Maria Leijerstam is a Welsh British polar adventurer and a Wales 2016 Year of Adventure ambassador. She was the first person to cycle to the South Pole from the edge of the continent in 2013.
Leijerstam started her expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf at the edge of the Antarctic continent. She cycled for 10hrs to 17hrs each day with no rest days, and the total distance cycled was 638 km (396 mi).
Leijerstam cycled a uniquely designed, three wheeled Polar Cycle, a modernised form of polar travel, demonstrating that cycling can be more efficient than skiing to the South Pole.
- Why she doesn’t call herself an explorer
- Growing up and wanting to be an astronaut
- Her childhood
- Getting into more extreme adventures
- Always living in a mans world
- Joining the Officer Training Corps
- Learning how to look after herself
- How she started her journey into adventure
- Doing the Marathon des Sables!
- The lead up to the race, dealing with nerves and preparing her body for the heat
- Knowing how your body responds during a challenge
- Learning how to manage pain
- Why you put your body through the extreme challenges?
- Being the 200th person to ever reach the South Pole
- Doing an adventure race & what she loves about it
- The last wild race in Patagonia
- Handling team dynamics during adventure races
- When races fall apart…
- Dealing with discomfort and managing your pain
- Colour therapy
- 4 years preparation to get to the South Pole
- Testing out equipment and figuring out what was going to work
- £100,000 needed to do the expedition and how she paid for it
- Dealing with rejection
- Getting onto the ice and the relief she felt
- What she leant from the experience of planning and doing the polar expedition
- Coming home and returning to Wales
- Future goals and plans
- Being a mother of 2 and how she fits fitness into her life