursuing her studies in international relations in England. Today Bettina manages her company Explore Your Elements from Cape Town in South Africa 

Kat Scriven

“A traveller, a wishful thinker. I dream to call the world my home. A writer, a designer. Inspired by the little things. An african heart but a wandering soul. A goddess-warrior. A beautiful mess. Kundalini yoga teacher.” 

Show notes

  • Speaking to Bettina - living a nomadic life and now living in Europe
  • Speaking to Kat - spending 10 years travelling the world
  • How Bettina got into travelling and how her parents impacted on her life
  • Being curious to meet new people and to engage with new cultures
  • How Kat got into travelling and why travel is her greatest passion
  • Solo travel in South East Asia and South America
  • Practical advice for other female travellers
  • Awareness and going with the flow
  • Why you should trust your gut and develop your feminine intuition 
  • How you can work on and develop your feminine intuition 
  • How Kat and Bettina met in the desert in South Africa
  • Afrika Burn
  • Building a giant structure in the middle of the desert
  • Attending Afrika Burn in 2016 after going through a massive heartbreak
  • Deciding to move to South Africa and wanting to contribute to the festival by building it
  • What the festival is like
  • Bettina and how she made changes to her life
  • How the idea for Auora Wild Women of the Word came about
  • 2018 the year of the divine feminine and figuring out what it means to be a powerful woman
  • What it means to Bettina to be a powerful women
  • How the trip through Africa evolved
  • Digging into the detail - the car, the trip, the plan
  • What life was like on the road
  • The women they met along the way
  • How they decided to document the conversations they had with the women
  • What they have learned from the women they have spoken to and why it comes back to Love
  • Why this project is just the beginning
  • Plans for the future and where they would like to take the project - the 3 year vision
  • Wanting to go to Asia
  • How they are funding the trip


Social Media

Aurora Wild Women

Facebook - @aurorawildwomen 

Instagram  - @aurorawildwomen 


Bettina Guirkinger

Website - 


Kat Scriven 

Website - 

Instagram - @katscriv  

Twitter - @KatScriven 

Nov 27, 2018

Carolin is a 51-year-old ultra-runner and multi-day stage race specialist, however, this wasn’t always the case. When Caroline was 36 years old, she was a stay at home mum to three daughters. Wanting to feel better in herself, and wanting to get fitter and lose some weight, she started on a  journey which would ultimately lead to her becoming an ultra-runner….accidentally!! 

She didn’t tell anyone what she was doing, and it was tough going at the start, she started with walking, then gentle jogging and gradually build it up over time to running further and further distance, until she was training for her first marathon! She persevered with it, even through injury and kept on challenging herself more and more. Since then Carolin has gone on to participate in some of the toughest multi-day ultras on the planet, from running the Ice Ultra in the Arctic Circle to the Jungle marathon in Peru.

Show notes

  • Living in Calgary in Canada
  • Having 2 siblings and doing lots of sports growing up 
  • An ordinary person who just fell into ultra running and extreme distance sports
  • Why she decided to take up running
  • As a stay home mum, how she started running with 3 children
  • Not telling anyone she was running
  • Deciding to do a marathon as her first race
  • Dealing with injury and getting the bug for running
  • Starting to notice the benefits almost from the start
  • Not having any proper equipment 
  • Celebrating the mini victories along the way 
  • Never having good body image
  • How her confidence built over time as she got stronger
  • Not telling her friends
  • Running her first marathon at 39 and why it didn’t quite go to plan
  • Doing her first triathlon! 
  • How she trained for her first triathlon 
  • Why it’s all about the challenge
  • Where she gets her determination from?
  • Getting burnt out from triathlon 
  • Doing her first ultra race in California (50K) and coming in last and why it didn’t matter
  • The support she has received from the trail running community 
  • What she thinks about while running
  • What training is like
  • Training for the Ice Ultra organised by Beyond the Ultimate and why she wanted to do it
  • Her race training strategy
  • Why gear was so important and why her biggest challenge was keeping her water from freezing
  • How she protected her face with buffs
  • The high and low points from the race
  • The Peru Jungle Ultra - what it is and why she loves it 
  • Why she has run it 4x
  • Being terrified the first time she did the race
  • The mental preparation she does before a race
  • What she’s feeling on the start line and her race strategy for the Jungle Ultra
  • Why she has to break the long stage down into smaller sections
  • How she prepared for the heat!
  • Her mantra - “Just keep moving forward” and why got it tattooed on her arm
  • Her nutrition and diet
  • Managing your feet in wet jungle conditions 
  • Her 3 top tips for the Jungle Ultra
  • Wanting to go after a 100 mile race - the reasons why and why she keeps on trying
  • The Lost Soul Ultra (100 mile race)
  • Mental Health - and why its important to talk about it
  • How running has helped your mental health
  • Her self care routine 
  • Her running from home bag
  • Her next few races
  • Final words of advice


Social Media 

Facebook: @accidentalultrarunner  

Instagram: @carolinbotterill 



Nov 20, 2018

Growing up Janey spent the majority of time in wellies and a wax jacket covered in mud. When she wasn’t scooting round the fields bareback on her little Dartmoor pony she was playing in the woods with her brother and her dog. She then spent several childhood years in the bright lights of Las Vegas. Long summers were spent sneaking out while the folks were in bed. Exploring the desert and what the city had to offer. Swapping Geography degrees at the University of Exeter as a result of a more desirable field trip to the outback of New Zealand was a sign of things to come.

Janey’s heart lies in the military where she spent four fulfilling years as a soldier with the Honourable Artillery Company. In an unfortunate twist of fate she suffered a serious back injury while training for a military horse race, the Royal Artillery Gold Cup. This halted her plans of joining the Army Legal Service as an Officer. Now a qualified lawyer but unable to fulfil her ambition in military law she embarked on a new business venture; a travelling art gallery, which flowed naturally into life modelling, presenting, running a bar and starting a jazz night; amongst other things.

In December 2018, she will explore the female side of Oman with an all-female Anglo-Omani team. Together they will circumnavigate the country and attempt a first for female exploration; walking the length of Oman’s most formidable landscape, Rub’ Al Khali, The Empty Quarter.

She currently resides in rural SW France surrounded by dogs and horses.

Show notes

  • Living in rural SW France
  • trying to find her way 
  • Wanting to join the army as a lawyer
  • Breaking her back 
  • Setting up a travelling art gallery and doing it for 5 years
  • Becoming lost and not knowing what to do and which direction to travel in 
  • Growing up in the country side and Las Vegas!
  • Deciding to join the army reserves 
  • What it was like and wanting to ride in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup
  • Suffering a serious back injury
  • Adjusting to life after the army and her injury
  • Deciding to walk the South West Coastal Path
  • How much time she decided to give herself to plan and prepare for this trip
  • Starting the challenge in July 2015
  • Coping with her emotions while walking
  • Only wanting to look forward
  • Other issues while on the SW Coast Path
  • Dealing with her family while on the trip
  • Why she picked the sunflower to plant
  • Deciding what she wanted to next and why she wants to continue pushing herself physically
  • Post Traumatic Growth
  • Doing the Dartmoor Way - walking and raising money at the same time (90 miles in 39 hours)
  • The high points, the low points and what she learned
  • Wanting to stop because of the pain and how she kept on going
  • What she’s thinking about while on the challenge
  • What she got from the challenge
  • The next big walk/challenge
  • Why she picked Oman
  • The catalyst and why she needed to change
  • Why it’s about the conversations
  • Starting on the 1st December and finishing on the 1st January
  • How the journey is going to be documented
  • How’s she funding the trip
  • What she’s focusing on in the follow few months
  • Keeping her team together
  • The biggest challenge she thinks she will face while over in Oman
  • Team dynamics in extreme environments
  • Why patience is the hardest thing
  • Connecting with Felicity Aston
  • Final words of wisdom

Social Media

Website - 

Twitter - @JaneyMcgill

Instagram - @gijaneyadventures  



Nov 13, 2018

Loretta had a normal life she was living in Canada with her boyfriend, she was building a house, a 10 year project in the making, but once the final nail had been hammered in, she knew she wanted to do something different with her life. On a whim, and after being inspiredly the Adventure Cycling Touring Handbook, she headed off to England on her first cycle adventure over to Ireland. This was the start, since then, she’s spent over 5 years on the road travelling across 5 continents and cycling through 41 countries as she travelled around the world.

During this podcast Loretta share more about how she came to be living this life, the challenges she has faced along the way and why she loves what she does. She also provided top tips and advice to motivate and inspire you to get on your bike and get peddling! 

Show notes

  • Run trekking in Nepal
  • Living in Canada, 36 years old, with a proper job and a boyfriend
  • The Adventure Cycling Touring Handbook
  • Deciding to leave her life behind to go and cycle from England to Ireland
  • Starting a community for women who travel by bicycle 
  • The Big WOW Book: 100 Women From Around The World Travel Solo Around The World
  • How her friends and family reacted to her wanting to cycle around the world
  • Her first 5 mile hill…
  • 100 km days - 6 days per week
  • Her daily routine while biking
  • The biggest challenge on her 5 year cycle adventure
  • 7 punctures in a day!
  • Maintaining her health while on the road
  • taking breaks to write her book
  • Eating while on the road
  • The Big Book of WOW and how it evolved over time
  • Advice for other women who want to get into cycle touring
  • Not having a map and getting lost in Bangkok 
  • How she’s funding the trip and how she saved up money
  • Personal safety and looking after your bike when you are solo
  • What are the great routes she has cycled and would love to cycle again
  • What bike she rides
  • Her next plans
  • Deciding to run across a country!
  • Her second book
  • Journaling and loving writing

Social Media 


Twitter @skalatitude 

Instagram  @solofemalecyclist   

Facebook @WomenOnWheelsWall 

Nov 6, 2018

Sophie is the 2017 New Explorer of the Year. Her expeditions have taken her to the streets of Managua to the mountains of Madagascar and everywhere in between.

She is the Founder of AquaAid International, Sophie works with some of Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa’s most remote villages establishing sustainable sources of clean drinking water and basic sanitation.

Sophie is a Health Security Specialist with a concentration on the civil military relations in infectious disease outbreaks and biodefense, for which she has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship from the US Department of State. Sophie holds a Bachelors in Environmental Science and Global Public Health from New York University and is currently working on a Master of Health Security at the University of Sydney. 

Sophie is an avid sailor, has sailed across the Pacific Ocean, and holds a 200-ton captains license. At the time of certification, she was the youngest female to ever obtain a 200-ton MCA Yachtmaster Captains License.

Her passion for adventure and discovering indigenous ways of life has led her undertake descents of uncharted rivers in Madagascar, desert transect treks in Namibia, and ethnographic research in the Republic of Vanuatu. Sophie’s work has been featured by National Geographic and the United Nations.  Sophie is a Fellow of The Explorers Club and Post-Graduate Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. 

When not exploring Sophie lives between New York City and Sydney. 

Show notes

  • Currently rriving a Land cruiser around the outback in Australia
  • Using exploration to help achieve a more sustainable future
  • Being a ballerina before taking a pivot into science, travel & exploration
  • Changing her life at 16 and starting to work on super yachts
  • Coming from a low income, single parent family
  • Being determined to travel from a young age
  • Working as an unpaid deck hand
  • Becoming the youngest female to ever obtain a 200-ton MCA Yachtmaster Captains License
  • Sailing across the Pacific Ocean
  • Studying Public Health at New York City University
  • Being shocked by the water crises she came across
  • Founding an NGO, the challenges she faced and what she learned along the way
  • Returning to NYC and finding the Explorers Club where she was able to connect with other like minded individuals.
  • Heading on an expedition to the Republic of Vanuatu to search for the ‘Tribe of Female Chiefs’
  • What she learned about female leadership while spending time with the female chiefs
  • Sharing her knowledge and research with others
  • What daily life was like while she was over there, where she stayed what she ate and how she handled the language challenges
  • Women and the practice of water music
  • Feeling lonely and isolated even though she was surrounded by people
  • Heading back to NYC and dealing with the culture shock 
  • Graduating from University and trying to decided what to do next
  • Booking a ticket to Madagascar and deciding to start the Sofia Log
  • Winning a scholarship to do an extended 2 year research program on water security in Central Africa 
  • The challenges she faced over there and why she is not a river person
  • What she’s learned from committing herself to projects
  • Deciding what to do next after she finishers her studies
  • Being a Youth Representative for the Explorers Club in the UN
  • The Sofia Log - what it is and why she started it
  • Why you have to find out what works best for you


Social Media

Website - 

Twitter - @TheSofiaLog

Instagram - @captsophie 

Blog -


Oct 30, 2018

Jen has always loved to be active, from running around while growing up in the Peak District to playing football with the boys.

Leaving school, and heading off to University she was painfully shy and struggle to talk to people, however, as she was studying to be a barrister she was thrown into the deep end and worked hard to over come this. While studying and working, exercise took a back seat until she changed her life, by becoming self employed and moving away from London.

After the loss of her father and brother in quick succession she started going running as a way to deal with the pain. Although she struggles to call herself a runner, she has run multiple ultra in the country and has completed the Dig Deep Ultra, the Spine Challenge and the Northern traverse. 

During this podcast Jen shared more about her passion for running, what she eats, how she trains, recovers and also gives top tips and advice for you to complete your own ultra challenge. 

Show notes

  • Why she has only just started to call herself a runner 
  • Growing up in the Peak District and spending a lot of time outdoors
  • Playing sports at school, loving football and athletics
  • Getting through the awkward years at school and being the only girl playing football
  • Doing 5 years at university and how it impacted on her health and sports
  • Working as a Human Rights Lawyer
  • Her progression as a runner
  • Becoming self employed, moving back to the peak district and starting to go walking again
  • Joining a running club in the Peak District and being too scared to do any races or runs
  • Doing her first fell race
  • What she loves about running and why she has fun
  • Going on social media and being inspired by twitter
  • Losing her father and brother and going through a time of turmoil
  • Deciding to get a dog 
  • 30 mile ultra! The Dig Deep Ultra and having a little wobble during the race
  • Getting nervous before races and having anxiety
  • Trying not to stress and enjoying the moments while out running
  • The Spine Challenger Race and deciding to take it more seriously
  • The technical aspects of the race
  • Blisters and feet!!
  • Being a vegan, and her diet during training, racing and recovery
  • Being anaemic and suffering from chronic fatigue
  • Using acupuncture to manage her fatigue
  • Finding out what works for you
  • The Northern Traverse Race
  • Walking the coast to coast with her mum
  • Advice and tips for other runners and why getting to the start line without being injured is so important!
  • Future races coming up

Social Media

Twitter - @jenscotney  

Instagram - @jenscotney  



Oct 23, 2018

Lowri has been around kayaking all her life, but didn’t get into paddling properly until she was 14, when kayaks and kit started to fit. She became hooked, nagging anyone she could to take her paddling – whether it was to a local beck, cold winter surf or a man-made white water course. 

All of her hard work paid off and Lowri earned a place on the GB freestyle team for the 2001 World Championships and aged just 16 it was a life changing experience. She has continued to compete at the highest levels on the International freestyle scene ever since, earning a few medals along the way – including European Freestyle Champion 2006-08.

Lowri has also been on many expeditions and adventures, paddling in incredibly remote, big volume rivers in Siberia as part of the Four Borders Expedition; she has also claimed first descents in Mongolia and Georgia; and bagged big waterfalls in Chile as well as getting lost in the jungles of Colombia! Her adventures with kayaking have taken her to over 30 countries on 6 different continents… so far…

Lowri is a  BC Level 5 Coach & European Freestyle Champion, she is the owner of FlowFree Kayak Coaching

Show notes

  • Growing up in York and moving to North Wales
  • Who is Lowri, what she does and what she loves 
  • How she first got into kayaking and why she struggled at first.
  • Getting hooked at 14
  • Going to her first world championships at 16
  • Getting to meet her heroes 
  • What makes a good kayaker
  • How it changed her life and thinking about the future
  • Her plan B
  • Her first big expedition with Four Borders to Siberia and Mongolia, from section to planning and preparing for the trip
  • Being the only women
  • Crossing the border, and getting between a 32km no man’s land when crossing from Russia to Mongolia
  • What it was like in Mongolia and why the conditions were not the best for kayaking!
  • Team roles
  • Her expedition to Georgia
  • Helping clients with confidence issues
  • Learning to distinguish between fear and excitement
  • The challenges of going solo when kayaking
  • The challenges faced in the Colombia expedition and why a river which should have taken 3 hours to kayak took  3 days!
  • Why it’s important not to panic when it comes to handling the unknown
  • Advice and tips for women who want to get involved in kayaking but don’t know where to start
  • Advice and tips for women who want to take the next step in their kayaking journey and start going on expeditions
  • Next challenge for Lowri


Social Media

Website  - 

Twitter - @flowfree_lowri 

Instagram - @flowfree_lowri 

Facebook - @flowfreecoaching 

Oct 16, 2018

Susie Mitchell is a 38 year first time mom to a lovely vibrant baby girl Tori. Always enjoying the challenge of trying her hand at different sports, she discovered track cycling in July of 2011. After failing to make her mark in anything from shot putt to surfing, it finally seemed she had found something she was good at. Then two months later she became pregnant. Having set her sights on competing in the World Masters Track Cycling Championships the following October, she needed a plan. It would come four months after the birth and she wanted to be ready to give a good account of herself.

Wanting to train properly throughout her pregnancy, she looked for and found lots of advice – but was alarmed at how conservative views on exercise were during this time. The advice of "gentle jogging or easy swimming" wasn’t appealing. Being both a vet and scientist with a background in research she decided to look into it herself and focus on what the science said as her guide. Through this, a healthy dose of common sense and the help of her coach, she found a way to maintain and improve her fitness while training through all stages of her pregnancy and post-partum.

Her return to form came so much quicker than anyone could have expected, winning a National Medal just 6 weeks after the birth. She added others in the following months and went from strength to strength culminating in winning a title in the Individual Pursuit at the World Masters Track Championships in Manchester just a few months after Tori arrived. She had somehow managed to achieve her lifelong goal of sporting success in any discipline, and had pregnancy to thank for it. Susie showed that it is not only possible to stay fit and healthy by exercising through your pregnancy but that you could turn pregnancy to your advantage during training. The physiological changes in the body during this time mean training with baby on board is akin to training at altitude. Only a lot cheaper and easier to do!

By staying somewhat immersed in her sport, she also reaped another unforeseen benefit – she succeeded in maintain her identity through it all. Staying fit and getting back on the bike post-partum was one of the things that kept her sane, when coping with the biggest shock to the system anyone can have – becoming a mom for the first time. All of this was made possible by the help of a very supportive husband, Cormac. 

She is now back at work as a fish vet, travelling all around Ireland, visiting fish farms and jumping on and off trawlers. She tries to balance working, being a mum and enjoying her sport, a bit of a juggling act at times. Wanting to help other women like her during their pregnancies, she wrote the book she would have liked to read.

Show notes

  • Who Susie is and where she is based
  • Getting interested in mountain biking
  • Never being good at any sports 
  • Falling in love with track cycling
  • Enjoying the speed
  • Meeting her husband
  • Doing a big cycle ride with her husband before going on to do adventure racing
  • What it’s like doing races with your partner
  • A race which stands out for her… getting lost & dealing with bad weather….
  • Training together as a couple
  • Having a planned pregnancy at 37
  • Going to Manchester for the experience 
  • Myths about training while pregnant
  • Cycling 60K on her due date!
  • Judgement from others?
  • Everyone has their version of what fit and healthy should be for pregnant women
  • How her pregnancy went the first time and the challenges the second time around
  • How life changed after having her first baby and why it was such a shock
  • Working with her coach while training through her pregnancy
  • Getting back to sport
  • Getting to the  master race… in 4 months
  • The baby boost
  • Getting mentally in the game
  • What a typical training week looks like
  • Diet and nutrition
  • How she recovers from training 
  • Taking it to the next level while on the track
  • What goest through her head when she’s racing 
  • The impact of her win on her both personally and professionally
  • Going back to work after 6 months
  • Working as a vet, doing her PhD, writing her book while bringing up children
  • Trying to get her motivation back after achieved her life dream of winning the Masters
  • How life changed again after having her 2nd child
  • Advice and tips for other women who have had babies and want to get back into sports and exercise
  • Why it is personal to you and why it is not about comparison



Social Media

Website -

Twitter - @susie_mitchell 

Oct 9, 2018

Nikki moved to Chamonix, to ski, serve beer to the locals and dance on bar tops, way back in the Winter of 2004.  Nikki has worked hard to train and run long distances and has run some incredible races and routes all over the world.  They include, the UTMB (all distances) 100km CCC/120km TDS/ 170km, as well as the Everest marathon.

Based in Chamonix, she is a fully qualified VTCT Sports Massage Therapist, LiRF Run Leader CiRF Trail/Fell Running coach. Nikki is currently working towards her Mountain Leader qualification and finalising a diploma in sports nutrition all along side founding and building The Adventure Running Company

In 2017, Nikki was a founder of the Neverest Girls who went out to inspire girls into trying their hand at challenges that they may have never thought possible.

Show notes

  • How she ended up living and working in Chamonix
  • How she would introduce herself
  • Being the founder of the adventure running company
  • When she started getting into running
  • How her love of longer distance running came about
  • How her business came about 
  • The Neverest Girls 
  • Where the idea came from to run the Everest Marathon
  • Deciding in October 2012 to do this challenge and making it a reality in May 2014
  • The biggest challenge while training - time and trying to balance life
  • Why it was a sad time to be in Nepal
  • Being evacuated from Base Camp
  • Why it was character building (Type 2 Fun)
  • The Trans Rocky Race in America
  • Dealing with stress fractures and having to sit out of the race
  • What she needed to change when she came back to running after her injury
  • Having a bone scintigraphy - and how it helped her to diagnose what was wrong
  • Her first race after injury - deferring UTMB until 2016
  • Wanting to do an Ironman in 2016 as well!!
  • Having a bad day on the course and not having it in her head and why she stopped. 
  • Being mentally tired
  • Standing on the start line on UTMB in 2017 and feeling so ready for it and wanting it more than anything
  • Mental tips and tricks and why it is personal 
  • Why she wants to know what it will be like once she finishes
  • Her 2018 season so far
  • How her crew support her to keep her going during the race when it gets tough
  • Race strategy
  • What a typical training week looks like
  • Concerns about getting stress fractures again
  • Nutrition…. vegetarian…. & food at aid stations during races
  • Why she is in the Lake District…
  • What the Bob Graham Round is and what’s involved..
  • Doing the Bob Graham Round in November… & her motivation behind it
  • Her 2019 challenge!!
  • Final words of advice for women who want to have more adventure running in their life

Social Media

Website -


Facebook - @theadventurerunningcompany

Instagram - @theadventurerunningcompany 

Twitter -  @adventurerunn



You can listen to the Tough Girl Podcast on the go via iTunes, Soundcloud & Stitcher!



Oct 2, 2018

Jessica is an Author, and  Adventure Activist.

In her early forties after the eleventh round of unsuccessful IVF, she decided it was time to take on another adventure. It became the start of a journey in pursuit of the answer to the question: ‘Does motherhood make you happy or can you have a fulfilling life without children?’

What she’s learning is that there are many routes to creating a family if you want one but also that life is full of many different adventures.

That’s what led her to dedicating the fourth decade of her life to taking on some of the world’s most iconic endurance challenges to raise awareness and money for both adults and children without the families they long for.

In 2015, Jessica swam the English Channel in 17 hours, 44 minutes and 30 seconds, raising over £25,000 for adults and children without the families they long for. She said it was like her version of 'giving birth.' Read about it in her new book: 21 Miles: Swimming in search of the meaning of motherhood.

In 2017, Jessica ran the London Marathon for Fertility Network UK, raising over £5,000 for the charity.

In 2020, Jessica plans on summiting Mount Everest, which when she completed, will make her the first women to have ever completed these two challenges called  “Pond to Peak”.

**Please note during this episode we do talk about fertility, IVF and miscarriages. If you are in a sensitive place right now regarding these issues, please make sure you feel strong enough to listen, and have support available. This episode will always be available for you to listen to at a later date.**

Show Notes

  • How Jessica would describe herself
  • Coming from an arts family
  • Running a theatre by her early 30s
  • Not being sporty when she was younger
  • Meeting the man she wanted to have a family with
  • Trying to get pregnant
  • A decade long struggle to conceive
  • Her mission to become a mother and how it took over her life
  • Wanting to take back control in her 40s
  • How she got through it while living her life in limbo
  • The shame around fertility problems for both men and women
  • The impact on her marriage
  • Turning 40 and starting to write her first book - The Pursuit of Motherhood
  • 43 - and getting on with the rest of your life
  • Exercise and the role it played during her quest for motherhood.
  • Reaching 43 and deciding to stop IVF
  • Deciding to swim the English Channel!
  • All the reasons why she could not do this challenge
  • Mental toughness and mental resilience
  • What she thinks about while swimming
  • Why the challenge is always going to be harder than the training
  • The 7 & 6 in training (7 hours swimming on Saturday and 6 hour swimming on Sunday)
  • Swimming in the dark  - getting sick while swimming - dealing with jelly fish!!
  • Finishing the channel swim and reaching French soil
  • Adventure Activism and doing challenges!
  • Going back to her bucket list for her next challenge
  • Her 3rd and Final challenge…. climbing Everest in 2020!
  • The Pond to Peak Challenge!
  • Fertility Fest
  • Deciding to climb Mount Kilimanjaro at Christmas
  • How’s she training for Mount Everest & why she knows herself
  • Confidence after a challenge!
  • Dealing with sadness in your life
  • Dealing with people’s sympathy
  • Grief


Social media


Twitter @JessicaPursuit

Facebook - @thepursuitofmotherhood 

Fertility Fest -

Sep 25, 2018

Katy 'KP' Parrott has been described as “Tinkerbell crossed with the Terminator”. Katy found her passion for adventure at a young age and when she was 17 went on an expedition to Nepal. Her love of nature and the outdoors led her to gain a First in Biology from the University of Bath and a Masters in wildlife film making for which she had to make a video out in the wilds of Bulgaria.  

She was a ‘recruit’ in the BBC programme Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week, which she was selected for out of thousands of applicants, and made it to the final six in the show. It was an experience she found ‘life-changing’ and one that has inspired her to train to become an Army medic.

Most recently she has done her first 100K and half ironman. Katy also shares more about her future challenges and she wants to undertake!

** Please note during this episode we do talk briefly about her friend who lost of her life to suicide**

Show notes

  • Living in Bristol
  • How Katy would describe herself - “tinker bell crossed with the terminator”
  • Growing up in Bristol, spending a lot of time outside playing sports
  • Heading to Nepal at 17
  • Not knowing how much adventure was going to play a part of her life
  • Doing sport, theatre, and paining, but also having a passion for wildlife
  • Having a passion for adventure and why it snowballed
  • What the BBC TV show #UltimateHellWeek was all about
  • Having 5 weeks to prepare…
  • 15 men and 7 women
  • Why she wanted to apply and the shock of finding out she had made it!
  • Mentally not knowing how she was going to cope
  • Preparing her body and training at various times to get herself use to different situations
  • Coping with the unknown and getting anxious about what was going to happen next
  • Going in with an open mind - “why there was nothing that would make her quit during the process”
  • Getting respect
  • The task that almost pushed her over the edge, being locked in a coffin for most of the night
  • Being made Team Leader!
  • 4 women making it to the final 6
  • What she learned from going through this experience
  • Planning a 400K hike through the Bulgarian Mountains!
  • Mental tips and tricks - why it is always going to finish at some point
  • Heading out to Bulgaria to hike
  • Crashing after 4 days into the hike
  • Finding old Russian military maps from the 1980s
  • Having feet issues
  • How she recovered once she got home
  • Wanting to take on another challenge & signing up for the Army Reserves as a Combat Medic
  • Deciding going full time in the Army isn’t the right decision for her
  • Doing the Cotswold Way Ultra - 100K (62 miles) from Bath to Cheltenham 
  • Managing her feet before and during challenges  & why she swears by talc
  • Diet, food and drinking
  • Future challenges and goals including wanting to walk the full length of Sir Lanka, an Ironman and maybe rowing an ocean
  • Not letting her height stop her
  • Advice for other women who want to take on new challenges
  • Why you should say Yes and worry about it afterwards
  • The marines letting in women 
  • Being rubbish with social media!


Social Media

Twitter  - @ParrottKaty 

Instagram - @katy.parrott  

Sep 18, 2018

Jane has travelling and lived all over the world, she is a qualified solicitor and would describe herself as a ‘soft’ adventurer.  Her adventures have included hiking over 750 km along an old pilgrim trail from France and across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostella; rafting and canoeing for 17 days on the Zambesi River; and travelling across China by overland truck before heading down Pakistan’s Karakorum Highway to Islamabad.  

During this podcast Jane shares more about her life growing up, losing her mother and Aunt to breast cancer at a young age and the impact that had on her. She shares more about wanting to do the Marathon des Sables and why it took her over 15 years to achieve her dream. She gives practical advice about how you can figure out what you want to do with your life and how you apply this to your next adventure. 

Jane is a big supporter of women and has started AdventureShe magazine dedicated to empowering, educating and entertaining (predominantly) women of all ages, through sharing stories of adventure. 

Show notes

  • Where her accent is from
  • Believing in justice and becoming a solicitor
  • Growing up in Wales and coming from a large family
  • Going on a cycle adventure at 15
  • Going to university at Cardiff and having some fun
  • Wanting to move to London and why it was easy
  • Coping with the loss of her mother at 18, as well as losing her aunt and her grandfather 
  • Travelling and taking a gap year and getting the bug for travelling
  • Working for 2 years while doing her training contact to qualify as a solicitor
  • White water rafting in Africa 
  • Why she decided to do the Marathon des Sables in 2016
  • Giving herself 11 months to train and prepare
  • Getting a chest infection and having to postpone the race until 2017
  • Why she was most worried about the shame of not finishing
  • Why education was a way out of poverty 
  • Mental preparation and splurging on a warm sleeping bag
  • Her most challenging moments during the MDS
  • Going step by step
  • What it was like crossing over the finish line
  • What she’s learnt from the experience
  • Doing her 2nd Half Ironman in 2017
  • Roll down and getting a slot in the half ironman World Championships!
  • Doing her Ted Talk - It takes a million small steps to achieve big dreams 
  • Being a single female with no children
  • Making the time to achieve your dreams
  • Developing your mission statement and doing a SWOT Analysis
  • AdventureShe Magazine
  • Future challenges

Social Media

Website - 

Instagram - @adventure_she 

Facebook - @AdventureShe 

Twitter - @adventure_she 


Ted Talk  -

Sep 11, 2018

In 2000, Tricia went from being a competitive cyclist to a paraplegic requiring a wheelchair for mobility. Her life was changed forever, but Tricia’s competitive spirit and zest for life continued on. Through her experiences in both rehab and racing, Tricia has overcome adversity and learned what it takes to perform at the top of her game.

Having made the transition from able-bodied cyclist to an athlete with a disability, Tricia knows the true meaning of the words challenge and change, and has learned a wealth of lessons to deal with the obstacles we all face in reaching for our personal goals.

Tricia has completed over 100 races, including marathons, duathlons and triathlons, since her accident. She was the first female paraplegic to complete an Ironman triathlon and qualified for the Hawaii Ironman World Championships in 2006 and 2010. In 2011, she competed as part of the U.S. Rowing team at the World Championships in Bled, Slovenia.

Tricia’s professional life has also been immersed in sports as she earned a master’s degree in Sport Management in 1995 and worked at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. She was the press officer for the USA Table Tennis team at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and for the USA Swimming team at the 1997 World University Games in Italy. Before becoming a professional speaker, she taught high school in the Denver Public Schools. Today she takes people on their journeys from start to victory, motivating each person to discover his or her own “inner champion”, just as she has. Receiving many sports accolades including being inducted into the Sportswomen of Colorado Hall of Fame, the 2006 Most Inspirational Athlete from the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the 2008 Courage Award from the Tempe Sports Authority, Tricia has truly excelled despite her life-altering injury.

In addition to her current sports pursuits, Tricia has completed master’s degrees in Disability Studies and Sports Management. She is also the Director for Camp Discovery, a camp for women in wheelchairs who want to explore fitness opportunities as well as create a support system of other women who have experienced mobility disorders/disabilities. In 2010 she has published her memoir: Cycle of Hope—A Journey from Paralysis to Possibility.

Show notes

  • Based in Denva, Colorado
  • Who is Tricia…. where to start
  • Identifying as an athlete
  • Doing sports when she was 4 years olds
  • Starting bike racing after college
  • Growing up with 3 brothers
  • Being captivated with gymnastics
  • How her athletes life evolved after high school 
  • Growing to 5’10 and deciding to become a diver at college
  • How she got into cycling and road racing
  • Getting hit by a car and knowing something was wrong
  • Breaking her back and injuring her spinal cord
  • The aftermath of the accident
  • What she learnt mentally and emotionally going through that experience
  • Getting back into sports after the accident
  • Being a goal driven person
  • Doing her first Ironman in 2005 -Taking over 18hours to complete
  • Maintaining balance and not letting her goals take over her life
  • Happiness?
  • The Ironman in Kona in Hawaii
  • Dealing with the grief of losing her legs
  • Being kind to herself
  • Having multiple surgeries and ending up in chronic pain
  • Taking up shooting as a Para-Olympian
  • How she earns money
  • Why she started to write 
  • The mental challenge of shooting
  • Adapting to change - advice and tips
  • The Cycle of Hope Organisation
  • Books! - Her first book - Cycle of Hope
  • Plans for the rest of the year
  • Final words of advice

Social Media

Website - 

Twitter - @redefiningable 

Facebook - @RedefiningAble 

Instagram - @redefiningable

Sep 4, 2018


Cycling the Pacific Coast Highway & the Baja Divide!

On the 4th September I will fly out to Vancouver. On the 10th September 2018 - I will be cycling over 4,000km down the Pacific Coast Highway to San Diego, before crossing the border into Mexico to cycle the Baja Divide to Cabo San Lucas.

I will be sharing all of the planning and preparation as well as daily vlogging the cycling challenge!

I can't wait to share this experience with you! 

To support Tough Girl Challenges, please become a patron. Help me to increase the amount of female role models in the media.

 Show notes

  • What Caroline does
  • The next challenge what it is and why I choose it!
  • How it came about
  • Getting outside my comfort zone
  • Why the timing was just perfect
  • Being inspired by Faye Shepherd
  • 10th September….
  • How do you plan for a trip like this?
  • Breaking it down and writing to do lists
  • Paying for the big ticket items
  • Equipment needs…
  • Spot Tracker….
  • Buying a tent
  • Support from the tribe with equipment
  • Training and being in recovery from the Appalachian Trail
  • Hip flexors and glutes
  • Being a blue sky thinker
  • Packing… and being more relaxed
  • Throwing in a few more luxuries
  • Not knowing how I’m going to pack stuff…
  • The bike…. needing 2 bikes…
  • Bike sponsorship….
  • Borrowing a bike and being able to post it back to LA US$90
  • Ride On - 
  • Buying a bike, getting a bike fit & accessories, maintenance for the bike
  • Ignorance is bliss!
  • Bike maintenance…. 
  • Pedals & bike loading…
  • Rucksack on my back?
  • Time pressure
  • Saddle sores
  • Self care
  • Wanting a different pace
  • Mileage and nutrition
  • 6 months to get  my back balance back with nutrition
  • Not having ridden on a loaded bike before…
  • Crossing the border and why I’m a little apprehensive
  • Social events while on the road
  • Meeting up with Roz Savage - maybe?
  • The difficulties of planning while on the road
  • How much of the trip have I planned?
  • Heading to Forks…
  • Milestones…
  • Reaching LA for Halloween..
  • What I’m most looking forward to on this trip
  • Sharing my journey - “Document don’t create” (Gary Vee)
  • My two fears…. cars & guns
  • What if lists… and writing down all my fears
  • Having back up plans
  • Accommodation - Using
  • Budgeting and reducing all of my costs down
  • Needing to be sensible 
  • Looking for accommodation in LA
  • What can the tough girl tribe do to support
  • Managing the business while I’m on the road
  • Designing my business so I can be on the road
  • When I’m coming back to the UK
  • Heading to India and taking a month of everything
  • Trying to be relaxed
  • The next mega milestone

Connect with Caroline Wellingham

IAPC&M Accredited Career Coach and NLP Practitioner looking to inspire, motivate and encourage women to find their dream career.

Website - 

Twitter  -  @raisethebarlife  

Instagram - @raise_the_bar_life 




Aug 28, 2018

“Inspired by Tough Girl Challenges. I finally made the decision to go on my big adventure - facing a fear of solo cycling to ride 1009 miles via the three peaks - ad I'm so glad I did” 

During this podcast we learn more about Janine’s journey into fitness from running the London marathon to training for her first ironman, we learn why she started her blog and where she hopes to take it in the future. 

Janine shares more about her own personal fears, the anxiety she has dealt with and why she has struggled to write about her most recent challenge. 

Show notes

  • Living in Bristol
  • Spending 15 years working in marketing, but now working as a freelance writer
  • Not growing up sporty and discovering running in her twenties
  • Her running journey and signing up for the London Marathon in 2008
  • Running it in 2009 due to an injury
  • Joining a running club and how it took her to the next level
  • Making the transition over to triathlon
  • Dealing with injury over a year and a half and the impact on her life
  • Getting her first bike
  • Starting her blog
  • Being inspired by Chrisse Wellington and why the message to ‘Pay it forward’ stuck with her
  • Signing up for her first Ironman and why she was terrified and excited in equal measure
  • Dealing with her own personal fears and anxiety
  • The Ironman Bible 
  • Hitting walls in training and hiring an ironman coach for the final 6 months
  • Starting a new job and breaking up with her boyfriend
  • Chaining her nutrition and feeling supported in her journey
  • Dealing with her anxiety
  • IronMan Bolton in 2015 — the rain, the hills, the highpoint, the low points & transitions!
  • Recovery and feeling like a new women after the race
  • The ironman swagger
  • Doing her first ultra, qualifying for Team GB (age group)
  • Taking on bigger and bigger challenges and deciding to tackle her next fear  - heights via the 3 Peaks Challenge
  • Dealing with her fears of isolation and wanting to be alone, but being scared 
  • How meeting Anna McNuff changed the direction of her life
  • Why her big idea got shelved
  • Following her heart and doing what made her happy
  • Wanting to cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats (LEJOG)
  • Telling 3 people your plans
  • Deciding to quit her job and go back to being a freelancer
  • Dealing with the negative feedback and how she coped with it 
  • The Adventure Queens 
  • Feeling the isolation kicking in
  • What’s she’s learnt from doing this solo challenge
  • Celebrating the finish!
  • The blog and how’s it evolved over time
  • The women who have inspired her on the blog
  • The LEJOG Blog….. maybe a book!
  • Final words of advice 
  • Dealing with the adventure blues


Social Media


Triathlove started life in 2014 as a training blog for my first ironman, but quickly became a place for Janine to share the stories of inspiring women she met along the way, who swim, cycle and run.

Instagram @missjanineelizabeth 

Twitter @janinedoggett  

Aug 21, 2018

For the past 4 years, Terra has been walking solo and unsupported around Australia. On the 2nd May 2018 Terra became the first woman to walk the 17,000kms + to complete this challenge.

Throughout the last 20 to 30 years having the freedom to roam has helped Terra in many ways including physical and mental health, self-awareness and peace. 

During this podcast, Terra shares more about the challenges she has faced, why she has kept motivated and what she has learned from pushing her body to the limits. 

Terra talks very frankly about her life and the journey she has been on, she also provides top tips and advice on why and how you should start your next challenge.

Terra is currently staying put for a short time, while she writes a book and prepares for her next challenge!

In November this year, Terra will be starting her next challenge which is to cycle tour around Australia! She expects this will take her about 2 years to achieve! 


** Please note we do talk about mental health issues from depression, PTSD, and attempted suicide**

Show notes

  • Being based in Adelaide and writing a book
  • Who is Terra? 
  • Starting wandering from a young age and allowing nature to teach her and guide her
  • Moving to the Snowy Mountains in 1988
  • Having confidence in herself
  • Heading over New Zealand at 19 on a theatre trip and becoming addicted to travel
  • Getting the idea to walk around the Australia. Being inspired as a 12 years old by Robyn Davidson’s book - Tracks
  • Dealing with mental health issues, from depression to PTSD and hospitalised after attempting to take her own life in 2010
  • The Happy Walk - walking the first 1600 km for suicide prevention
  • Not being able to cope any longer and reaching out for help
  • Using nature as therapy and being scared of medication
  • Writing down the highlights in her life and noticing they were all adventure.
  • Giving herself 2 years to get ready to walk Australia and figuring out how to do it alone
  • Not letting the fear in
  • Money and how she paid for the challenge, and why she turned to crowd funding towards the end
  • Planning to walk for 7 years originally and having to change her plan
  • Deciding to start with Tasmania (10 week, 1250 km)
  • Stopping to have tumours removed and then waiting for the next season to start walking again
  • Mental health during her trip and loving the solitude that it provided
  • Dealing with flashbacks and relapses during the trip
  • The physically scary moments and getting to meet incredible people along the way
  • How her body coped on the roads while following a vegan diet
  • Bulking up between each section
  • The next expedition! Roam for Eva - starting in September 17th and finish in November 2020
  • Writing a book at the moment - a collection of short adventure stories
  • Using Patreon to fund her next adventure 
  • Being stubborn when she wants to do something
  • Being diagnosed with Aspergers later on in life
  • What she’s learnt most from this experience and why it’s about going with the flow
  • Advice for other women who want to take on a big challenge
  • Dealing with the question - ‘Are you scared?


Social media


Website -

Instagram - @terraroams  

Support Terra with her next challenge & sign up to be a patron



Aug 14, 2018

Katy Willings is the Mongol Derby Chief, and erstwhile Chief of Adventures at The Adventurists.  Based in Bristol, UK, she was a junior international dressage rider in her teens.  She rode in the inaugural Mongol Derby, the world's longest horse race, in 2009, sparking a later endurance riding career which saw her compete up to 120kms internationally, and became a full-time Adventurist in 2010, working on the Derby, and later the Ice Run, Icarus Trophy and Monkey Run. 

In the course of producing high profile events for the Adventurists she has ridden vintage Russian motorcycles in -30 (and got the damn things started in -40 when no-one else could), wrangled with customs in far-flung places to get equipment and people in country, managed local and international teams to deliver logistically complex and culturally significant goods and services.  And learned to fly a paramotor.  Kind of.  She finally did her motorcycle test in May 2018 (5 years late then) and will be taking to the open road, legally, this summer.  

She has ambitions to cycle the iron curtain, to fly her paramotor over Victoria Falls, to ride from New York to Buenos Aires as Aime Schiffely once did.  In the meantime she'll be wielding a clipboard and a satellite phone in her spiritual home of Mongolia this summer, and manning the airwaves during the Mongol Derby (it's live now!) in the operations room.  

She declares herself to be utterly devoid of talent, and proof that talent is no barrier to doing whatever the hell you want.  One day she will ride at Grand Prix and further prove this.  She has worked with horses in Europe, Mongolia and Malawi, and men and machines in Morocco, Siberia, Sierra Leone.  She has had as much adventure putting on the adventures, as the participants have had taking part.  Oftentimes, a great deal more. 

Show notes

  • Moving to Bristol in 2010
  • Struggling to call herself an adventurer
  • Spending most of her life on a horse
  • Happening on adventure by accident after losing her best friend in 2008
  • Fighting to make the world less boring
  • Being 25 and living in London and living for the weekend
  • The Rickshaw Run how it came about and why she decided to do it
  • What is it and how you plan for it!
  • Starting with a New Years Eve Party then 2 weeks to get to the finish line!
  • Being 40Km from the finish line and rolling the rickshaw…. 
  • Driving to the finish line and finishing the race
  • Being lucky to walk away from the crash
  • First hearing about the Mongol Darby!
  • A healing, a closure, and a change in attitude about herself
  • Being a glorious amateur!
  • What adventure means to Katy
  • Applying for the Mongol Darby and being placed on the reserve list
  • Not being able to let it go and also not being able to commit to the challenge 
  • Having 10 weeks to prepare and having to change her expectations for the race
  • Running, cycling and riding horses to build up endurance and to be as fit as possible
  • Loving history and reading up on the historically and cultural aspects of the race
  • Was the race even possible? Could it be done?
  • Dealing with the unknowns
  • Becoming friends with her fellow competitors
  • The structure of the race, and what it was like on a daily basis ‘glorious isolation’
  • Riding 1000km over 9 days…
  • How completing the race changed the direction of her life 
  • What she’s leant from working at the Adventurists
  • The difficulties of making money from adventure
  • Getting the flying bug and what the next challenge is going to be
  • Her plan to cycle the Iron Curtain
  • Advice to fill your life with adventure and why it’s ok to do things for pleasure
  • Her side hustle in Mongolia - Morindoo


Social Media

Insta (Katy) - @willingskaya

Insta (Morindoo) - @morindooadventures


Website - Morindoo -

Website - The Mongol Derby -


Twitter - Katy - @KatyAdvntrists

Twitter - Mongol Derby - @mongolderbylive



Feeling inspired week after week? 

You can do 3 easy things to help me continue to grow the podcast!

  1. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, so you won’t miss a single episode
  2. If you’re loving the podcast, please leave a 5-star review on iTunes! I read every single comment!
  3. Share the podcast with your friends, especially if you think it could help them, and spread the #ToughGirlPodcast love. 

Your support helps me continue to grow the podcast and do inspiring things in this space! Already done all 3? You’re a rockstar! Thank you!

Want to do more?

Please become a Patron and donate a small fixed amount every month to help fund the runnings costs. 



Aug 7, 2018

Nicola "Nicky" Spinks is a 51 year old, British long distance runner, specialising in fell running,

Nicky has over 16 years' experience of fell and ultra running, successfully completing ten 24 hour Rounds holding the record for the Ladies Lakeland 24 hour round with 64 Peaks in 23.15 hours. She also held the Ladies records for all three UK rounds; BG 18.06, Paddy 19.02 and Ramsay 19.39. 

In 2016 she broke the record for the Double Bob Graham finishing in 45.30 hours. 

In racing she prefers long mountainous fell races such as 10 Peaks Extreme winning outright and current course record holder, the Ultra Tour Mont Blanc (11th & 16th) , E’Chappee Belle (2nd),  Grand Raid Pyrenees (1st twice) and Grand Raid Re-Union (4th).  

Nicky has set women's records for the major fell running challenges including, The Ramsay Round, the Paddy Buckley Round and the Bob Graham Round! She is also the holder of the overall record for the double Bob Graham Round.

Show notes

  • Who is Nicky Spinks?
  • A farmer & a fell runner
  • Growing up on a farm with 6 kids and running everywhere
  • Going from the farm to working in an office in the city for 7 years
  • Meeting her husband!
  • Deciding to take her running more seriously 
  • 2001 - running with a friend and doing her first 10K
  • Joining a running club and finding a passion for fell running & doing her first 20 mile run
  • Being a competitive person and using races for training.
  • What the Bob Graham round is?
  • Heading back up to Scotland for training
  • Her 10 year journey in running and why she doesn’t rush things
  • Enjoying 100 mile races and being happy with her performance
  • The biggest challenge she’s had to face - cancer
  • 2006 being diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Dealing with the emotions and how she handle it and why she applied her training to cancer
  • Celebrating more in her life
  • Getting back into running after surgery
  • Giving her brain a break from the cancer by running
  • Diet and food
  • Preparing mentally for the Double Ramsey
  • Getting through the low points and how she gets out of them
  • Dealing with the heat and leg cramps (after 4 hours!)
  • Strategy for the race 
  • Being her own coach and creating her own training plan
  • Never wanting to quit
  • Knowing she was going to complete the double!
  • Sleep deprivation…
  • How she recovers
  • Would she go back & try to do it faster?!
  • The next race….
  • Advice and tips for women who want to take their running to the next level
  • Blogging since 2006
  • Working as a running coach and how it works
  • Final words of advice

Social Media

Website - 

Twitter - @NickySpinks 

Jul 31, 2018

In 2013, Pip cycled home from Malaysia to London, a journey of 10,000 miles through 26 countries! Once back in London she started to work for Red Bull as their Adventure Editor. 

In 2016 Pip headed off on a 3,000 mile cycle, boat and plane journey exploring Brazil and Peru to raise awareness of the environmental issues in the region, Pip documented the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest with adventurer Reza Pakravan and shared more about it’s devastating effects on the indigenous communities.  Pip started at the mouth of the Amazon River in the Atlantic, and finishing in Lima at the Pacific.

Pip loves going on challenges and pushing her body to the limits. In February 2018 Pip teaming up with fellow adventurers Laura Bingham and Ness Knight to take on a world first – paddling the entire length of The Essequibo, South America's third largest river, which flows for 1,014 km through remote jungle, and untouched virgin rainforest until it meets the Atlantic Ocean.

During the podcast we learn more about her life, the steps she has taken to get where she has. How the opportunities she has taken have come about and what she has learnt by going on these challenges in remote parts of the world.

Show notes

  • Living in London
  • Being adventurous as a young child
  • Why home is not a place and it’s the people you are with
  • Being based in Germany and having family holidays around Europe
  • Not knowing what she wanted to do growing up
  • Following the structured path
  • Heading off to go travelling
  • Doing a Journalism Masters over in Hong Kong
  • Removing expectations from your life
  • What is was like living and studying in Hong Kong
  • Moving to Malaysia and deciding to cycle home to London
  • Planning and preparation for the big cycle ride!
  • Having 13 months to get home in time for Christmas
  • The biggest challenge while cycling
  • Why the challenge was more of a mental one
  • The magical moments on the trip
  • Preconceptions about certain countries
  • Why travel and talking is so important
  • Connecting with the locals
  • The realities of being on the road
  • Coming back to the UK and not having a plan
  • Travelling with her partner Charlie
  • Dealing with difficult situations while on the road
  • Transitioning back into real life
  • Applying to be Red Bull’s Adventure Editor
  • Getting itchy feet and wanting to go travelling again
  • How she gets her ideas for her next challenges and adventures
  • Why she focuses on what she is interested in
  • 2016 challenge - traversing the Amazon via the Trans Amazonian Highway
  • The damage that gold mining does
  • What she leant most from the experience and why it comes down to the power of a community
  • Filming the challenge!
  • Eating ants!!
  • Heading out to the Amazon with Laura Bingham and Ness Knight
  • Saying yes to the opportunities when they become available
  • Planning and training for this adventure over 8 months
  • Family and friends reactions to her next adventure
  • Dealing with fears, how she overcome them and managed them before and during the trip
  • Often you can’t change the problem - but you can change your response to a problem.
  • Dealing with snakes
  • Working as part of a team with Ness & Laura - dealing with team dynamics
  • What she leant most about herself on this challenge and why it was about the ego!
  • #ExploreHappy and using social media in a positive way
  • Keep looking forward
  • Dealing with the adventure blues after coming back from the trip and talking about mental health
  • Heading off to Norway with the Marines
  • Final words of advice and top tips


Social Media

Website  - 

Twitter - @Stewart_Pip 

Instagram - @pipstewart  


Jul 24, 2018

Paula McGuire's world was shrinking. Bullied as a child and plagued by excessive social anxiety, she had become a recluse. Unable to even go into a shop on her own, Paula's life was effectively over before she hit thirty. But then something changed. She isn't even quite sure what. But after years of running away from life, Paula decided to make a change, and decided to face up to her fears.

Paula gave herself less than 2 years to try all 17 Commonwealth Games sports! After learning how to ride a bike and completing a triathlon. Paula decided, she was going to continue facing her fears, one of her biggest was swimming, even though she was frightened of the water, and couldn’t swim, she decided to set the biggest challenge possible. Deciding to swim around Great Britain! Although he Big Mad Swim around Britain didn’t quite go in the direction she wanted, she’s leant a huge amount about herself and continues to talk about mental health and wanting to encourage others to face their fears and to live their most full lives. 

Show notes

  • Where Paula is based at the moment
  • Being an unlikely adventurer and an anxiety survivor
  • Growing up in Glasgow and not being sporty or outdoors at all!
  • Being very shy and hiding behind books and her family
  • Dealing with childhood anxiety at 5/6 years old and how her parents handle it
  • Not having risk management skills or social skills
  • Entering her teenage years and how her anxiety developed
  • Leaving school for university and wanting to start a new life, and how it didn’t happen
  • Starting work while dealing with anxiety, and it getting to the point where she couldn’t leave the house
  • Maybe this is as good as it gets…
  • Learning to live with her anxiety
  • Giving herself a chance to live her life - starting to blog about it to have accountability
  • The first challenge/fear she decided to face and why she decided on a sport
  • Taking the negativity and turning it around!
  • Learning to ride a bike and what she learned from it
  • Why you have to keep trying and keep on learning
  • Feeling pride in her accomplishment
  • Getting joy from these new experiences
  • Why 99% of people want to help you
  • Taking the power away from anxiety
  • The timeframe she gave herself to complete these challenges
  • The magical moment - and why doing a triathlon helped to propel her forward
  • Not being able to swim and being afraid of the water
  • The Big Mad Swim Around Britain! 
  • April 24th starting her swim!
  • Dealing with panic attacks in the water and not being able to overcome it
  • Failure and what’s she learning from the experience
  • Adapting the challenge to the Big Mad Splash - to help raise awareness for mental health challenges
  • How she’s funding the trip
  • Advice and tips for others who are dealing with anxiety
  • How to get in touch with Paula if you need someone to talk to

Social Media

Website  -

Twitter - @pmusttryharder 

Instagram - @pmusttryharder  

Facebook - @pmusttryharder 

Jul 19, 2018

Hannah, is a 34-year-old creator, minimalist and adventurer living in Manchester, UK. Last year she got rid of everything she owned except what would fit in a carry on backpack. She travelled overland from the UK to Bhutan through eighteen countries with her partner Phil to document and discover what makes people happy. 

Hannah has scoliosis and deals with chronic pain, although she wears a permanent back brace, this does not stop her from getting out side and hiking on a regular basis. In her early twenties, she was £20,000 in debt and working in a stressful, badly paid job. Her Dad dying suddenly encouraged her to become debt free and focus on doing work with purpose that helps support other people. 

Hannah is now back in the UK writing about her experiences at Hannah shares stories about how to enjoy everyday life through work, friendships, travel, and adventure. Hannah believes experiencing different countries and culture is a way to discover more about ourselves and how to make the world a better place.

During this podcast we focus on the money, how she got into the debt, the mistakes she made and how ultimately she turned it around by getting out of debt and saving £15,000 in a year to pay for the ‘Road to Happiness’ Expedition.

*** this is not financial advice*** If you are having financial problems please speak to a qualified professional.

Show notes

  • Growing up, getting a job at 15
  • Going to university getting a full time job, a student loan and an overdraft
  • Work hard and play harder - not being sensible with money - racking up credit card debt while at university, 
  • Taking out a loan to expand a business
  • The breakdown of a relationship and moving to a new town
  • Not being able to pay the minimum payments on her credit cards
  • Feeling overwhelmed by her money situation 
  • Why only overspending by a few hundred pounds a month can lead to huge problems down the line
  • Moving back home to live with her mum, about 45 mins from London
  • Planning to move to London and to get a job working in events
  • Would you like to live on a tropical island? Disappearing off to Asia for a year to forget about the money problems in the UK
  • Deciding between 2 options - declare bankruptcy or going down the Individual Voluntary Arrangement
  • Individual Voluntary Arrangement and what that involved for Hannah
  • Having major surgery, and losing her father while all of this was happening
  • How it felt once she paid if all off
  • No debt, no credit cards, no overdrafts
  • Minimalism how she got into this movement- the minimalists
  • Never earning more than £25,000
  • Saving up £15,000 for a 10 month expedition (the Road to Happiness )
  • Having a 2 bedroom house and why she decided on that
  • Getting a flat mate, cycling into work, saving everything she could
  • Gary Vaynerchuk and the Flip Challenge 
  • How to make money from doing adventures and the plan for the blog
  • 2 new books coming out - How to save for an adventure and how to plan for an adventure 
  • Tim Moss from the Next Challenge - self publishing books 
  • Cathy O’Dowd - The Business of Adventure 
  • Pat Flynn - Smart Passive Income 
  • Patreon for creators 
  • Privilege in the adventure industry
  • Earning £600 a month going forward
  • Taking ownership of her goals and financial future and being very clear with what she wants to achieve.
  • Doing monthly income reports
  • Documenting the journey
  • Final words of advice  - ‘You can’t change the people around you, but you can change the people around you’
  • Find your tribe 

Social Media

Follow Hannah's Writing at betternotstop  

Support Hannah on Patreon 

Instagram: @betternotstop  

Facebook: @betternotstop    


Feeling inspired week after week? 

You can do 3 easy things to help me continue to grow the podcast!

  1. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, so you won’t miss a single episode
  2. If you’re loving the podcast, please leave a 5-star review on iTunes! I read every single comment!
  3. Share the podcast with your friends, especially if you think it could help them, and spread the #ToughGirlPodcast love. 

Your support helps me continue to grow the podcast and do inspiring things in this space! Already done all 3? You’re a rockstar! Thank you!

Want to do more?

Please become a Patron and donate a small fixed amount every month to help fund the runnings costs. 


Jul 17, 2018

Hannah, is a 34-year-old creator, minimalist and adventurer living in Manchester, UK. Last year she got rid of everything she owned except what would fit in a carry on backpack. She travelled overland from the UK to Bhutan through eighteen countries with her partner Phil to document and discover what makes people happy. 

Hannah has scoliosis and deals with chronic pain, although she wears a permanent back brace, this does not stop her from getting out side and hiking on a regular basis. In her early twenties, she was £20,000 in debt and working in a stressful, badly paid job. Her Dad dying suddenly encouraged her to become debt free and focus on doing work with purpose that helps support other people. To date, she has travelled to forty-five different countries. 

Hannah is now back in the UK writing about her experiences at Hannah shares stories about how to enjoy everyday life through work, friendships, travel, and adventure. Hannah believes experiencing different countries and culture is a way to discover more about ourselves and how to make the world a better place.

During this podcast we focus on the expedition the ‘Road to Happiness’ and in Tough Girl Extra coming out on Thursday we focus on the money, how she got into the debt, the mistakes she made and how ultimately she turned it around by getting out of debt and saving £15,000 in a year to pay for the ‘Road to Happiness’ Expedition.

Show notes

  • Being based in Manchester
  • 34 year old, minimalist adventure
  • Where the idea came from for the ‘Road to Happiness’ Expedition
  • Being kept accountably for what she wanted to achieve
  • Having no money and no idea how she was going to make it happen
  • How she started to plan to turn her dream into a reality
  • The visa machine
  • Having to be flexible with the planning and how the idea evolved and anchored over time
  • Dealing with a head injury that makes planning hard and having to put systems in place
  • To do lists, Trello, Evernote and how they all work together
  • Getting the date to leave and being delayed for a few months
  • The run up to leaving and dealing with the imposter syndrome
  • Packing for the trip while taking into account her chronic back pain
  • Documenting the trip - trying to figure out the best way to do it
  • Getting rid of everything she owned apart from what she carried on her back and a small suitcase she kept at her mums
  • Starting to write a 3 part book series about the journey 
  • The European part of the adventure and the moments that stand out
  • Working in Europe on Organic farms
  • Spending 6 weeks in Denmark!
  • What happiness means to Hannah
  • The correlation between money, time and happiness
  • Being open to new experiences and why she’s much happier now than when she was in her twenties 
  • Taking a short break from the trip and coming back to the UK for 3 weeks
  • Attending an adventure conference and feeling like she wasn’t doing adventure right
  • Why she loves to travel by train 
  • The Trans-Siberian Express and being able to travel on the first train line in Cambodia
  • Arriving in Bhutan after 10 months, crossing the land border from India into Bhutan and the difference
  • The culture shock of being in Bhutan
  • Wearing a back brace and the final stretch of the journey making it up the mountain to visit the Paro Taktsang monastery/‘Tigers Nest’ Monastery.
  • What she learnt from going on this journey 
  • The significance of her bee tattoo and why she got it 
  • Why her blog is called better not stop
  • Why there is no better time to take control of your life
  • Starting to do monthly income reports and why talking about money in the adventure world is important

Social Media

Website -

Support Hannah on Patreon

Instagram: @betternotstop

Facebook: @betternotstop


1 2 3 Next »