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
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Mar 28, 2023

Maddy is a 72-year-old runner, cyclist, mother of four, and grandmother to three. Her goal is to fight aging and show that we can do things long after we thought we couldn't.

Maddy has always enjoyed being outside since she was a child. At school, she enjoyed sports and spent a lot of time swimming with her brother.

Maddy has been running for more than four decades. She began running in 1977 at the age of 26. She was working for the military in a child guidance clinic in Munster, Germany.

Maddy was just running for pleasure, and prioritises her children after work. She was a social worker before becoming a teacher. She joined the Harriers in the 1990s and began running seriously in 1997–98. She has competed in every imaginable race, as well as loads that no longer exist.

In 2017, Maddy competed in over 30 races, winning the majority of them in her age category (V65). From 2004 to 2018, she ranked in the top 50 in the UK for her age group at distances ranging from 5K to marathon. She finished 14th among V65 women in the UK in the half marathon in 2017.

Maddy also finds time to coach and support other runners, and she has helped organise local parkruns. She set up Mansfield Runners in 2012 with Sue Bellingham's help. They started it when Run England was promoting beginner's groups. It is now a RunTogether group.


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.

Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 


Show Notes

  • Who is Maddy
  • 72 years young
  • Running since 27
  • Waiting for bi-lateral hip replacements
  • Her early years in the 1950s
  • Getting a TV when she was 7 yrs old
  • Getting a car when she was 11
  • Cycling everywhere 
  • Getting into running while working in West Germany
  • The restrictions on women’s running and women not being allowed to run long distances 
  • Starting to run every week around the woods
  • Why she loves running and being out in nature 
  • Moving back to England in 1981 
  • Signing up for the first Nottingham Half Marathon 
  • Having 4 children between 1983 and 1990
  • Joining Mansfield Harriers
  • Running during pregnancy and after having children 
  • Loving yoga and CrossFit 
  • Dealing with injury
  • Going back to the early 1980s
  • 1984 - when women were allowed to run the marathon 
  • Taking 25 yrs of running before signing up for her first marathon 
  • Running the London Marathon in 3hr 27mins (over 50)
  • Deciding to stop running road marathons
  • Training by herself 
  • Effort Sessions every Tuesday and Thursday
  • Mindset and mental strategy while running 
  • How times and knowledge have trained
  • Getting into coaching
  • Mansfield Runners 
  • The Stilton Stumble 
  • Dealing with Osteoporosis 
  • Why you need to keep moving when you have arthritis 
  • Advice for new runners
  • How to connect with Maddy
  • Having younger running friends 
  • The isolation that happens when your older
  • Entering the Bath Half
  • Women being veterans from 35
  • Being competitive 
  • Counting while running
  • Embracing technology
  • Magical memory from running
  • Racing with her daughter in the Italian Alps


Social Media

Instagram @collingemaddy



Mar 23, 2023

Amy Rusiecki is a full-time engineer with a passion for ultrarunning. 

Amy, who has been running her entire life, started out with orienteering when she was only six years old before moving onto cross country running and then transitioning to road racing (during which time she escaped to the trails to train).

During her ultrarunning career (Amy has completed 82 ultras and has won 33 of them), she has found confidence, joy and her husband. 

She is the Race Director for the Vermont 100 and coaches other ultrarunners through The Run Formula. 

She is a three-time member of the USA Trail Team, and is sponsored by Inov-8 and Drymax. 

Amy, her husband and their kitty live in western Massachusetts and mainly race throughout the East Coast.


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday 7am UK time - Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.

Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 


Show Notes

  • Who is Amy
  • Being a lifelong athlete 
  • Finding trail and ultra running
  • Ultra running since 2007
  • Being a race director and working as a full time engineer
  • Waking up super early!
  • Being from an active family 
  • Doing orienteering and becoming a cross country skier
  • Finding the right endurance sport
  • Running use to be a punishment when she was younger
  • Why she loves running
  • Signing up for her first 50 mile race
  • Doing her first marathon and trail marathon with her sister
  • Reading Ultra Marathon Man By Dean Karnazes 
  • Doing a relay race and roping in her work colleague 
  • Signing up for the Vermont 50 
  • Her mental approach to running endurance races 
  • Make sure you know your why
  • Being inspired by her friend 
  • Doing a 100 mile race without her crew or her friends 
  • 100 reasons why Amy is going to rock the 100!
  • Magical moments while racing 
  • 2015 - The World Mountain Running and Trail Championships 
  • Feeling bad for herself and just wanting to finish the race
  • Making the transition from being an elite athlete to a normal runner
  • Being more of a middle of the pack runner
  • Did she love the sport or was her passion for the sport tied to her success
  • Being ok with not winning 
  • Not being able to live unto the expectation of other runners
  • Working as a Race Director 
  • The gender split in the ultra races 
  • Breaking down barriers in the ultra race space 
  • Working with adaptive athletes 
  • Wanting to welcome everybody to the trails
  • Having a policy for pregnant women
  • What it’s like on race day being a race director 
  • Wanting things to be perfect 
  • Top tips and advice for new runners
  • Remove any notion in your head about what that mile will look like
  • Why it’s about covering the distance 
  • Top tips for experienced runners wanting to go after a 100 mile race
  • Why you need a race that inspires you 
  • Why it’s ok to pick something that you may fail at 
  • How to connect with Amy (she’s not on social media)
  • Beast Coast Trail Running
  • Working as a run coach through Run Formula 
  • Plans for 2023 - combining running and travel


Social Media

Seven Sisters Trail Race - 12 miles of technical, single track trail on an out-and-back course with over 3,500 ft. elevation gain 

Vermont 100 - 100 mile race

Vermont Adaptive:

Beast Coast Trail Running: 



Mar 21, 2023

Ingrid has loved competitive sports since a young age. Originally swimming was her passion and she began swimming competitively at 6 years old, she swam throughout high school and attending UCLA (a division 1 school) where she swam competitively for 2 years, while studying Sociology. 

After leaving college, Ingrid made the transition from swimming to running and also decided to become an actress. Played lifeguard Sheryl Whelan, on Baywatch as well as having roles on Scandal, Grey's Anatomy, Castle, and Parenthood, to name a few!

At the age of 47 after running her fastest marathon ever, 2hr 48 mins in the 2019 LA Marathon. 

Ingrid was feeling the strongest and fittest she’d ever been. 

However, while training for her next challenge, she started to not feel well and after seeing her doctor was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ingrid underwent a double mastectomy, and continued to run while undergoing six rounds of chemotherapy as well as radiation.

Ingrid is a member of Janes an elite women’s running group based in LA and in 2021 Ingrid was inducted into the National Black Distance Running Hall of Fame.


2014 3rd Place Masters Female Chicago Marathon
2014 2nd Place Female Overall Orange County Marathon
2016 USATF Masters Half Marathon Championship: 5th place Masters Woman Overall
2021 2nd Place 50+, 12th Overall USATF Masters XC Club Nationals Tallahassee,FL
2022 1st Place 50+, 8th Overall USATF Masters XC Championships Mission Bay, CA


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday 7am UK time - Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.

Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 


Show Notes

  • Who is Ingrid 
  • Being based in Santa Monica, California, USA 
  • Racing for the past 10 years
  • Starting out as a competitive swimmer 
  • Swimming for 2 years in College at UCLA
  • Hating running when she was younger
  • Transition to running at 18/19 years old
  • Starting to work as a lifeguard for LA County 
  • Running on the beach and doing her first marathon
  • Running marathons and improving her times
  • Joining the Janes’ an elite running team in Santa Monica and wanting to break 3hrs in the marathon
  • Always loved training and competing 
  • Liking to challenge herself
  • Working as an actor for 26 years
  • Finding her niche in life
  • What was Ingrid like as a little girl 
  • Being taught to swim from a very young age
  • Being a junior lifeguard
  • Studying Sociology at College in the early 90s
  • Getting into acting and booking her first commercial 
  • Acting in Baywatch
  • Gradually falling in love with running
  • Hal Higdon - Marathon training plan 
  • Deciding to join the Janes Elite Running Club 
  • Taking 5 years to run under 3hrs
  • Being fully committed to her running program 
  • Getting a running coach and running 70 miles a week
  • Breaking 3 hrs when she was 45 years old
  • Starting to change her training and wanting to go faster
  • Running 100mile weeks for 3 months before the LA Marathon
  • Running 2.48 at the LA Marathon!!!
  • Starting to not feel well and being diagnosed with Breast Cancer
  • Feeling shocked
  • The next steps to follow 
  • Being supported by the running community 
  • Running throughout her treatment 
  • Having surgery in August 2019
  • Getting into cross country races in 2021
  • Having a baby heart attack at a race in New Jersey
  • Figuring out what happened
  • Looking at running in a different way 
  • Reframing the situation in her mind
  • Advice for new runners starting out
  • The joy of making running fun!
  • A magical running memory 
  • How to connect with Ingrid 


Social Media

Instagram @ingridwalt

Janes Elite Racing - 

Mar 16, 2023

A Swiss-born ultrarunner, Luzia Buehler now lives in the mountains, trying to live a good life while protecting what is most important to her.

Luzia has always been an athletic person since she was a child because of her great love for the outdoors and the mountains. Luzia discovered her passion for trail running when she was about 20 years old, and she has since competed in all of the most important international races.

In 2016, Luzia competed in the Western States 100 race for the first time, finishing 27th (27hrs 03mins) and 11th (20hrs 23mins) in 2019.

Having run this race twice, which has greatly prepared her, Luzia, 40, has rocked the world’s oldest 100-mile trail race, the Western States Endurance Run, by becoming the 4th place women's finisher in a time of 18 hours, 08 minutes last year.

Luzia is also a social worker who enjoys skiing and snowboarding during the winter.


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.

Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 


Show Notes

  • Who Luzia
  • Living in East Switzerland by the mountains 
  • Working as a social worker
  • Being the youngest child and growing up in a sport family
  • Getting into skiing at a young age
  • Always being a runner
  • Working as a cook and fitting in running around her hours
  • Doing her first Half Marathon on the road and why it wasn’t good!
  • Working with running coach Ellie Greenwood
  • Listen to Ellie Greenwood on the Tough Girl Podcast 2016 
  • Needing more flexibility in her training 
  • Western States 100 mile endurance race 
  • Running the WS100 in 2016 and why it was the hardest thing she has ever done
  • Running for 27 hrs and needing to walk the majority of the race
  • Wanting to come back and do the race again (this time training with Ellie)
  • Winning a golden ticket to gain entry to Western States in 2018 
  • Going into the race with a lot of passion 
  • Why it’s so much more than a race
  • Having stomach problems on Raceday - but completing it in 20hrs 
  • Wanting to race the Western States again in 2022
  • Completing the WS100 in 18hrs 8 mins 27 secs
  • Why it was such a good day and feeling proud of herself 
  • Race strategy and tactics for Western States
  • Needing to run at her own pace
  • Feeling the impact of jet lag and needing to go slower at the start
  • Running really well when she runs alone 
  • Starting to overtake a few people and having fun while she raced. 
  • Just keep smiling and keep putting one foot in front of the other 
  • What’s going on in her head while racing 
  • Trying to stay in the current moment and be in the present
  • Fuelling and nutrition while racing 
  • Wanting to eat more salty food and less fatty food
  • Pizza and beer at the end of the race
  • How she recovers after a 100 mile race 
  • Taking a week or 2 weeks off from running 
  • Supplements?
  • “The future is unwritten” - what does that mean?
  • Her dream race - Hardrock 100 
  • Being an inov-8 ambassador 
  • Advice for new runners who are just starting out 
  • Losing her running mojo and what she does when she doesn’t feel like running
  • Remembering her why - why does she run?
  • Wanting to create happy memories 
  • Her favourite paid of Inov-8 trainers
  • Wearing PARKCLAW G 280 in the Western States 100
  • Advice for more experienced runners
  • Why time on feet really does count 
  • Doing strength training 2/3x a week 
  • Remaining injury free due to strength training 
  • Why cycling is good as well
  • How you can connect with Luzia on IG


Social Media

Instagram @luz.s.y



Mar 14, 2023

Allie spent a lot of her life seeking approval from people she thought were cool, believing that in order to be successful, you had to act a certain way. For her, success is seeing someone who doesn't believe they can do something transform into someone who does.

After working for major record labels for 12 years, Allie realised that music, which she had once loved, was slowly killing her. Her dream career had turned her into a nightmare, and she was completely lost. Allie has struggled to find her place and suffers from depressive demons, anxiety, and existential misery.

After taking part in the inaugural Rat Race Test Pilot trip to Mongolia in 2018, she realised it was the first time she had truly had time to stop, think, and be completely at peace. Fast forward, after three and a half years, numerous journeys, a pandemic, some questionable decisions, and a lot of planning and running, Allie is now coaching other people to do amazing things.

Allie holds several world firsts to her name, including running across Mongolia's Lake Khovsgol and crossing the Namib Desert twice. Allie is the first woman to run the entire length of the Panama Canal. She has also run the length of the Outer Hebrides, crossed Scotland on packraft and foot several times, and completed over 100 marathons and 60-70 ultramarathons, including nine 100-mile plus races.

Allie started running 10 years ago and have only being doing the ultra thing for 6 years, but she absolutely love it. It's a game changer. Allie believes that it is something that anyone of any age and from any background can participate in.

Allie has been extremely lucky to have discovered something she truly enjoys doing, and her favorite thing in the entire world is seeing people achieve things they never thought were possible

"There's nobody funner than an Ultrarunner" - Allie Bailey


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.

Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 

* We have previously spoken with Allie on 18th Dec 2018 - Listen here 


FYI marked as *Explicit - as there are a few little swear words!


Show Notes

  • Who is Allie Bailey
  • Meeting her dogs!
  • Why ultra running and why she loves it 
  • Writing her book 
  • How running helps with her mental health 
  • Being able to process her thoughts 
  • Going more into adventure running
  • Her favourite distance to run…
  • Liking 100 mile races
  • LEJOG - Lands End to John O’Groats
  • The ultimate dream 
  • Working with Rat Race 
  • Starting on the 1st June 2022
  • Running on average 35 miles a day
  • The hardest part of the LEJOG challenge
  • The mental side of the challenge
  • The challenges of being away from home
  • What a typical day looked like 
  • Starting with the South West Coast Path
  • Running 44 miles into Bristol over 12 hrs
  • Chocolate milk
  • Being in bed asleep by 8pm
  • Snacking all day
  • Having a rest day once a week 
  • Staying injury free throughout the journey 
  • Wanting to finish the run
  • Voltarol gel to help with the pain
  • Using bonjela to numb blisters 
  • Wearing Inov-8 Parkclaw G280 - for 750 miles (then wearing a second pair for the final 250 miles) - “the greatest shoe of all time”
  • The ultra playlist on Spotify - The Bailey Ultra Sound System 
  • Getting to Scotland and the final few days 
  • Spending time by herself towards the end 
  • Getting to John O’Groats and doing the final mile 
  • Feeling underwhelmed with what she had achieved 
  • What she would have done differently 
  • Wishing she had done more strength training before she left
  • Costs of taking on a challenge like this 
  • Dragons Back Race, Wales 
  • Getting timed out on day 2 
  • Why it was the most intense thing she’s ever done
  • Feeling like a fraud 
  • Taking herself out of the situation
  • The lessons learned from the experience
  • Wanting to go back in 2024 and try again
  • Not being kind to herself
  • Being able to reframe the situation 
  • Time off in 2023…..
  • Planning to do her first 200 miler and wanting to run all the Wainwrights in a year
  • Taking 10 days off running!!!
  • How you can connect with Allie
  • Final words of wisdom and advice for women who want to get into running and take it to the next level
  • Finding your people, find your tribe, find your people 
  • Ultra Awesome FB Group


Social Media


Instagram @ab_runs 

Twitter  @AllieBailey 




Mar 9, 2023

Rav is a mum of 3 teenagers and works as a management consultant. 

Rav only found running later on in life when she was in her late 30’s. She started running to prove a point to someone who said she couldn’t run. Rav soon realised that fitness initiatives such as Park Run and races just weren’t for her.  

Her joy for running came from the solitude and peace she found while on an empty trail or a calm street.  

Rav now runs for fun, for her mental well being and to keep fit. In 2022 she completed a goal she had had for 20 years - running the London Marathon.


Rav is currently on a run streak where she has been running outside every day for almost 5 years. She is also training for her next challenge: a 32 mile / 52k Ultra Marathon in the Peak District taking place in the Summer of 2023! 

“Find what makes you happy. Do more of it”


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.

Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 


Show Notes

  • Who is Rav
  • 42 year old, mum of 3 teenagers
  • Celebrating her 5 year run streak in March 2023
  • Her early years and growing up in a strict Indian family 
  • Not being sporty
  • Being pushed down the academic route
  • Deciding to join a gym
  • Getting her first pair of trainers when she was 36
  • Joining a hotel gym and going at night
  • Getting into swimming 
  • Starting her IG account to document her fitness journey 
  • Buying trainers
  • The motivation behind wanting to run
  • Wanting to prove people wrong
  • Not wanting to be seen in public
  • Deciding to run outside on the 17th May 2017
  • Doing a 12 week fitness challenge which involved running 200 miles
  • Setting running goals
  • RED January
  • The power of spending 30 mins outside each day
  • Meeting Scott who was run streaking 
  • How the purpose of the run streak has changed since she started
  • Motivating herself to run on the tough days
  • London Marathon 26.2 miles 
  • Dealing with imposter syndrome
  • Having social anxiety while running and not being able to do park run 
  • Getting a plan in places for races 
  • Running plans being stopped due to covid and doing the virtual London Marathon 
  • Doing 9 virtual marathons in 12 weeks 
  • Finding the training hard when running 18 miles+
  • Joining a fitness program - Six Pack Revolution
  • Not being able to run the London Marathon in 2021
  • Dealing with injury and the recovery process while still running every day
  • Losing her running confidence
  • The unofficial running community!
  • Getting over her mental block when running longer distances
  • Getting her running confidence back and starting to work with a running coach
  • Dealing with the fear of getting injured again 
  • The start line of the London Marathon 2022
  • Being a glam runner - hot pink lipstick and shades!
  • Being supported by friends 
  • Wanting to make the most of the day
  • The toughest part of the race and struggling around mile 16 and mile 24
  • Not wanting to do another road marathon again 
  • How to connect with Rav
  • Top tips and advice to help you get out running 


Social Media


Twitter @ravbillan 


Instagram @ravbillan 



Mar 7, 2023

Grace in her own words:


“I’m driven by the need to inspire other people of colour on to the trails.


I want to increase diversity and participation in endurance running. 


I’m also tired of being the only Black person at endurance events and feeling like I don’t belong. 


I’ve run 70+ marathons including ultras, and I’m still going.”



New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live in March every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 


The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.


Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 



Show notes

  • Being based on the South Coast of the UK
  • Working as a management consultant 
  • Starting running in 2009
  • Training for her first 10k
  • Her early years and what she was like as a little girl
  • Being sporty but not outdoorsy
  • Her brothers and sisters
  • Her children and grandchildren 
  • Being supported and inspired by fellow runners
  • Running her first 5k
  • Being determined to get better
  • Signing up for her first race
  • Running in the dark
  • Not having the confidence to run outdoors
  • Not wanting to stop
  • Joining a local running club
  • Running off road
  • Her love for running and feeling happy
  • Her accidental half marathon
  • What running has taught her
  • Running her first marathon in 2011
  • Running the Brighton Marathon multiple times
  • Sharing the lessons she’s learned
  • Why the race starts at mile 20
  • What a typical training week looks like
  • Focusing on strength training
  • Wanting to be the best version of herself
  • Practicing yoga
  • Girls run the world 
  • The Atlantic Coast Challenge
  • Finishing the race at Land’s End and feeling emotional 
  • Focusing on core and endurance 
  • Fuelling her long runs and focusing on eating real food
  • The women who have inspired her
  • How to connect with Grace
  • Final words of advice for new runners


Social Media


Instagram @marathongracefully




Mar 2, 2023

Keri Wallace is the founder & guide at Girls on Hills, the UK’s only trail, fell and skyrunning company for women. After her second child, Keri decided to quit the desk-job and find a way to combine her passion for mountain running with flexible working, so that she could fulfil a life goal and be mum to two toddlers at the same time.  

Keri in her own words: 

“I started Girls on Hills with my colleague Nancy Kennedy in 2013, as a way to encourage more women to try trail and fell running. It was a terrifying leap of faith and a dream-come-true rolled into one. It felt like the opposite of a mid-life crisis though; like I’d finally found the confidence to stand up and do something I should have done a long time ago. But I had no idea whether it would take off!  

We only ran a handful of courses the first year but it soon became clear that there was a real appetite out there for the kind of freedom and empowerment that comes with this type of running – across all ability levels.   

I love guiding women around the rocky hills of Glencoe, helping them build the confidence and skills they need to become more independent in the mountains (usually a simple case of revealing how much they are already capable of!) Mountain running is such a multi-faceted sport, with benefits that reach out and touch all other areas of your life.        

As Girls on Hills has grown over the years, we have learned more about the barriers that many women face, across all levels of our sport, from beginner access, right through to elite-level racing. Today we advocate strongly for equity and inclusivity and seek to increase female participation in technical and ultra-distance events, where the gender gap is greatest.” 


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live in March every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout March by Inov-8.

Get involved with the #MarchDailyMile Challenge. Run 1 mile everyday in March. 


Show notes

  • Who is Keri
  • Growing up in Cornwall 
  • How she ended up living in Scotland 
  • Playing a lot of traditional sports when she was younger
  • The women who have inspired her
  • Working as a science teacher in her 20s
  • Getting into climbing
  • Making a transition from being a teacher to working in the outdoor world 
  • Doing the 3 peaks challenge in 24hrs
  • Getting into running
  • The challenges of doing her first mountain marathon 
  • Training for races and how it’s changed over the years
  • The Trans Alpine Run 
  • The mental side of running challenges
  • Info for new mums who are running
  • Losing her mojo for running
  • Getting anxious about racing 
  • Wanting to push herself on her own terms
  • Not being able to stick to a fixed program 
  • Creating Girls on Hills in 2018 with Nancy Kennedy 
  • Helping to break barriers down and encourage more women into running
  • Working as a champion for She Races 
  • Talking about confidence
  • Reassuring women who run
  • Sky running and technical mountain running 
  • Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the Glencoe Round
  • Women FKT - Women with a goal to flip the FKT statistics. Highlighting women’s FKTs everywhere. IG @womenwhofkt 
  • Why it’s not about the time with FKTs
  • Role models in running
  • How to connect with Keri 
  • Final words of advice to help you get out of the door and go running


Social Media




Instagram @girlsonhillsuk 


Facebook @GirlsOnHills 

Feb 28, 2023

Kate in her own words...

"My name is Kate Strong and I don’t believe in living a compromised life. From an early age, I felt I was different. I was curiously questioning almost everything I did, and realised that living within society’s comfort zone doesn’t always create inspiring and extraordinary results.

My mission is to inspire and empower people just like you to step up and achieve what you know intuitively that you know you want.

Add clarity, direction, a sense of purpose and methods to maintain your desire to move forward to achieve and live your dreams.

For over two decades, I tried to fit in. I put what other people expected of me ahead of what I truly wanted to do. I was not being entirely me – I was conforming and compromising.

At university, I studied Engineering – to please my parents (I did enjoy the challenge of learning a new topic, but being an engineer was never my dream).

After graduating, I went to Latin America. Yet, I eventually ‘returned to normal’ and started to ‘settle down’ – following the unspoken rules of society.

I find it curious why most people wait until a ‘cliff edge moment’ before making significant changes. I was no different, waiting until after a dramatic break-up with my fiancé that left me financially in debt and emotionally distraught did I finally accept that things needed to change. I needed to change.

It was time I started to live for me and feed what could be rather than resign to what is already. Far too many people are settling for below their potential, in a state of discomfort: Living for Friday afternoon and the next pay cheque. Life doesn’t have to be like this.

Applying this philosophy, I took up running and became age-group World Triathlon Champion. I have been striving to stop reacting to circumstances and instead continue to consciously create a life that inspires me and others."


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

Support the Tough Girl mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media - especially in relation to adventure and physical challenge by signing up as a patron. Thank you. 


Show Notes

  • Who is Kate Strong
  • Her early years and growing up in Wales
  • Loving sport from a young age
  • Not loving the competitive side of sport
  • Wanting to connect with herself and nature through sport
  • Studying engineering in France for 5 years
  • Having a life while studying 
  • Her first big physical challenge
  • Learning lessons from cycling to the Alps
  • Treating physical challenges with respect
  • Going through an emotional breakup 
  • Getting into triathlon while being based in Australia
  • Not wanting to cap her potential  
  • Wanting to be number one in the world
  • Needing a big goal 
  • Getting started with training for a triathlon
  • Just wanting to spend time outside and do something physical
  • Overcoming her own excuses 
  • Letting herself have the permission to put herself first 
  • Starting to add some structure to her training
  • Healing from the breakup and moving on 
  • Why she’s still on the healing journey 
  • Learning to use her pain as a strength 
  • Using triathlon as a distraction
  • Becoming age group world champion in 14 months 
  • Selling the business and moving back to UK in 2014
  • Starting at zero 
  • Working on her mindset and belief in herself
  • Racing at the world championships in China 
  • Figuring out ways to make it happen
  • Focusing on her future and healing 
  • Focus on the WHY and the HOW will sort itself out
  • Showing up everyday regardless of what was happening in her life
  • Being supported by her local community who crowdfunded for her
  • Race day and saying her intentions to come first in the race
  • Focusing on doing her best in the current moment
  • Having an attitude of gratitude 
  • Being vegan and plant based
  • Deciding to stop eating dairy and the impact it had on her performance after 5 days
  • What a typical day of eating looks like
  • Tour de Wales and Challenge 3000
  • Getting injured during Tour de Wales and having to make changes to the plan
  • How the idea came about and how it changed and evolved over time
  • Wanting to travel slower and in a more sustainable way
  • How to connect with Kate and get involved with her challenge
  • The Strong Voice Podcast
  • Final words of advice - go out and start exploring with curiosity


Social Media



Instagram  @katestrong01

Facebook @katestrong01 

Twitter @katestrong01 



Feb 21, 2023

Nirjala is a 41-year-old Nepalese national triathlete and a mother of two. She was Nepal's national mountain biking champion for 12 years, from 2001 to 2012, and after dominating the mountain biking scene for 12 years, Nirjala was known as the "Mountain Queen" by her peers. Nirjala is now a triathlete on the Nepal National Team.

On June 6th, 2021, Nirjala completed the UK Ultimate Triathlon event in Whitchurch after 15 hours and 13 minutes. The full Ironman distance includes 3.8 kilometers of swimming, 180 kilometers of cycling, and 42 kilometers of running. She then became the first Nepali female athlete to complete a full Ironman-distance triathlon.

Her historic achievement was publicly recognized as the "First Nepalese Female Athlete to achieve" by Nepal Triathlon Association President, Mr. Nilendra Raj Shrestha.


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Learn more by visiting . Thank you.


Show notes

  • Who is Nirjala
  • Speaking with Nirjala previously on the Tough Girl Podcast
  • Discovering triathlon 
  • Living in UAE in 2011 and training for mountain biking 
  • Thinking about doing an Ironman
  • Making the transition from mountain biking to triathlon 
  • Stopping mountain biking and focusing on family 
  • Wanting to lose weight after having children
  • Getting back into training after having a C section 
  • Why she wanted to do a triathlon 
  • Learning how to swim as an adult 
  • Overcoming her fear of open water
  • Taking on her first sprint triathlon 
  • Learning to swim front crawl in 2018
  • Not feeling confident in the water 
  • Dealing with feelings of panic while in the water
  • Feeling more confident in the water 
  • Training for open water swimming 
  • Learning how to float 
  • Doing her first Full Ironman triathlon
  • Following a free training plan found online
  • Balancing training time with her family 
  • Being on the start line of the race
  • Being worried about the cold water
  • Eating during the race
  • Feeling relief and happiness crossing the finish line
  • Recovering afterwards
  • Feeling a lot of pain at the end and not being able to sleep
  • How to connect and follow on the social 
  • Final words of advice to motivate and inspire you to take on your next challenge
  • How to face your fears even when you are afraid 
  • Why you can do anything you want in your life


Social Media





Feb 14, 2023

Camille Herron is an American ultramarathon runner. She was born on Christmas Day in Norman, Oklahoma. She credits her athletic ability and steely toughness to her grandpa, who earned two Purple Hearts in World War II, and her dad, who played college basketball at Oklahoma State University for 3-time Olympic Team Coach, Henry Iba. As a 7-year-old she would practice basketball without water until she would black out. When she was 17, her family became homeless when they lost their home in a tornado. She started running long on Sundays to celebrate her life.

Camille won the 2017 Comrades Marathon and holds several World Record times at ultramarathon distances. She is the first and only athlete to win all three of the road IAU World Championships for 50K, 100K, and 24 Hours. Camille also holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon in a superhero costume. She is known for running with her hair down, drinking beer, and eating tacos during ultramarathons.

In November 2017, she broke Ann Trason's 100-mile Road World Record by over an hour in 12:42:40. She is the first woman to run under 13 hours for 100 miles, exceed 150 km for 12-Hours, and reach 270 km for 24-Hours. In April 2022, she became the youngest woman to reach 100,000 lifetime miles.

Camille has overcome multiple challenges in her life, including injuries as a young runner and the loss of her family's home in the 1999 tornado outbreak in Oklahoma. In February 2019, just two weeks after surviving a rollover car accident, she won the Tarawera 100 Miler in Rotorua, New Zealand in a new course record of 17:20:52.

She was a 3-time All-Stater in cross country, 3-time State Champion in track and field, and valedictorian at Westmoore High School. As a young runner, Camille experienced many injuries and was inspired to understand why. She got back into competitive running as a road racer in her fifth year of college coached by her husband and former elite runner, Conor Holt. In 2007, Camille graduated from Oregon State University with a Master of Science degree in Exercise and Sports Science.


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

Support the Tough Girl mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media - especially in relation to adventure and physical challenge by signing up as a patron. Thank you. 


Show Notes

  • Who is Camille
  • Being a marathoner for 10 years before getting into ultra running
  • Committing to ultra running in 2015
  • Wikipedia for Camille 
  • Being a shy kid with high energy
  • Getting into dance ad basketball before running 
  • Playing point guard in basketball
  • Finding running very natural 
  • Doing her first cross country race
  • Meeting her husband in college
  • Being surrounded by super runners and being inspired
  • Running miles for fun
  • Suffering from injuries and wanting to understand why
  • Winning 3 state titles in high school
  • Growing 9 inches and dealing with multiple stress fractures 
  • Being told by doctors not to run competitively 
  • Being taught how to train properly
  • Studying bone and exercise in grad school
  • Remaining injury free from her mid 20s
  • Reaching 100,000 miles in running 
  • Being part of a research study at Stanford
  • Her running routine 
  • Running periods and peri-menopause
  • Using her period as a marker of health
  • Having a mineral imbalance
  • Low magnesium and high iron
  • Working with a dietitian 
  • Foot strike haemolysis 
  • Recovery and sleeping after big training sessions
  • The Root Cause Protocol
  • Getting into a better routine at night
  • Feeling the best she’s ever felt at 40
  • Loving 24hr races and why its the hardest distance 
  • Strategy for 24hr races
  • Mentally breaking down the race
  • Why it’s the hardest ultra race
  • The motivation and where it comes from
  • Future races and wanting to race more trail races
  • Connect with Camille
  • Coaching with Camille
  • Advice for new runners 


Social Media



Instagram @runcamille 

Facebook @runcamille 

Twitter @runcamille 



Feb 7, 2023

Amy Aed is a travel writer and adventurer from Wales who was the first person to walk the entire Danube River.

Amy was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at the age of 15, and the daily impact on her health was a struggle, but there’s nothing stopping her from living the life she wants.

On 14th September 2022, Amy finally finished the 1770-mile journey and became the first person to walk the Danube river, more or less a year after she started.

Amy is also the face behind the blog Wandering Everywhere. She enjoys writing raw, off-the-beaten-path guides to beautiful places.

Amy's writing has been featured in Sick Chirpse, The New Welsh Review, Yahoo! Lifestyle, Buzz Magazine, Wanderlust Magazine, Buzzfeed, and many more.

About the blog:

Wandering Everywhere is a space filled with raw, off-the-beaten-track travel guides on gorgeous places, with a focus on solo female travel and travelling when there’s a million obstacles in front of you.

This blog is for the travel-hungry, those who are on the constant search of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s for the people who are all about asking questions and collecting stories, sharing their passion for exploration in an outlet designed to inspire a whole community of travellers.

Wandering Everywhere is a blog set out to inspire others to live a life of a travel in a way that needn’t be scary, expensive, or isolating – where wandering and wondering go hand in hand. Let’s turn the world travel-hungry.


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges. Visit Thank you.

*This walk was started 1st September 2021 and finished 14th September 2022


Show notes

  • Who is Amy
  • Her early years
  • Wanting to travel from a young age
  • Her blog - Wandering-everywhere and how it evolved from a book blog to what it is now 
  • Travelling to Germany and writing about travelling 
  • Working with tourism boards 
  • Walking the length of the Danube river.
  • Where the idea came from 
  • Doing research on the Danube and finding out that no one had walked it before 
  • Not doing a lot of planning and preparation
  • Concerns before taking on this challenge
  • Feeling excited to go and travel
  • Planning to walk 40 miles a day and finish the challenge in a month
  • Having to go home multiple times during the trip
  • Never having done a walking trip before
  • Doing about 25km on average per day
  • Deciding to walk with other people 
  • Not being able to finish the trip before Christmas
  • Having to make changes to the journey
  • The challenges of walking with teammates (girlfriend - Emily and friend - Ines)
  • The challenges of taking a break during the walk and going back to it 
  • Feeling ready to finish and end the trip
  • Being diagnosed at age 15 with Crohn’s Disease.
  • Changing her diet and eating while walking
  • Not taking care of herself and getting ill
  • Figuring out what her food triggers were
  • Getting food and resupply while walking 
  • Money and costs of the challenge
  • Receiving a small grant for £500 and a small amount of sponsorship 
  • The biggest lesson and learning from the challenge
  • Dealing with the street dogs
  • Not being able to rely on other people
  • The ending of the journey and reaching the Black Sea
  • The Danube Delta and not being able to walk the end and needing to take a boat
  • Why the end was underwhelming and vey different from what she imagined
  • Magical moments from the walk
  • Deciding not to camp anymore
  • Using couch surfing for the first time 
  • Future plans - a road trip through Eastern Europe and going to Mexico for the day of the dead celebration
  • How to connect with Amy 
  • Final words of advice for women who want to get wandering and travelling 


Social Media



Instagram @wandering-everywhere 

Facebook @wanderingeverywherepage 

Twitter @wandrevrywhere 



Jan 31, 2023

Crystal Rose in her own words:

“I am Crystal Hudelson (she/her) a cishet (both cisgender and heterosexual) gender Black woman

I am a foster youth who was brought up by the state. This gives me incredible empathy for marginalized people which is what led me to my work with Climbers of Color (CoC).

I am in love with sport climbing (specifically outdoor leading). Certifications: The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) apprentice rock guide, Single Pitch Instructor

All of my climb training focuses on being a solid leader outside on rock. I used to co-host Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC - Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) climb nights for Climbers of Color at Stone Gardens Bellevue since it started there.

Climbers of Color opened up a platform for people like me to connect and teach with the climbing community in the closest way to my heart: Black people, people of color, and marginalized communities.

As my involvement grew, I became part of a new branch of CoC: outdoor rock climbing instruction. My partner and I developed all the instructional programs for rock at CoC and strive to make each course a welcoming, equitable, and informational experience for each participant.

CoC is the entity who has mentored me through the AMGA certification process and trusts I will do a good job. They have placed a confidence in me I have known few other places and I am grateful for it.

Within the BIPOC climbing community, I have seen a wide array of abilities and experience. 

I want you to know that we see you because we are looking. We see you and want to honor you by creating a strong climbing community who shares joy with one another. Bringing one’s culture and ancestral essence into climbing is what will allow us to enter the climbing community as our whole selves.

Fun facts about me: My ancestry is Haitian and Irish. By day I work as an aircraft mechanic in the avionics department on heavy jets and my partner and I are building our first climbing wall in our backyard.

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

To support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Sign up as a Patron - Thank you. 


Show Notes

  • Who is Crystal Rose
  • Her current roles
  • What she was like as a little girl
  • Not having the opportunity to go outside much
  • Trying to find her place in the world
  • Getting into rock climbing through her partner Keith
  • Her passion for climbing and the outdoors
  • Meeting Keith and how their relationship developed 
  • Not coming from an athletic background
  • Enjoying the mental aspect of the challenge
  • Managing fear and being able to believe in herself 
  • Her love for sports climbings 
  • Sport Leading Outside and why its her favourite type of climbing 
  • Her journey in getting her climbing qualifications 
  • The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) 
  • Single Pitch Instructor Course
  • Needing traditional gear and being supported by the climbing community 
  • Gear Fund Collective - IG @thegearfundcollective 
  • The challenge of finding climbing partners 
  • Managing fear while climbing 
  • The power of breath work and why it is one of the best tools you can use
  • Getting into a mindful space 
  • Falling out of love with climbing in 2021
  • The need for rest and figuring out a balance 
  • Being a Co-director of Climbers of Color (CoC) which was established in 2017
  • Her volunteer role at Climber of Color 
  • Working full time as an airline mechanic 
  • Assisting people to become guides
  • Driving change in the climbing world
  • Having scholarships available 
  • Partnering with the American Alpine Institute 
  • Her passion for writing and sharing on her blog - Rock Rose Blog - Examine the intersection of climbing, Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color, and policy.  
  • Magical moments while climbing
  • Reflecting back on one of the hardest climbs she’s ever done
  • Not feeling worthy of being able to climb at a certain grade
  • Climb training for sport climbing 
  • Following the Anderson Brothers Training Manual 
  • Mercedes Pollmeier - Longevity Climbing Coach IG @modusathletica 
  • Modus Athletica Website 
  • Working with Climbing Coach Emily Taylor IG @browngirlsclimbing1
  • Brown Girls Climbing - 1st all BIPOC girls & GNB youth pioneering adventure based-climbing from Ohlone Land. Website - 
  • How climbing and your everyday life can cross over
  • Advice for women who want to start climbing and to step outside their comfort zone
  • Look for an affinity group and finding a climbing partner who you connect with 
  • Connecting with people via the internet and social media 
  • Safety is number one and the skills will follow
  • Building her own home climbing wall 
  • The community feel of the project 
  • Deciding to name the climbing wall - the Monolith
  • How to connect with Crystal Rose
  • Final words of advice 
  • Why healing isn’t linear 


Social Media


Blog - 


Personal Instagram 



Go Fund Me - - Examine the intersection of climbing, Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color, and policy.  


Climbers of Colour - Creating leaders of color in mountaineering and climbing. Based in Western Washington.


IG:  @climbersofcolor

Facebook Group: 

Jan 24, 2023

Victoria is an ambassador for UK charity ‘Women in Sport’. Having developed a love of adventure in her late twenties, she progressed from running and cycling to summits of Mont Blanc, Gran Paradiso and Kilimanjaro. 

In March 2022 she became the fastest female to solo row 2,559 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, finishing in 40 days, 21 hours and 1 minute and knocking 8.5 days off the previous Guinness World Record.

Outside of adventure, Victoria is a sports and media lawyer with over ten years of experience practising in both the UK and Switzerland. Having held roles in both European and Olympic federations, as well as commercial media organisations, she focuses on the development and negotiation of sports sponsorship and licensing, media creation and distribution, and sports governance. She uses her legal training to tackle gender equality in sport, securing the first written pregnancy deferral policy of an organised race in February 2022 when Ironman agreed to collaborate, and now focusing heavily on safeguarding.


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the Tough Girl mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media - especially in relation to adventure and physical challenge by signing up as a patron. Thank you. 


Show Notes

  • Who is Victoria 
  • Woking as a commercial lawyer
  • Being based in London
  • Growing up in the countryside in Yorkshire
  • Not being interested in sports as a young age
  • Getting into fitness in her mid/late 20s
  • Deciding to become a lawyer
  • Wanting to become financially secure
  • Training in Manchester and working long hours
  • Moving to Switzerland and getting into the outdoor lifestyle
  • Doing her first (and only) triathlon
  • Getting into climbing mountains
  • Where the dream to row the Atlantic Ocean came from
  • Wanting to make a change 
  • Doing work with UN Women 
  • Doing research into ocean rowing
  • The reasons behind the challenge
  • Being inspired by the women on the tough girl podcast
  • The practical steps taken to make the dream a reality 
  • Having to quit her job to take on the ocean row
  • Taking a leap of faith and finding a way to make it happen
  • Connecting with Women in Sport
  • Sorting out the basics
  • Rannoch Adventures 
  • Securing her title sponsor at the end of 2019
  • Sitting her ocean rowing exams in Feb 2020
  • Going into lockdown in March 2020
  • Planning to go in 2021 and needing to postpone to 2022
  • Dealing with new challenges and setbacks
  • Deciding to go freelance as a lawyer
  • Dealing with the stress before getting to the start line
  • Having a fantastic support network
  • The start of the challenge
  • Structure on the boat?!
  • The challenges while on the boat
  • The magical moments while out on the water
  • Focusing on the good
  • What are you doing? Why are you here?
  • The mental side of the row
  • Having no let up at all 
  • Needing to be the one to fix every problem and every issue
  • Getting through the tough days 
  • Making history and breaking records
  • Not wanting to do another adventure at this level
  • Wanting to help and support athletes with safeguarding issues
  • Looking after her own mental health 
  • Taking a break from exercise and fitness
  • How to connect with Victoria 
  • The importance of knowing your why and why you are passionate about it
  • Back yourself
  • Listening to multiple episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast


Social Media


Instagram @seachangesport  



Jan 17, 2023

Phillipa in her own words:

“I’ve been an OS GetOutside Champion since 2020, I’m the Chief Volunteer Queen for Adventure Queens South Wales and deputy chair of the Brecon Beacons National Park LAF. 

I’ve just turned 50 and am not your stereotypical outdoor type. I’ve never been great at sports and I’m not a pretty sight puffing and panting up a mountain. But being outdoors makes me feel alive – it’s my soul food. 

My goal is to encourage more women of every age, size, ability and background to participate in outdoor activities and that’s what I do for Adventure Queens South Wales. 

Adventure Queens is an online UK-based community of more than 20,000 women. Its goal is to encourage, inspire and educate more women to get outside. 

Over the past four years I’ve organised weekends away (camping, surfing, scrambling, climbing, hiking, climbing, kayaking and wild swimming), day walks, social evenings and walked the 99-mile Beacons Way. On top of that I’ve given live online talks, organised virtual meet ups and mentored new members. 

AQ has transformed my own life. I was a cautious day walker before I joined, but since then I’ve become a seasoned camper, I’ve completed multi-day hikes, learned scrambling, climbing, surfing and paddle-boarded – I keep pinching myself as I can’t believe this is really me!”

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the Tough Girl mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media - especially in relation to adventure and physical challenge by signing up as a patron. Thank you. 


Show Notes

  • Who is Phillipa?
  • Being the Chief Queen for Adventure Queens, South Wales
  • Working as a journalist
  • Spending all her free time in the mountains 
  • How life has changed over the past 4 years
  • Growing up in Hampshire
  • Her passion for the outdoors 
  • Wanting to do more stuff outside - but not knowing how to go about it
  • The start of her journalism career
  • Meeting her partner who was outdoorsy at 28
  • Her gateway to the outdoors
  • Developing new skills and building confidence in navigation and map reading
  • Staying in her comfort zone
  • The Beacons Way - 99 mile thru-hike
  • First hearing about the Adventure Queens
  • Being inspired to say yes and take on new challenges
  • Deciding to run the Adventure Queens South Wales Group
  • Finding people to walk the Beacons Way with
  • Connecting with like minded people
  • The first weekend of the challenge
  • You have to start somewhere
  • The sense of achievement at the end
  • Learning to camp and wild camp
  • Advice for women who do want to start spending time in the outdoors
  • The benefits of social media and how it can be used to connect with others with similar interests
  • Dealing with her fears before her first meet up
  • Being inspired by Kate Adie 
  • Her role as the Chief Queen for the South Wales Group
  • Her dreams for 2023
  • Cycling in Bosnia 
  • Documenting the journey and speaking with ITV
  • Advice for planning events and challenges 
  • Fitness regime and doing what she loves
  • Getting into running during lockdown 
  • Reframing running to trotting 
  • Final words of advice - “think about what you want to do and if you don’t know what you want to do, try lots of different things”
  • The support from women in all women groups 
  • Think about what you want to do and give it ago


Social Media

Instagram @phillipacherryson 

Adventure Queens - Non-profit women’s adventure community 


Instagram: @adventurequeensuk

Facebook: @AdventureQueens 


The Adventure Queens Grant 



Jan 10, 2023

Katrina Megget is an ordinary woman who dared to believe she was more than she thought she was. After three years of listening to her self-doubt and the negative voice in her head that told her she wasn't good enough she finally set out to walk the 3,000km (1,864 mile) Te Araroa Trail down the length of New Zealand, her home country. 

A knee injury led to her having to pull out once she got to the South Island but she was determined to complete the trail so returned the next season. Unfortunately, covid lockdowns stopped her seven days from reaching the finish but by that point she had realised she didn’t need to walk the trail to prove she was enough. 

She is now writing a book on her experience on the trail, her battle with self-doubt and self-worth and dealing with an emotionally abusive relationship.

Katrina then spent three and a half months sailing around the coast of Great Britain with her new partner on a 28-foot boat. She had only a handful of days sailing experience, didn’t know the lingo, didn’t know if she would get seasick and had no idea if she would even enjoy it!

Katrina, who is from New Zealand but lives in the UK, works as a freelance journalist who speaks and writes on the power within all of us to empower others to believe in themselves so they can be the people they want to be.


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the Tough Girl mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media - especially in relation to adventure and physical challenge by signing up as a patron. Thank you. 


Show Notes

  • Who is Katrina
  • Originally from New Zealand but living in the UK for the past 16 years
  • Working as a health care journalist and writing adventure travel articles
  • Deciding to move to the UK after have her OE - “Overseas Experience” 
  • Being more academic focused rather than outdoorsy
  • Getting into the outdoors via her partner
  • Joining a mountaineering club in the UK
  • Her journey into the outdoors 
  • Pushing herself outside her comfort zone
  • Trying to climb 40 volcanoes before she turned 40
  • Where the idea came from and the reason why
  • Having 5 years to complete the challenge
  • Wanting to do something epic
  • Being fascinated by volcanoes 
  • Why things didn’t go according to plan
  • Making changes to the challenges
  • Climbing Mt. Vesuvius, Italy 
  • Your challenge - Your rules
  • Coming to understand her reason why
  • Dealing with chronic self doubt and not feeling good enough to do anything
  • Wanting to prove to herself that she as good enough 
  • Walking the length of New Zealand
  • Not being able to live up to her own expectations
  • Being a high achiever and a perfectionist 
  • Wanting to do adventure and why it does’t have to be epic
  • Adventure is something which is pushing you outside your comfort zone
  • Wanting to be in the growth zone
  • Having big dreams and ambitions 
  • Dealing with negative thoughts 
  • Why starting is the hardest thing
  • Making the decision to walk the length of NZ
  • Taking the first steps and the process involved 
  • Starting with research and guidebooks
  • Getting over her fear of kayaking 
  • Taking it one step at a time
  • Making the decision to commit and jumping into the unknown
  • Why the unknown doesn’t have to be scary
  • Keeping your mind open to new possibilities 
  • The start of the challenge
  • Dealing with doubts
  • Wanting to finish the journey 
  • Going back after taking a break
  • The mental and physical side of the challenge
  • Dealing with a knee injury and needing to adjust her plans
  • Learning about sailing and wanting to sail around GB
  • Communicating with your partner while on the boat
  • Day to day life on the boat
  • The route around Great Britain
  • How to connect with Katrina
  • Advice for dealing with self doubt


Social Media




Public Facebook page 

Twitter @katrinamegget 

Instagram @katrinamegget

Jan 3, 2023

Dr. Anu Taranath brings both passion and expertise to her work as a speaker, facilitator, author and educator. 

A University of Washington professor for the past 20+ years, she has also received the Seattle Weekly’s “Best of Seattle” recognition, the University's Distinguished Teaching Award, and multiple US Fulbright Fellowships to work abroad. 

As a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and racial equity consultant Dr. Anu offers coaching, training and facilitation services, and has partnered with over 300 clients from Amazon to the Raging Grannies. 

Her book "Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World" was named a finalist for several book awards including the Washington State Book Award and included in Oprah Magazine’s “Best 26 Travel Books of All Times.

Aun in her own words:

“As the daughter of immigrants who has grown up between two cultures, I often draw on my personal experience as a way to connect with and amplify the voices of those who have historically not been heard. As a scholar and academic, I also know that racial equity work is challenging, emotional, institutional, and personal. 

I’ve taught about global issues, race, gender, identity, and equity to thousands of students, presented at high-profile as well as more humble events, and collaborated with social change agents and innovative thinkers around the world. I partner with clients for the long haul and strive to build inclusivity and collaboration, inviting people into conversation.”


New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the Tough Girl mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media - especially in relation to adventure and physical challenge by signing up as a patron. Thank you. 


Show Notes

  • Who is Dr. Anu
  • Being based in Seattle in the USA
  • Working as a professor for the University of Washington 
  • Is it possible to travel well in an unequal world?
  • Her job and roles
  • How do we deal with history in the present?
  • Her family and love for travel
  • Her experience of not feeling a sense of belonging
  • Introducing students to new places in the world
  • Finding yourself through travel
  • Her first solo travel experience through university
  • Spending 1.5 yrs in India
  • Figuring out who we should be
  • Following a very traditional academic road
  • Studying computer science, but not finding her passion
  • Not knowing what she wanted to do 
  • Finding passion in discussions on social issues
  • How do we travel and be aware of the inequities that structure our world
  • Book: "Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World”
  • How to navigate uncomfortable feelings 
  • Working in collaboration and community with many change makers
  • Travelling with privileges 
  • Wanting to use our privileges to help others 
  • Why our goal should be to travel mindfully
  • What is ethical travel?
  • Why ethics is never just a tickbox exercise 
  • Understanding my place in an unequal world
  • Going through the hard things to get to the other side
  • Getting more comfortable with my discomfort 
  • Feeling bad is not a strategy of social justice
  • Thinking and reflecting on travel and why it doesn’t feel like work
  • Feeling joyous and alive while engaging in tricky conversations 
  • The importance of different types of conversations 
  • Learning about the world and ourselves 
  • How to connect with Dr. Anu
  • Final words of advice and what Dr. Anu has learned from her travels
  • Feeling grateful for being part of the community of change makers around the world 


Social Media


Instagram @dr.anutaranath 



Dec 27, 2022
Adventure & endurance enthusiast, with a fondness for Type 2 Fun. Ski instructor and mountain leader. 
Happiest when outside, particularly in the mountains! 
Challenges include cycling LEJOG, NC500 and Tour du Mont Blanc, both ski-touring and running the Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt, and climbing Mont Blanc.
In 2018 Emily completed Project 282: a 4-month self-propelled round of Scotland's 282 Munros (mountains above 3000ft) which involved cycling 2,600km, walking 2,200km on foot and crossing 3 waterways in a kayak. The total elevation gain was over 150,000m – all of this was self-supported.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges. Visit .Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Emily 
  • Being an adventure endurance junkie
  • Her 2 buzz words for happiness are ‘Outdoors and Active”
  • Being on the support crew - Climate Relay from Scotland to Egypt 
  • What Emily was like as a little girl
  • Breaking her arm and getting into running
  • Doing her first marathon at 17 years old
  • Running the Athens Marathon 2004 
  • Transitioning from marathons to ultra running
  • Preferring to run the longer distances
  • Running the Dublin Marathon 2008 
  • Going through a phase of running marathons
  • Working in London and making some big changes
  • Not feeling fulfilled and wanting to take some time off
  • Becoming a ski instructor and doing a ski season in the Alps
  • Project 282 Munro Challenge - where the idea came from and what was involved
  • A 4-month self-propelled, continuous trip from North to South Scotland
  • Being unsupported and the challenges 
  • The logistics of the challenge and putting a plan in place
  • Being fully committed to the challenge
  • The final few Munros 
  • Fuelling and nutrition while climbing big mountains 
  • Training programs?
  • Feeling rested and getting a PB in the marathon distance
  • Post adventure blues after the challenge
  • Struggling with a lack of direction 
  • Spending approx £4k on Project 282
  • Plans for 2023
  • Connect with Emily 
  • Final words of advice
  • Making yourself commit and taking the first step
  • Cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats 
Social Media
Dec 20, 2022
Shilpa in her own words:
“I'm a British Indian gal who is about to hit 60 and feel that I am really only just starting to explore the wonderful joy of outdoor adventures. 
I am happiest when I'm on the water on my paddle board, or cycling along a canal, or walking in the beautiful English countryside, or body boarding in Cornwall. 
I leaned to swim in my late 40’s and this just opened up a whole new world of paddle sports. 
My biggest personal adventure was this summer (2022) when I paddle boarded on a SUP board from London to Nottinghamshire, some 165 miles (and 144 locks) along the vertical length of the amazing Grand Union Canal. 
This was such a joyful journey and revealed so much about myself that I had not been aware of - particularly how much I love to meet new people and how caring and kind strangers are. 
Since then I have been exploring SUP journeys where I carry my camping kit on my SUP board and I absolutely love doing this. 
I am extremely grateful to British Canoeing who accepted me as a #ShePaddles Ambassador and this really helped me to go out of my comfort zone and explore new adventures.”
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
To support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Sign up as a Patron - Thank you. 
Show Notes
  • Who is Shilpa
  • More about her friends and family
  • What Shilpa was like as a little girl
  • Growing up in Africa until 8 years old
  • Moving to the UK and the culture shock
  • Finding a different type of entertainment
  • Not having dreams or aspirations as a young girl
  • Leaving school to study economics and accounting at University 
  • Retraining as a town planner
  • Getting back into the outdoors and sports
  • Meeting up with friends to go for walks in the local area
  • Setting up a local walking group which has been going for over 20 years
  • Building up her walking gear and kit
  • Learning to swim in her late 40s
  • Not having the opportunities when she was younger
  • Learning how to cycle 
  • Going to adult only swimming classes to get coaching
  • Doing wild swimming for the first time 
  • Getting into kayaking and water sports
  • Her first experience on a paddle board
  • Why she prefers paddle boarding
  • Her adventure in Summer 2022
  • Becoming a British Canoeing #ShePaddles Ambassador 
  • Wanting to encourage more women to try water sports
  • Deciding to do a long distance trip on the Grand Union Canal 
  • Knowing it was the right time to do the challenge
  • Being honest with herself of what she could and couldn’t do 
  • Doing it at her pace 
  • The planning and preparation for the journey 
  • Researching the route and figuring out distances and accommodation
  • The Pirate Castle - boating and outdoor activities charity on the Regent's Canal in the heart of Camden Town, London 
  • Struggling with her back and recovering from injury
  • Being helped and supported along the way
  • The kindness of strangers and when strangers become friends 
  • Joining a gym and working out with a personal trainer
  • Focusing on getting strong
  • Dealing with injury
  • Cupping 
  • Reflecting back on the journey 
  • Feeling more confident
  • Plans for 2023
  • Learning new skills and becoming qualified as a coach
  • Becoming a She Paddles Club
  • How to connect with Shilpa
  • Final words of advice - “you'll never know if you love it or not until you try it”
Social Media
Instagram @sup.loving.shilpa 
Dec 15, 2022
Marta in her own words:
“My name is Marta and I come from a small town in Poland called Pila. Growing up I was raised by a single mum; I had a good but humble upbringing, I always loved the outdoors and hanging out with my friends.
My childhood in Poland was a happy time in my life, but after my first trip to London as a teenager it all changed. I realised very quickly that living in Poland wasn’t for me anymore; I had big dreams and ambitions that I knew I couldn’t pursue in my hometown. I spent one more year living in Poland, learning English and saving ready to finally enter the ‘big world’… then I moved to London.
Taking this chance opened up so many opportunities for me. I got a good degree, good job, I travelled the world and had some awesome adventures whilst doing so, that I’ve decided to share them here. So, here I am, writing my blog, hoping to inspire and invite you on my journey.
My love for travelling has grown immensely over the years. The more countries I saw, the more countries I wanted to see. Along the way, my style of travelling changed; I had even bigger accomplishments on my agenda. So I set myself two goals: to climb to the highest peak on each continent, the challenge known as 7 Summits; and to reach the highest peak of each European country, which I call The Crown of Europe.
Out of the 7 Summits, I’ve already completed 5 (the highest peak in Europe, Africa, North and South America, Antarctica) and I am getting ready to attempt another one later this year… Everest. I am extremely excited about it as this is also the last continent I still haven’t seen.
The second goal is to reach the highest peak of each European country, which I call The Crown of Europe  There are 50 countries but 48 peaks and I have already completed 17 of them. However, this leaves plenty of adventure still ahead…”
*This episode was recorded in 20th January 2022 - Marta summited Everest 6.25am on May 15th, 2022.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges. Visit Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Marta
  • Moving to the UK from Poland 17 years ago
  • Her goal to climb the 7 summits 
  • Wanting to climb the highest peak in each European Country 
  • Growing up in Poland and what her early years were like
  • Not being close to the mountains as a child
  • Being inspired by her father who was very outdoorsy
  • Getting use to the cold weather 
  • Her passion for travel
  • Wanting more from travel and wanting to combine it with adventure 
  • Setting herself 2 BIG goals 
  • The Crown of Europe of Challenge
  • Climbing Kilimanjaro first 
  • Climbing Mt. Blanc and then Elbrus.
  • Climbing Aconcagua in South America
  • Climbing Denali in North America which was the toughest climb she’s done.
  • Go to Antarctica to climb Vincent and why it was her favourite climb so far
  • Taking on Everest in April 2022
  • Leaving Carstensz Pyramid until the end due to the political situation and the costs involved. 
  • Costs of climbing mountains and how she’s paying for the adventures 
  • Going to Everest in 2021 and having her trip cancelled
  • Funding her challenges
  • Her fear of dying while in the mountains
  • Dealing with the downtime and how she handled the waiting. 
  • Handling her period while in the mountains
  • Using wet wipes to shower
  • Stop taking the pill when you are at high altitude as it thickens your blood
  • Wearing a nappy on the summit push?
  • Trying things out in advance
  • Dealing with stress diarrhea while climbing 
  • The mental side of the challenge 
  • Dealing with stress and anxiety 
  • How you can change your thinking 
  • Focusing on what she can control 
  • Visiting the Altitude Centre in London 
  • Getting physically strong and what training looks like this year
  • Developing her own training plan and being flexible with what it looks like
  • Stretching for recovery and eating well
  • Being anaemic and feeling tired
  • Feeling more relaxed and knowing what to expect this time around
  • Being guided by Nirmal Purja team 
  • Elite Expeditions 
  • Being inspired by Martyna Wojciechowska 
  • How you can follow Marta
  • Final words of advice and wisdom 
  • Being a normal person and making the decision to go for it. 
Social Media
Instagram: @tolivetotravel 
Facebook: @tolivetotravel 
Twitter: @tolivetotravel 
Dec 13, 2022
Tara in her own words:
“I don’t really think of myself as tough. I’ve always loved adventures. I did my first expedition when I was 18 and it ignited a passion. I am now a firefighter. I’ve represented Australia in my slightly crazy sport of surf boat rowing at the age of 47 and I cycled 5000 km’s unsupported across Australia in 2021, yet I often think that the toughest challenges of my life have not been physical. 
Rather it has been the journey to heal the relationship with myself after a traumatic childhood that has been the toughest challenge I have undertaken.
Writing my book ‘Standing on my Brothers Shoulders – making peace with grief and suicide’ was a huge part of that journey. It challenged me in every way possible but was also one of my greatest teachers and proudest achievements. 
Although I am a physiotherapist and firefighter, my book led me to work in the field of mental health and wellbeing. I am now nearing the end of a PhD exploring the impact of suicide on firefighters.
In 2017, I was a finalist in the Rotary Inspirational woman of the year awards and in January 2022, as part of the Australia Day Honours, I was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM), which recognises distinguished service by an Australian Fire Service member for my work supporting suicide prevention and mental health of firefighters.
I think life is an adventure and it can take many forms!”
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges. Visit and pledge your support. Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Tara
  • Her different jobs and interests
  • Moving to Sydney in the mid 1990s
  • Having a thirst for adventures
  • Deciding to join Fire & Rescue in 2005
  • Going on her own healing journey 
  • Losing her mother to cancer at 13
  • Losing her brother to suicide at 17
  • Struggling to deal with the loss
  • Writing her life story down 
  • Moving into the mental health space
  • In 2018 starting her PHD looking at the impact of suicide on firefighters
  • Making the decision to move to Australia 
  • What it was like joining the fire service 17 years ago
  • Having mixed memories and feeling the need to prove herself to the men
  • Starting her healing journey in her early 30s and what it looked like
  • Starting to have compassion for herself
  • How the outdoors have helped with her recovery
  • Going on an expedition to Zimbabwe in 1989 and how everything changed
  • Realising that she could be happy again
  • Deciding to cycle across Australia 
  • Cycling with Sarah Davis
  • Cycling from the most Western point of Australia over to Byron Bay the most easterly point. 
  • Being head of communication for the expedition
  • The challenges of cycling on the roads with the road-trains
  • Fears and concerns before the challenge
  • How her perceptions of risk and adventure have changed
  • Is the risk too much?
  • Why it was such a rewarding experience 
  • Raising money for Lifeline in Australia 
  • Adjusting back to normal life
  • Raising awareness about mental health and suicide prevention
  • Finding the right people who can hear you
  • The power of writing and journaling and getting your feelings out of your body
  • Doing her PHD and how it came about
  • Applying for a Churchill Fellowship 
  • Making a contribution to the world and making it a better place
  • Wanting to write another book - with a focus on the underlying concepts of her PHD
  • How we can use our experiences in live to grow and become better versions of ourself.
  • Dealing with injury and not being able to any sports that she loves
  • Letting go of the identify of being an athlete and a firefighter
  • Needing to reflect inwards and spending time on meditation
  • How you can connect with Tara
  • Final words of advice - Stay curious, with compassion for yourself.
  • “Be driven by your passions and not your fears” 
Social Media
Instagram: @tarajlal
Facebook: Tara J Lal 
Twitter: @tarajlal 
YouTube: Tara J Lal 
Support Resources
Australia: LifeLine 
You are not alone. We're here to listen. Every 30 seconds, a person in Australia reaches out to Lifeline for help.
We are a national charity providing all Australians experiencing emotional distress with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. We exist so that no person in Australia has to face their darkest moments alone.
Website - 
Call 13 11 14 
UK:  Samaritans
Whatever you're going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. We're here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Call Free - 116 123 
America: 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline 
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States. We're committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.
Call 988 - Please note, the previous 1-800-273-TALK (8255) number will continue to function indefinitely.
Website -
Dec 8, 2022
Lucy is attempting to become the first woman to walk the length of the world. She began at the bottom of Argentina in February 2017 and will cross 15 countries to reach the highest point of Northern America. She will travel only by foot, or when the terrain is impassable by kayak or swimming.
In 2019, Lucy became the first woman to have hiked the length of South America (from Argentina to Colombia). 
Due to the pandemic, Lucy needed to pause her expedition and returned home to Australia in 2020 where she has been waiting for the travel bans and restrictions to lift. 
In December 2022 Lucy will be flying back out to Columbia to meet up with her beloved dog Wombat - she will then continue on her way. 
During this episode we catch up with Lucy to see what life has been like since we last spoke to her. Lucy shares more about the heartbreak of leaving Wombat behind when she needed to return to Australia. She fills us in on what she's been up to while her journey has been on hold.  She shares more about the planning and preparation required to get back to Columbia to start walking again.
We first spoke with Lucy on Jun 25, 2019 - Her Goal to be the first women to walk the length of the Earth! 


Lucy's career started with a science degree and specialisation in communications. She has been the chair of National Science Week NT, and worked extensively in aboriginal health research until moving to Geoscience Australia in 1016. She is passionate about culture and storytelling and aspires to become an ethnographic writer.
Lucy has been awarded competitive grants for her work from the Australian Geographic society and The North Face, and has been nominated for an OAM from the Australian Government in recognition of her contribution to the outdoor industry.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
To support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Sign up as a Patron - Thank you. 
Show Notes
  • Who is Lucy
  • Her goal to be the first woman to walk the length of the world
  • Returning back to Australia in 2020
  • Speaking to Lucy in Year 2 of her journey when she had just crossed into Peru
  • Being water poisoned 
  • Was she still enjoying the journey 
  • Meeting her family in Peru
  • Having a shift in her attitude
  • Leaving behind the desert and the heat and transitioning into the mountains
  • The challenges of the desert and her strategy for getting through it
  • Finding joy again
  • Being followed by the police while walking on the highway
  • How 2020 unfolded while walking through Ecuador
  • Living the life she was meant to be living
  • Crossing the border into Columbia 
  • Leaving Wombat with a friend 
  • Feeling adrift for the past 2 years 
  • Not wanting to talk about Wombat
  • Transitioning back to life in Australia 
  • Being away for 3 years and connecting with old friends and family
  • Losing a friend to suicide
  • The emotional journey
  • Running out of money and needing to get a job 
  • Going back to work
  • Getting ready to head back out to Columbia 
  • The planning and preparation before heading back
  • Her dream of wanting to become an ethnographic writer in the future
  • Wanting to produce more content in YouTube
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family 
  • The plans for the first few weeks
  • Being able to get a 2 year visa for Columbia
  • Making a decision about the route through Columbia 
  • How can you support Lucy while out on the road
  • Buy audio books for Lucy 
  • Having a library membership with Borrow Box Library App 
  • Book recommendations: A Gentleman in Moscow 
  • What Lucy is reading
  • How you can connect with Lucy
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Instagram: @tanglesandtail 
Twitter: @tanglesandtail 
Dec 6, 2022
Annijke (she/her) is a new adaptive mountain biker and athlete. 
In 2021, Annijke sustained a spinal cord injury in a horrible downhill mountain biking accident. 
In 2022, Annijke is back to sport and is learning how to live as a full time wheelchair user. 
Outside of loving mountain biking and being outdoors, Annijke also is passionate about making the outdoors and mountain biking a safe space for all.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
To support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Sign up as a Patron - Thank you. 
Show Notes
  • Who is Annijke
  • Starting mountain biking in 2019
  • Learning how to live as a full time wheelchair user
  • Returning to sport and mountain biking
  • What Annijke was like as little girl 
  • Starting ballet at 3 years old
  • Having a keen interest for the arts
  • Starting to interact with the natural world
  • Being exposed to the outdoors through her Girl Scouts Troop 
  • Being adopted at 2 months old 
  • Going to college and taking a step back from dance 
  • Wanting to try new things in the outdoors
  • Studying environmental studies with a concentration on political science 
  • Getting into mountain biking 
  • Moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Buying her first bike - DiamondBack HardTail 
  • Being intimidated by other mountain bikers
  • Falling in love with the sport and why she loves it
  • Enjoying the community and being supported
  • Riding a BowHead Reach Bike - full suspension, all-electric off-road adaptive trike that has two wheels in front, and one in back
  • 2022 - Getting back to sport and why it’s been so fulfilling 
  • The incredible amount of support through her community
  • Being a sponsored Athlete - with PEARL iZUMi 
  • High Fives Foundation
  • Kootenay Adaptive Sport Association  Adaptive Mountain Biking advocacy, trails, programming and rentals in British Columbia and beyond. 
  • Bike Instructor Certification Program (BICP) 
  • What does advocacy look like in this space
  • Being intentional about what she does 
  • “I want to be on an adaptive mountain bike and this is what I want my life to look like”
  • Going after a Para FKT on the White Rim Trail in Oct 2022 
  • Josie Fouts - Mad scientist on a mission to single-handedly save the world with cycling! IG: @ms.stubbornness 
  • National Abilities Centre
  • Outride Foundation 
  • 100 mile desert ride in Canyonlands, National Park, Moab, Utah.
  • Trying not to get too attached to the outcome
  • Dealing with mechanical issues 
  • Broadening the conversation about access and opportunity in the outdoors
  • Tread Setters is a film project that highlights 5 para-cyclists riding the White Rim Trail while balancing the mental, emotional and social aspects of advocacy.
  • Is the White Rim Trail Accessible? Why it’s yes and no.
  • Needing people to support her due to the nature of the trail and the remoteness 
  • Why being outdoors might look a little bit different
  • Wanting to become an Adaptive Mountain Biking Coach - (BICP)
  • Adaptive Level 1 Fundamental Skills Instructor
  • Wanting to share mountain biking with others and create a welcoming environment
  • Plans for 2023
  • Sea Otter Classic Mountain Biking Race, Monterey, California, USA
  • Connect with Annijke 
  • Where does her Instagram handle come from
  • What is a Geospatial Professional?
  • Final words of advice and wisdom
Social Media
Instagram @geodesicdome 
Dec 1, 2022
In late summer 2021 Abbie Barnes cycled from Dunnet Head and John O Groats to The Lizard Point and Lands End, via each of the UK's 15 National Parks and their highest peaks.
This epic 55 day expedition saw Abbie and her partner Anna (who drove the support van) travel over 2,000 miles and battle mental ill health, chronic pain, and a number of unanticipated life-challenges along the way. Yet the duo completed this life-changing venture and now have a 3-part film series on YouTube following the highs and lows of their journey. 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
To support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Sign up as a Patron - Thank you. 
Show Notes
  • Who is Abbie and what she does
  • We first spoke with Abbie Aug 26, 2021 - Founder and director of Spend More Time In The WILD, an organisation that seeks to inspire and empower individuals to get outside.
  • What is Abbie Bikes Britain?
  • Expectations verses reality 
  • Having 3 months to plan 
  • The logistical nightmare 
  • Figuring out things as they went
  • Developing a mindset of curiosity 
  • Learning the lessons when things don’t go to plan
  • Dealing with chronic pain during the cycle ride
  • What being an advocate for mental health and chronic pain
  • Not being willing to sit still and suffer 
  • Being crushed by the pain 
  • Why pushing your body can be a fun experiment
  • Day to day life on the road
  • Mental health while on the road
  • Being in love with life and feeling so happy
  • Finishing the journey
  • Not having the time to digest what she’d achieved
  • Finishing on the 22nd October 2021 
  • What the remainder of the year looked like
  • Having an on season (March - Oct) and an off season (Nov - Feb)
  • Having the time to think and reflect
  • Implementing changes in 2022
  • Being a public figure and feeling burnt out 
  • Spending time in the panic zone and wanting to get back to the comfort zone
  • Getting her Mountain Leader Qualification 
  • Doing her Hill and Moorland Qualification
  • Doing her ML assessment in Snowdonia in April 2022
  • Plans for 2023
  • How to connect with Abbie
  • Watch me & Abbie while climbing Snowdon 
  • Abbie meeting me in Rhosneigr while I was on the Wales Coast Path - vlog 11/50 
  • Final words of advice to encourage you to get outdoors
Social Media
Instagram: @abbiebarneswild 
Facebook:  @spendmoretimeinthewild  
Nov 29, 2022
Adriana in her own words:
“My aim is to become the youngest person to complete all 14 8000m peaks. The current record is 30 years 166 days, held by Mingma "David" Gyabu Sherpa, an absolute legend with whom I got to climb on both K2 and Everest. My plan would be to summit all 14 in 3-4 years meaning I would be 23 years old when I complete my mission.
In 2021 I summited three of them, Mt. Everest, Mt. Dhaulagiri and Mt. Manaslu all within 6 months.
This is a challenge of both mental and physical resilience, power and grit.
High altitude mountaineering is one of the deadliest sports in the world, this doesn't scare me. It ignites a fire of passion inside me.”
“Be the trailblazer of your own life”
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges. Visit Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Adrianna 
  • Being a full time mountaineer
  • Living between London and Nepal
  • Starting to climb at 9 years old
  • Doing the 3 peaks challenge in 24hrs and becoming the youngest person to complete the challenge (this record has since been broken)
  • Getting into endurance events with her dad
  • Role models in the adventure/mountaineering world 
  • The why behind climbing Everest
  • Wanting to be unique and different
  • Feeling under pressure to go to University 
  • Why university wasn’t for her and quitting after 3 months
  • Trying to make a living from mountaineering
  • Having Nimsdai Purja as her guide
  • Paying for expeditions
  • Being supported by her parents
  • Reaching out for sponsorship
  • The work that goes on behind the scenes
  • Connecting with the North Face
  • Taking on the Welsh 3000ers in 24hrs  at 16 years old 
  • Starting at 3am on Crib Goch a grade 1 scramble
  • Climbing Aconcagua - her first taste of altitude and why it was a boring climb
  • The hardest part of the climb
  • Coping with the down time, dull days 
  • The mental side of mountaineering 
  • Learning the art of patience
  • Facing and dealing with fear in the mountains
  • Letting the negative thoughts in and not being able to think straight
  • How things can change in minutes 
  • Trying to stay calm
  • Magical moments in the the mountains 
  • Being inspired to take on the 14,000 project
  • Training and fitness to take on the 8,000m peaks
  • Plans for 2022 and the next few years
  • March - May 2022 - Kangchenjunga (Summited May 17th 2022), Lhotse (Summited May 22nd 2022), Makalu, (Summited May 28th 2022)
  • Flying to Pakistan for K2 and BroadPeak (Both Submitted July 2022)
  • How climbing with her guide works - Gelje Sherpa IG @gelje_sherpa_ 
  • The current record for climbing the 14, 8K peaks is 36 for a woman - Adrianna would be 23 (she has 4 more mountains to climb)
  • Connect with Adrianna (see below)
  • Final words of advice 
Social Media
Instagram: @adri.brownlee 
Facebook: @adriana.brownlee 
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