Alyssa is the youngest Australian to Summit Mt Everest which she did at 19 years old on the 21st May 2016. Alyssa is also the youngest woman to Summit Mt Everest from both the North and South sides after successfully reaching the summit of Mt Everest from the North Side (Tibet) on the 19th May 2018 at just 21 years old.
Alyssa began trekking in 2005 with her first challenge, crossing the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. Alyssa then trekked in Nepal, completed treks such as Everest Base Camp and Kokoda numerous times, Mt Kosciuszko in Australia, the Aussie 10 (the 10 highest peaks in Australia), Mt Kilimanjaro.
After completing Mt Kilimanjaro in 2011, Alyssa began climbing by doing a mountaineering course in NZ. Since then she has climbed in South America, Russia and Nepal on various expeditions to different peaks including: Ama Dablam, Aconcagua, Manaslu, Elbrus and four Everest Expeditions.
Alyssa was on Everest both in 2014 and 2015 when the Avalanche and the Nepal Earthquake occurred and closed the mountain. She returned in 2016 to make her first successful summit of Mt Everest.
After taking one year off Everest Season in 2017 she decided to go back in 2018 and make her successful north side attempt via Tibet.
Website - https://www.alyssaazar.com.au
Instagram - @alyssaazar
Facebook - @AlyssaAzarAdventurer
Website - http://www.betweensunsets.com
Twitter - @BetweenSunsets
Instagram - @betweensunsets
Sarah decided to tackle the Murray River in her home country of Australia, less than eight months after completing the Nile expedition.
While there weren’t any hippos and crocs to deal, it wasn’t without its risks. There were snakes (and of course being Australian they were deadly), extreme weather conditions, sections with little water thanks to the drought and plenty more challenges to deal with.
In 60 days Sarah covered 2,500km.
The first four days were trekking to the source with a small team and then sticking within a stone’s throw until it was time to get in her kayak.
For the next 56 days Sarah was solo.
On 13th February 2020 Sarah reached the Southern Ocean and the end of the Murray River. It was another expedition that tested her mentally as much as physically.
Listen to Sarah as she shares more about this challenge on the Tough Girl Podcast EXTRA!
Website - https://www.sarahdavis.co
Twitter - @Sarah_paddles
Youtube @SarahDavis - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrrvIkh9I_7BIDgNzGh83zQ
For more info on Paddling the Nile - https://www.paddlethenile.com
Kate has cycled a distance greater than twice around the world at the Equator. On August 16th 2010 she became the first person to cycle an unbroken line from Africa’s most westerly to its most easterly points; from Pointe des Almadies, Senegal to Cape Hafun, Puntland, Somalia.
Cycling 22,040 km over ten months, Kate’s Breaking the Cycle in Africa Expedition was not only a physical quest but an odyssey to highlight the development needs and activities of war-torn and poverty-stricken nations.
Cycling through twenty countries, Kate aimed to find out what is being done to give a ‘leg up’ rather than a ‘hand out’ – to shine a positive light on the issues, cultures and geography of Africa.
Kate has two earlier world firsts under her belt – the Trans-Siberian Cycle Expedition (1993) when she became the first woman to cycle across the new Russia unsupported (aiding the children of Chernobyl), and the 25,000km Great Australian Cycle Expedition (2004/05) which included the first bicycle crossing of the Canning Stock Route by a woman.
In June 2019, Kate completed another original expedition when she became the first person to cycle the entire Namibian coastline, a 1621km sand cycling expedition from the mouth of the Kunene River on the Angolan border to the Orange River mouth on the South African border.
Kate’s latest challenge, Breaking the Cycle South Pole, will result in the first bicycle crossing of the Antarctic continent via the South Pole (2020).
The Breaking the Cycle education programme aims to help prepare our future leaders to make informed decisions to create a better world. Students across the globe can follow her preparatory activities and Antarctic expedition and partake in the Breaking the Cycle Education learning modules and lessons with the end goals of creating their own projects.
Visit - www.BreakingtheCycle.education and sign up to the newsletter!
In 2016 Sophie Rooney set off with the bold intention of becoming the first woman to run the length of Scandinavia. From Nordkapp (the northernmost point of mainland Europe) to the German border with Denmark (3000 km south) carrying everything she needed on her back.
Initially accompanied by a fellow trail runner, Sophie finds herself thrown into a solo adventure running through some of the most rugged scenery Europe has to offer.
Heading out to Norway, bears are top of Sophie’s worries. However, she is soon to find that these big grizzly creatures would be the least of her concerns.
In the first month alone having to battle extreme fatigue, dehydration, relentless bog, hunger and eventually illness, the odds are quickly stacked against her.
However, not willing to give in Sophie pushes on, often against the advice she has received from people back home. In doing so she finds herself on a journey of self-discovery which creates memories that will last a lifetime.
Listen to Sophie on the Tough Girl Podcast as she shares more about this incredible journey.
Blog - DaringMightyThings.Blog
Book: Rundinavia: Running 3000km through Scandinavia
Jacki Hill-Murphy MA, FRGS is an explorer, teacher, film maker and speaker and has spent the past few years exploring and filming some of the most inhospitable and remote places on earth. There are many reasons why she loves being an explorer including gathering memorable experiences that last forever recorded on film and in writing, pushing herself to the limit and being loosed from her cultural moorings.
Recreating the Journeys of the Early Women Explorers Project
Jacki has recreated the journeys of:
Isabella Godin, the first women down the Amazon in 1769. This was done by travelling down the River Bobonaza in Ecuador and onto the River Pastaza in Peru in a dugout canoe and investigating the real truth behind her story at each landmark.
Mary Kingsley, who climbed Mount Cameroon in Africa in 1894 by a new route and nearly perished from the shear enormity of the the undertaking.
Isabela Brookes, who died in the Llanganates in Ecuador in 1912. This was part of the ‘Search for Gold’ expedition that she organised with Ken Hames of BBC Beyond Boundaries as survival leader.
Isabella Bird, who crossed the Digar-La Pass in Ladakh on a yak in 1889. Jacki relived every aspect of Isabella’s book during her 150 mile trek which included finding the house she stayed in and having tea with the King of Ladakh.
Kate Marsden who undertook a gruelling journey by horse, sledge and cart thousands of miles across Siberia to take relief to the lepers in 1892. Jacki replicated her journey as closely as possible on buses, trains and boats.
Website - www.jackihill-murphy.co.uk
Director of Under The Sky CIC www.undertheskyevents.org
Sonya is a 42 year old Canadian who is currently hiking across Canada on the longest multi-use recreational trail in the world with her partner Sean.
The 24,000 km long Great Trail stretches from Cape Spear, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia, and from Edmonton, Alberta to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories.
They began their journey in Cape Spear, Newfoundland on 1 June 2019 and hiked just over 3,000 km to Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec before the winter arrived. They will head back to the trail in spring, and estimate they will complete their journey in fall of 2022.
Sonya's love of hiking, camping, and the outdoors began as child during multiple school trips into the wilderness. She built on these experiences in university, where she studied Conservation Biology and Forestry, and spent as much time as possible outside, doing field research on forest songbirds.
Her love of long-distance hiking began with Ontario's 900 km long Bruce Trail, and grew when she hiked the 800 km Camino Frances in Spain with Sean in 2016.
Together Sonya and Sean hiked across France on the Via Podiensis (GR 65) in 2017, and along Newfoundland's East Coast Trail in 2018. After that they decided to make hiking a more central part of their lives, and after selling the house, donating most of their possessions, and leaving behind Sonya's desk job, they did a warm-up hike along the Camino Portuguese in early 2019 and then began their adventure on the Great Trail.
As they hike, their goal is to share positive images and stories of their travels across Canada to showcase the amazing and diverse people, places, history, and landscapes that make up this country.
By sharing their passion for birds, hiking, and nature in person, on their blog, and through social media they hope to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds, but especially youth, to get outside, explore, and connect to nature through birding and Citizen Science.
Website: www.comewalkwithus.online. (has links to blogs for our hikes across Canada, the Camino Frances, Via Podiensis, and East Coast Trail)
Sunshine People was set up to highlight the changes in our society and the need to stay connected through kindness. It has never been as important in our education and leadership with the shift towards technology to keep human connection at the forefront of our conversations.
Set up after her partner died on a charity cycle challenge the founder, Nahla Summers completes a challenge each year and asks people to show their support not by donating money to a charity but by doing an act of kindness for a stranger instead.
She had started by doing smaller challenges just asking her friends and family to do the acts of kindness. What started to emerge was a wave of kindness stories that was changing hearts and minds. Ultimately, changing the way people saw the world and it inspired her to keep going and make her challenges even bigger.
In 2018 Nahla cycled 3,000 miles across America after purchasing her bike just six weeks prior. She is a woman who understand the power of the mind and a ‘can do’ attitude.
2019 she walked from Swanage, Dorset to Gretna Green 500 miles visiting schools along the way promoting kindness through speaking, workshops and more sunshine people events. She promotes the ties that kindness and a higher emotional intelligence and wellbeing has on society and wants to promote this from the bottom up.
2020 will see Nahla take on 20 challenges in 20 countries. With a dedicated social media team and cinematographer on board. A film will be produced and you will be able to follow the progress and antics of the challenges through social media.
All the challenges will be based on the principal of kindness. Feed 100 people with £10, a day of free listening, give 100 hugs, build a well and so on. The idea is start the biggest global movement towards kindness.
Website - www.acultureofkindness.co.uk
Website - www.sunshinepeople.org.uk
Kickstarter Campaign - Find out more HERE!
For any organisations to join up withe the 1 million acts of kindness they simply need to fill out this form.
Instagram - @sponsorkindness
Twitter - @sponsorkindness
Facebook - @sponsorkindness
We first spoke with Mimi in December 2015, where she shared more about her early life, how she got into endurance running.
During the first episode we go into more depth about some of the bigger challenges she has done, for example breaking the world record for fastest women running JOGLE (John O’Groats to Lands End - 840 miles) in the UK in 2008.
(This record has since been broken in 2019 by Sharon Gayter - You can listen to Sharon share more about this on the Tough Girl Podcast.)
“The only way of finding the limits of
the possible is by going beyond them
into the impossible”
During this episode we catch up with Mimi and find out what’s she’s been up to since. We talk in detail about her dream of running across America, we talk about fears and failure and having to let go of running and try new sports.
Mimi talks really openly and honestly during this episode, I had a tear in my eye when I was recording it and a tear in my eye when I edited it.
You have been warned it does get emotional!
- Quick update from Mimi
Website - http://www.marvellousmimi.com
Bruna is a dedicated adventure sport explorer.
Bruna has solo-climbed the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere (Aconcagua, 23,000 ft), whitewater rafted the entirety of the Grand Canyon (226 river miles), and sailed across half of the Pacific Ocean, 6,100 nautical miles!
During this podcast Bruna shares more about her early years, how she got into hiking and how her love of adventure has evolved. Bruna shares stories from hiking in the mountains and kayaking down rivers.
We also learn more about Conquer a new website to connect adventurers to new challenges!
Website - https://brunaadventures.weebly.com
Sign up for Conquer - http://launch.conquersignup.com/early
Beth in her own words….
I’ve traveled a lot and have had what many would consider some pretty adventurous trips.
I’ve completed (twice) the 25-day, 220-mile Snowman Trek in Bhutan (one of the most difficult treks in the world), climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and reached the top at 19,341 feet, finished marathons in Hawaii, Tokyo, Portland and Seattle.
I ran my first marathon at 50, ran five marathons that year (including two back-to-back marathons where one was an ultra at 31 miles), ran the Seattle Quadzilla (four marathons in four days) and have qualified for the Boston Marathon twice.
I’m currently working on my next book, Be Bold: Discover Your Best Self Through Travel and Adventure.
I’ve also written a guide For Women Traveling to India.
In 2019, I ran the Epic5 Ultra (5 ultras in 5 days on 5 Hawaiian islands).
In 2020, I am running the 4 Deserts which consists of running 155 miles over six days in four deserts–the Gobi, the Namib, the Atacama and Antarctica.
Personal Website - https://wanderlustandlipstick.com
Website Wander Tours- https://wandertours.com
Be Bold Podcast - http://beboldpodcast.com
Facebook - @ShesBoldPodcast
Helen shares more about her journey into cycling as well as the different challenge she’s undertaken.
In September 2015, Helen took her first foray into multi-day, solo bike touring by cycling the classic route from Lands End to John O’Groats (LEJOG). Helen cycled a distance of 1,000 miles in 13 days!
In January 2016, Helen met Mike on Tinder! Through a mutual love of cycling and wanting to travel the world. They started planning a cycle trip around the world! After moving in together, working multiple jobs to save money. They started their adventure on the 4th April 2017. They returned in August 2018, married, completely in love with the world and one another! They rode over 30,000 km, through 30 countries. Helen shares more about the planning and preparation as well as the challenges of being on the road and what she learned from the experience.
Helen also shares more about her next big challenge in 2020! It’s a BIG challenge!!!!!
Website - https://helenlangridge.com
Twitter - @HelenCycling
Instagram - @helen.langridge
Chris is a wife, mother, and business owner who loves to get her hands dirty and feet wet. Her adventurous spirit shines through in her work as a writer, speaker, trainer, and consultant. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, teenage son, and two labs, Winston and Kiya.
Chris and her husband Marty became the first American married couple to ski without guide, resupply or other assistance to the South Pole and became Guinness World Record holders.
When not outdoors playing in the wild, you’ll find Chris leading creative discussions in corporate conference rooms and at off-site locations around the country.
Website - https://chrisfagan.net
Book - The Expedition: Two Parents Risk Life and Family in an Extraordinary Quest to the South Pole (She Writes Press, September 3, 2019)
Nienke in her own words…
I am an equine veterinarian and have travelled the world pursuing my career.
Although I have always been an active person I found the love for sports later in life and ended up reasonably good at it! I dreamt of becoming a professional athlete on the mountain bike and as an adventure/multi-sport racer and with the belief of my coaches I starting racing elite in 2013. I was however still working full time as a veterinarian and I ended up overtrained with a serious back injury which put a halt to my sporting aspirations in 2016.
I couldn’t really let go of what I was so passionate about and although running was not an option with the persistent pain I was feeling in my legs, I started to focus on mountain bike adventures.
This led to the dream of traversing the Great Himalaya Trail by mountain bike through Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bhutan.
The first leg was Nepal which I completed in December 2019 achieving a world first by mountain biking the Great Himalaya trail from Hilsa in the West to Phaplu in the east covering 1700kms, 85000m ascend and around 15 passes between 3500m-5000m with two passes over 5000m high.
Challenge Website - https://saikalako.com
Personal Blog - https://nienkeventures.blogspot.com
Fenella shares more about her journey to becoming a professional triathlete. We learn more about her childhood and growing up, her loves of sports and competition. Fenella, also shares more about what day to day life is like, we go into training, recovery, nutrition, dealing with injury and the pressure to perform.
“Triathlon is achieving the unbelievable and pushing yourself beyond limits, to find inner power in the drive for success”
Kathryn Bertine is an author, athlete, activist and documentary filmmaker. During her pro career in cycling, she was a three-time Caribbean Champion, six-time national champion of St. Kitts and Nevis (SKN) and raced five years on pro circuit with four UCI domestic and World Tour teams Colavita, Wiggle-Honda, BMW and Cylance Pro Cycling. Now retired from professional racing, Bertine serves as Trek’s Ambassador for Equality in Cycling.
Off the bike, she is a filmmaker, activist, journalist and author of three nonfiction books, All the Sundays Yet to Come, As Good As Gold, and The Road Less Taken. From 2006 through 2012, Bertine was a columnist, author and senior editor for ESPN. When she pitched a documentary film on women’s pro cycling to ESPN in 2012, they rejected the proposal. So Bertine decided she would make it herself. After a two-year labor of love and crowdsourcing adventures, in 2014, HALF THE ROAD: The passion, pitfalls and power of women’s professional cycling was released. It won five film festivals, debuted in 16 nations, scored international distribution and successfully brought the hammer down on the corruption and sexism in sports. Half the Road is now available on iTunes, Vimeo, Amazon Prime and DVD. Five years later, she continues to receive royalties on a film ESPN said no one would watch.
As an advocate for equality in women’s sports, Bertine then started the social activism movement Le Tour Entier in an effort to bring parity to women’s professional road cycling, starting with the Tour de France. She and her team succeeded, and women’s field was included in 2014 with the addition of La Course by Tour de France. In 2017, she founded and serves as CEO for Homestretch Foundation, which provides free housing to female professional athletes struggling with the gender pay gap. Bertine was featured on the cover of Bicycling Magazine and profiled in Outside Magazine for her platforms of implementing change in the world.
As an activist, Bertine continues to serve as a public speaker/lecturer on equality and advocacy. She shares her journey and her message—that through passion, disruption, opportunity and focus, anything is possible and we’re all capable of effecting change—with corporations, universities and other professional outlets. She is currently at work on her fourth book.
CEO, Homestretch Foundation: www.HomestretchFoundation.org
Author/Activist/Pro Cyclist: www.kathrynbertine.com
Documentary Filmmaker: www.HalfTheRoad.com
Kristina shares more about her journey into running and how she ended up becoming the World Record holder for - 48 hour treadmill running! Kristina is an introvert by nature, but she asked herself the question; “What can I do with this ability to run?”.
In 2015, Kristina took it upon herself to challenge her own personal fears and prejudices. Kristina made the decision to run alone across Iran, a distance of 1,840 kilometres.
In the process, Kristina, became the first women to have run across Iran. She was running an average of 37 kilometres per day. She started in Bazargan by the Turkish border and finished in Bajgiran on the north-eastern border, the run took her 59 days to complete.
Kristina filmed the journey and created a film called: Alone Through Iran - 1144 Miles of Trust.
During this podcast, we will learn more about Kristina, her life, the challenges she has faced, how she has overcome failure, how she set a world record for treadmill running, as well as life on the road while running across Iran. We also talk about kindness, learning how to say no and why you have to be yourself.
Personal Website - https://palten.se/en/start-en/
Website Alone through Iran - https://www.alonethroughiran.com
Emily is an ocean advocate, skipper, international public speaker and advisor on issues relating to our ocean, her goals are around shifting mindsets and making changes for our future society.
Emily is on a mission to inspire and facilitate a community of change makers through her organisation eXXpedition. This will be done by training athletes and celebrities to be impactful advocates on ocean issues.
Emily believes in developing upstream solutions to the ocean plastic issue by working with corporate partners, scientists and government bodies. During this podcast we talk more about eXXpedition, its formation, plans and goals.
Emily has previously been on the Tough Girl Podcast (July 12th 2016), where she shared more about her early life and career.
Website - www.emilypenn.co.uk
Instagram - @missemilypenn
eXXpedition is a Community Interest Company and not-for-profit organisation that runs pioneering all-female sailing research expeditions to investigate the causes of and solutions to ocean plastic pollution.
Founded in 2014, they have run expeditions all over the world. Previous scientific research has highlighted the endemic nature of micro plastics within our ocean environments globally.
Their focus now is to advance a better understanding of the plastics issue as a whole and to work with industry to pinpoint solutions and policy at a global level by addressing knowledge-gaps and delivering evidence to inform effective solutions.
Website - https://exxpedition.com
Twitter - @eXXpedition
Instagram - @exxpedition_
Facebook - @eXXpeditionCIC
Youtube - eXXpedition