Mud, Sweat and Tears by Moire O’Sullivan

After a recommendation from a good friend I recently read the book ‘Mud, Sweat and Tears’ by Moire O’Sullivan.

Without giving too much of the plot away, this is the story of how Moire came to, and ultimately fell in love with mountain running, leading her to made a solo attempt on the Wicklow Round. This is a gruelling endurance run spanning a hundred kilometres over twenty six of Ireland’s remotest mountain peaks. After twenty one and a half hours she collapsed, two summits from the end. Battered and bruised, yet undeterred, she returned a year later to become the first person ever to try again.

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Without a doubt my favourite bit of the book is early on in the story when Moire describes her first fell race and how she tried to dress accordingly for the event to look like she was a ‘regular’. This had me grinning as I totally did the same thing!

I have no hesitation in saying if you love fell running or have a passion for the outdoors this book is for you. I was really gripped by her story and finished the book in about a day! Something that really stood out for me is how humble and honest Moire is about her feelings and emotions, there are so many points in the book I felt myself relating to how she was feeling. Despite not being a training book or guide in anyway or form I’ve certainly noticed some of her observations and pointers pop into my head when I’ve running since. Well worth a read!

Book available from Amazon

Visit Moire’s website

Shanaze Reade sets a new Guinness World Record

For those of you who have not heard of Shanaze Reade check her out – this girl is awesome! Starting aged 10 on the BMX track, by the time she was 17 Shanaze was Britain’s number one women’s rider, having competed in the elite men’s category throughout the British series to improve her skills. Soon world titles followed alongside track cycling to keep fit for BMX racing.

As it turned out Shanaze was pretty damn good at this too and found that her power and strength worked well in the velodrome. In 2007 she was chosen to be the lead-out rider in the women’s team sprint with Victoria Pendleton which lead to the pair winning world titles in 2007 and 2008.

I could easily go on to list a whole host of further achievement Shanaze has achieved but I wanted to point you in the direction of her latest feat – setting a new Guinness World Record! A few weeks ago Shanaze became the fastest person ever to cycle around a ‘Wall of Death’ on a pedal powered bike.

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A ‘Wall of Death’ is a silo or barrel shaped wooden cylinder, typically ranging from 20 to 36 feet in diameter and made of wooden planks, inside which motorcyclists, (or a cyclist in this case!) travels along the vertical wall and perform stunts, held in place by friction and centrifugal force.

For more on this badass woman check out the full article by Road.cc. or follow Shanaze on Twitter.

Image main credit to Bristol BMX Club.

 

Mother and Daughter Kayaking Adventure

The winners of this year’s Sean Conway Adventure Scholarship are mother and daughter Addi and Athina (age 8). Together they will be kayaking down the Leeds-Liverpool canals, a distance of 127 miles (204km), which they expect to take 6 days.

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The kayaking trip is part of a year of adventures that will also include a half marathon, an iron man, and a Mini Olympics for schools. They have even arranged an international Mini Olympics at a school while they are on holiday in Madrid! For their kayak-swim challenges, Athina will sit inside the kayak and give support along the way.

Team AA hope to create a world where more children can be introduced to the benefit of sport, as well as raising funds for the Jane Tomlinson appeal.

They are fantastic role models and are sure to inspire young people with their active lifestyle. We can’t wait to see more of their adventures! Follow them on their Team AA website and blog, and on twitter @Ourgreatproject.

 

 

 

 

Sarah Outen – cycling, rowing and kayaking around the world!

Back in April 2011 Sarah Outen set out from Tower Bridge on her London2London: Via the World expedition. Her goal was to row, bike and kayak around the northern hemisphere, inspiring children and fundraising for charities.

Reading about her journey is so inspiring, in everything I have read about Sarah, she comes across as totally down to earth and really relateable which is so cool to see. I have no doubt she has inspired a lot of individuals young and old to take on their own challenges.

One of the best things – Sarah believes anyone could do it too according to her interview with Cooler before she finished! I loved her comment:

“You get to meet wildlife on its own terms. You’re not a big scary noisy vehicle that’s going to run it over. You’re right up close and personal in it. You’re not intimidating on a bicycle. You’re just a bit tired and smelly. People really connect with that,  it’s really powerful.”

Sarah completed her journey on the 3rd November 2015 arriving back in London, England after 1676 days, 23 hours, 25 minutes and 0 seconds – that’s 4.5 years covering over 25000 miles! Her book ‘Dare to Do’ about her expedition will be out in May 2016.

You can read the full interview with Cooler here.

Visit Sarah Outen’s website click here.

‘Our own mind is our biggest obstacle to living and achieving our wildest aspirations’ Karen Darke

When I’m not outside climbing, biking or running most of my time is taken up by either preparing for adventures or searching for inspiration. I can not tell you how many blog posts and videos have helped my push myself or discover that little bit more I didn’t know I could give. So today I wanted to share a little piece on my most recent source of inspiration.

I’m not quite sure how I came across Karen Darke’s blog (I think it was Twitter) – but this women is amazing!  A climber, adventure and paralympian, Karen is currently a full-time athlete with the British Para-Cycling Team, training for the 2016 Paralympics.

When she’s not training she has fitted in some pretty awesome adventures such as sit-skiing across Greenland, climbing El Capitan and handbiking from Tibet to Nepal to name but a few!

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Then as if she was not busy enough training Karen is also the Founder of Inspire & Impact, and works as a speaker, coach and facilitator! She uses her powerful personal experiences to create positive impact in the lives, health and work of others.

“Someone once said to me, ‘Disability is a state of mind not a state of body.’ That’s a notion that relates to us all, regardless of whether we have a physical disability or not. Our own mind is our biggest obstacle to living and achieving our wildest aspirations. What is life if it isn’t an adventure? I’m constantly amazed by what can be achieved if we set our heart and mind to it. It’s all about finding belief, confidence, motivation and commitment. And of course, friends. Then there are no limits.”

Karen Darke

So if you are looking for some mid week inspiration check out Karen’s website, it’s definitely worth a read, I can’t stress enough how awesome this women is!

Coxless Crew: The First all female team to row the Pacific Ocean

Check out these four incredible women who are aiming to set the world record for not only being the first all female team to row the Pacific Ocean, but also the first ever fours boat to row the Pacific Ocean. And if that wasn’t enough they are also aiming to be the fastest ever Pacific Ocean row!

In this epic challenge they are aiming to raise over a quarter of a million pounds for 2 charities, to support those who show true resilience; Walking With the Wounded and Breast Cancer Care survivors.

The money they raise for Walking With the Wounded will be setting up the first ever fund for injured servicewomen and supporting their re-education and re-training pathway to create a new journey and focus for them after injury.

Then the money raised for Breast Cancer Care will continue to support the carers and services that BCC provide to those fighting breast cancer and their families.

For more on their amazing journey and to follow their progress visit their website!

Just a Little Run Around the World

October 2015 I went to an evening hosted by Jagged Globe, amongst a series of great talks I was most looking forward to hearing Rosie Swale Pope speak. As soon as she started talking I was transfixed by her stories, something really struck a chord with me. I found, especially as a runner, I could relate to so much of what she was saying. I came out of that talk totally fired up and felt ready to take on any adventure that was thrown at me, and more!

I also instantly purchased Rosie’s book – Just a Little Run Around the World. This follows one of her most notably stories – a 5 year solo run of 20,000 miles around the world, to raise money in memory of her late husband.

From being followed by wolves to trekking across Alaska, and having to survive in temperatures of -62 degrees C. Rosie was knocked down by a bus and confronted by bears – I couldn’t take my eyes off the pages of this book. But don’t worry I haven’t told you all that happens there are plenty more epic moments! I can whole heartedly recommend this book to both runners and non-runners – I think anyone with a spirt of adventure will find this a fantastic read.

Available from Amazon.

Sasha DiGiulian joins Youtube

Sasha DiGiulian is a professional rock climber. She has completed ground breaking multipitch and big wall routes, led one of the hardest sport routes ever climbed by a woman (9a/5.14d), and achieved numerous first female ascents around the world.

She is also an Ambassador for the Women’s Sports Foundation and a published writer, so generally all round inspiring! Sasha has launched a YouTube channel so that we can get a behind-the-lens look at her climbing adventures across the world.