Anna Blackwell is an adventurer, writer, photographer and speaker with a love of the outdoors and pushing her limits. This has led her to pursue numerous adventures, from kayaking across Europe, spending five weeks trekking across the wilderness of Arctic Sweden alone, to walking 1,000 miles solo across France and Spain, and even hitch-hiking to Morocco.
In Anna’s words
This July I set off on a 1,000km solo trek across Arctic and Northern Scandinavia. I started at the Treriksröset (the cairn signifying where Sweden, Norway and Finland meet) and made my way south, following the length of the mountains on the Swedish-Norwegian border.
The expedition was self-supported, solo, and crossed some of Europe's greatest wilderness areas. I carried everything I needed (weighing in at around 25kg) and wild camped most nights. Travelling through such remote areas, I was often going up to four or five days without seeing any other people.
Throughout this expedition I aimed to minimise my environmental footprint to the greatest extent possible, by working with with sustainability-focused organisations, choosing locally sourced food where possible, reducing my plastic waste and leaving no trace in the wilderness. I also opted to travel to my start point using trains and buses rather than taking an internal short-haul flight.
Website - https://annablackwell.co.uk
Scottish ultra-endurance adventurer Jenny Graham has smashed her way into the Guinness world records by becoming the fastest woman to cycle around the planet. Last summer her ride took her 18,000 miles, over 4 continents, through 16 countries, completing the trip solo and unsupported in just 124days.
To prepare for that challenge Jenny raced some bike packing routes including the Arizona Trail 750, Highland Trail 550, the Cairngorm Loop and the Yorkshire dales 300 and completed a winter LEJOG in four days!
In Lindsey’s words…
I’ve just finished cycling around Britain, connecting with wild swimmers.
Since mermaiding the Thames I have absolutely fallen in love with wild swimming. It makes me feel magically alive and I’ve never known such a welcoming, heart warming community quite like it. I received messages from all over the UK inviting me to swim with them. So, of course I made a plan.
In February, I cycled from Devon to the inaugural Scottish Winter Swimming Championship in Taymouth Marina and connected with wild swimmers en route. It was only meant to be for two weeks, but I was so high on adrenalin for that fortnight that I decided to carry on. And six months later, I finally hung up my dipping cossie and parked my bike
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
— MARK TWAIN
Website - https://www.lindseycole.co.uk
Instagram - @stompycole
Sian Lewis is an award-winning travel and outdoors journalist and blogger who writes for titles including The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile and Coast. She is also the editor of Active Traveller and Snow magazines. Her work as an adventurous writer has taken her around the world in the name of a good story and she also edits award-winning blog The Girl Outdoors, www.thegirloutdoors.co.uk, which encourages women to get outside and get adventuring. Her first book, The Girl Outdoors, was published by Bloomsbury in 2018.
Jo in her own words…
My job title is now an Outdoor Instructor and Expedition Leader and since going self-employed I have led 30 expeditions on Kilimanjaro along with numerous other expeditions on foot, 2 wheels and horseback, most at high altitude, all around the world with both charity and private clients.
In the UK I teach and assess the expedition element of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award from Bronze through to Gold as well as leading many a challenge on bike and foot in the UK and Europe. I also help to deliver corporate team building events and expedition training weekends as well as public speaking about my experiences before I discovered the outdoors, Everest, the earthquake and beyond to corporates, schools and groups.
To be honest I never thought I would summit Snowdon even once so becoming the 3rd British woman to reach the true summit of Manaslu, the world’s 8th highest mountain standing at 8163m in September 2013 and then being the 36th British woman to reach the summit of Everest in May 2016 have been huge and unexpected achievements.
I have gone from having severe vertigo and a great ability to say no way too often to facing my fears, saying yes more and turning my life around. I am now on route to complete the 7 summits and continue to raise funds and awareness for children’s mental health charity Place2Be.
*Please note during this episode we do talk about grief and mental health. Please ensure you are in a good place before you listen to this episode.
Website - https://www.jobradshaw.co.uk
Facebook - @jobradshawadventurer
Instagram - @_jobradshaw
Twitter - @_jobradsha
Support PLACE2BE - HERE
In October 2018 Laura Marshall became the FIRST solo Australian woman to complete one of the world’s toughest ultra endurance triathlons - the Enduroman Arch to Arc!
In doing so she also broke the world record for fastest woman, non wetsuit, in a time of 81 hours and 28 minutes. This made her the 35th solo person to ever do the event and the 9th woman. She was also the 4th ever person to do the swim leg of the event without a wetsuit.
This gruelling event involves a 140km run from Marble Arch in London to the coast of Dover, a 33km+ swim across the English Channel and a 292km cycle from Calais, France to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
If completing all 3 legs of the event under your own steam wasn’t enough, Laura has also elected to take the traditional approach to swimming across the English Channel in just a swimsuit and swim cap, something that within the realms of this particular event is relatively rare, as most competitors choose to swim in a full length wetsuit for added warmth and buoyancy.
As part of this event Laura is raising awareness and funds for beyondblue, an Australian organisation that helps people affected by anxiety, depression and suicide.
Laura is a former Outward Bound Australia staff member (2004 to 2012). Laura lives in Canberra, ACT, where she works as a secondary school teacher.
More about Kat in her own words…
While studying at university, I took an internship in Tokyo and climbed Mt. Fuji for the first time. ‘A wise man climbs Mt. Fuji, a fool climbs it twice’ is a popular Japanese saying… so I climbed it 7 times. From Tokyo to Toronto to London where I’m now based, I’m searching for many of life’s answers, and hoping to find them somewhere along a trail.
Since quitting an office job in 2013, I’ve walked over 12,000km, this has included the Pacific Crest Trail in America (2,700 miles), multiple Camino’s throughout France, Spain and Portugal, as well as walking the Kumano Kodo trail, and completing the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage in Japan. Earlier this year in May I cycled 4,529km, the total length of Japan!
Rosie Swale Pope - (MBE) is a legendary global adventurer, author and motivational speaker.
Throughout her life, Rosie has completed numerous marathons in some of the world’s most challenging terrains and has embarked upon many adventures including riding across Chile on horseback and sailing across the globe in a small boat.
In 2003, aged 57, she began a five-year run-around-the-world, travelling 20,000 miles to raise awareness for the early diagnosis of cancer. Rosie is the only person in the world to have completed this solo challenge unsupported, carrying all her belongings in her cart behind her.
Now, at the age of 73, Rosie has taken on an exciting, new challenge: a run of 6,000 miles from Brighton, UK all the way to Kathmandu in Nepal in support of the charity PHASE Worldwide and their work in remote areas of the Himalayas.
To follow Rosie’s epic journey and support her campaign visit www.rosieruns.co.uk