Do you love a challenge? We talk to five women who are achieving amazing feats in the great outdoors

Adventurous SPIRITS

Do you love a challenge? We talk to five women who are achieving amazing feats in the great outdoors

Ever searched on the hashtag #getoutside?Try it now and quick flick through Instagram will show you just how much of the world there is to discover.Going to the gym and being fit is not enough any more,women are taking it to a whole new level, whether it’s paddle-boarding on the UK’s waterways, cycling across the Alps, rowing the Atlantic or running marathons in Outer Mongolia – life is what you make it, as these inspirational women adventurers explain.

Do you love a challenge? We talk to five women who are achieving amazing feats in the great outdoors Photo Gallery



THE IRONMUM

Sophie Bubb, 34, facebook.com/sophie.bubb

MISSION: ‘To discover both my mental and physical limits as I compete in endurance events’

With a background in marine sales,Sophie Bubb was on maternity leave at sailing brand Henri Lloyd when she began training for a triathlon to get back in shape after giving birth to her second son. Just seven months later,Bubb discovered she had a gift for ultra-endurance sport with a win at the Challenge Weymouth European Long Distance Triathlon Championships. She’s qualified for the ITU Triathlon World Championships in Oklahoma in September and is aiming for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, next year. Bubb is also a talented sailor and sailing coach, and has competed around the world.

Do you love a challenge? We talk to five women who are achieving amazing feats in the great outdoors

What inspires you?

‘My family. Rory is now three, Billy is 18 months. Having my boys has changed everything.’

What’s your proudest achievement?

‘The run at Challenge Weymouth European Long Distance Triathlon Championships. It Sounds crazy, but I had to go into the same kind of breathing that I used for labour. I finished ninth overall,winning myage category,and I was the highest-ranked non-professional female.’

What’s your must-have kit?

‘My PowerTap pedals. Having a power meter on my bike has been a game changer and revolutionised my cycling. The power meter allows me to accurately measure the energy I’m putting out and reduces the chance of going too hard too soon.I also can’t be without Chia Charge bars(chiacharge.co.uk). And my family! Having My boys at the finish line gets me through.

Do you love a challenge? We talk to five women who are achieving amazing feats in the great outdoors

’What’s your burning goal?

‘To go to the Ironman World Championships.’

What are your tips for adventure?

‘Have clear goals, so you have a direction and can plan how to get there. I’m also careful of what I eat– I’ve taken control of it completely.’

THE ENVIRONMENTALIST

Lizzie Carr, 29, lizzieoutside.co.uk

MISSION: ‘To get outside, take on adventures that challenge me and reconnect with nature’

Carr is an adventurer and environmentalist who likes challenges with purpose. A ‘life-changing’ cancer diagnosis in 2013 forced her to re-evaluate her life, quit her stressful corporate job and decide to get back to nature – a powerful part of her recovery. Lizzie began blogging about her adventures and was selected this year as a champion for Ordnance Survey Get Outside campaign to encourage people to explore the UK. Recently, she paddle-boarded 400 miles across England from the most southerly to the most northerly point of its connected waterways to plot and raise awareness of plastic pollution in our canals and rivers in her Supersup England Challenge.

Do you love a challenge? We talk to five women who are achieving amazing feats in the great outdoors

What inspires you?

‘I’m driven by making positive changes through adventure – I’ve hiked through China’s Sichuan provinces in aid of giant panda conservation and done a walking safari in Namibia to highlight rhino poaching.’

What’s your proudest achievement ?

‘My 22-day paddle-boarding trip – 400 miles is the biggest distance I’ve attempted. As well as the physical aspect – I was averaging between 10-12 hours a day and carrying nearly 30 kg of weight– it was also challenging mentally. Being alone on the water can feel isolated, though paddling at sunset was magical. The environmental message was received such a positive response – encouraging people to reduce plastic consumption is the greatest achievement.’

What’s your must-have kit?

‘For the Super SUP England Challenge,it was dry bags for clothes and equipment,as well as a solar charger – I used PowerTraveller (powertraveller.com). Coffee as well, lots of coffee. I also have an obsession for beanie hats, so at least one comes everywhere with me.’

What’s your burning goal?

‘I try to avoid setting long-term goals. Focusing On short-term targets is more flexible. If I’m living every day in a way that makes me happy and contributing to positive change, the end result will reflect that.’

What are your top tips for adventure?

‘I do strength training and core workouts to stay fit, and I practise yoga every day.The stronger I feel, the more confident Ibecome. I eat in moderation and love chocolate, but it’s all about maintaining balance. I’m generally very active, so I try to encompass fitness into my daily routine.’ THE ROVER

Hannah Lawton, 27, insfriends.org.uk

MISSION: ‘Each year, I’m planning on going on an adventure with a different friend’

Hannah Lawton began her rowing career in 2003, captaining the women’s squad during her university years and going onto receive an exclusive British Rowing[coaching] Scholarship in 2011.Lawton is a Talent Identification Coach On the British rowing team Paralympic Programme, heading to Rio this summer. In2013, she and Lauren Morton abandoned an attempt to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic after equipment failures, capsizing and severe injury. This year, Lawton will do it all again – in memory of her friend Eleanor Ellis* who died from cervical cancer in 2012. In March, she completed the IGO Adventures N60o Norwegian Challenge –four marathon-distance events over four days, camping in the snow at night.

Do you love a challenge? We talk to five women who are achieving amazing feats in the great outdoors

What inspires you?

‘I love being outside and not having a 9-5 office job. I’ve always been competitive, but after Elle passed away at 23, it really made me change the way I think. I guess it’s the“life’s too short” cliché, and I’m a firm believer that life is what you make it.

’What’s your proudest achievement?

‘The N60o challenge: marathon-distance ski touring, fat biking, cross-country skiing and running events over four days. I went into that with no training. It was harder than rowing the Atlantic, because I couldn’t get into a routine – it was relentless in that short space of time. I also hate running and never thought I’d ever do a marathon!’

What’s your must- have kit?

‘I’m very practical, so it’s a very practical list. I use P20 (p20.co.uk) – it’s the only sun cream that stops me burning. A first-aid kit– blisters create pain and I’m all for cutting out unnecessary pain. Pen knife – I use my Leatherman (leatherman.co.uk) all the time iPod/phone – I’m a big thinker, so music can help distract my mind and audiobooks/podcasts can keep it active. Water,a snack and, dare I say it, a selfie stick!They’re an amazing way to get the backdrop in a photo you want to be in.’

What’s your burning goal?

‘To complete the transatlantic row.

Doing challenges with friends is always

varied and you share great memories.’

What are your tips for adventure?

‘The great thing with an adventure is anyone can go onone. No matter who you are what shape or size you are. If You’re planning to do a more physical or longer adventure, it’s worth building a good level of fitness and staying as healthy as possible. Keep your goal in mind and always set aims, as they are a good motivator. Your adventure doesn’t need to be a race, you just need to be safe and be as well prepared as you can be.’

THE WILDERNESS EXPERT

Megan Hine, 32, meganhine.com

MISSION: ‘I search for situations that put me under pressure, and where I feel truly alive and connected with myself and the world around me’

Do you love a challenge? We talk to five women who are achieving amazing feats in the great outdoors

Mafter Elle passed away at 23, it really made me change the way I think. I guess it’s the“life’s too short” cliché, and I’m a firm believer that life is what you make it.’What’s your proudest achievement?‘The N60o challenge: marathon-distance ski touring, fat biking, cross-country skiing and running events over four days. I went into that with no training. It was harder than rowing the Atlantic, because I couldn’t get into a routine – it was relentless in that short space of time. I also hate running and never thought I’d ever do a marathon!’What’s your must-have kit?‘I’m very practical, so it’s a very practical list. I use P20 (p20.co.uk) – it’s the only sun cream that stops me burning. A first-aid kit– blisters create pain and I’m all for cutting out unnecessary pain. Pen knife – I use my Leatherman (leatherman.co.uk) all the time!iPod/phone – I’m a big thinker, so music can help distract my mind and audiobooks/podcasts can keep it active. Water,a snack and, dare I say it, a selfie stick!They’re an amazing way to get the backdrop in a photo you want to be in.’What’s your burning goal?

‘To complete the transatlantic row.Doing challenges with friends is always varied and you share great memories.’egan Hine is a British adventurer, wilderness expedition leader and survival expert. The oldest of four children, and daughter of a geologist, Hine describes her childhood as ‘feral’ and one spent mostly outside — she didn’t watch a television until she was 13.Identifying early on that she felt most calm and at peace when doing something that worked her mind and body fully together, Hinespent her teenage years ice climbing, white-water rafting and hiking in Scotland, and her gap year learning to be a rafting guide in New Zealand before training as a mountain leader, climbing instructor and mountain bike instructor to help fund her degree in outdoor studies. Hine has studied bushcraft and survival, taught off-road driving,skiing, ski mountaineering and lead expeditions. She now works as a consultant for private individuals and film crews around the world, recently appearing on ITV’s Bear Grylls: Mission Survive As one of Bear’s two survival captains. Her first book, Mind of a Survivor: Why most of us don’t make it out alive, is out next April.

What inspires you?

‘I’m not entirely sure! It’s a feeling that resides in my chest and start panicking if I’m not focused, moving and getting my daily adrenaline hit. I have an inherent need to explore my limits. I get the biggest kick out of looking after others in remote environments when the conditions are horrendous – it makes me feel alive My Personal motivation stems from an addiction to ex l iand pushing myself. Is this always healthy? Nope,my body is chronically balancing on the edge of overtraining and running around all over the world on a daily basis. I rarely mong out.’

What’s your proudest achievement?

‘The first thing that comes to mind is making it through my 32nd birthday mostly in one piece —though really my biggest achievement is making my lifestyle work.People looking in from the outside, for instance at my photographs on Instagram (@megan_hine), quite possibly think I’m on a constantholiday, but what I do is not a job, it’s a lifestyle choice, working 18 hours a day for months on end with no days off, often under stressful situations. What people don’t see on my Instagram feed are the things I’ve given up and the fact that to live this lifestyle I have lived most of my adult life below the poverty line, scraping together cash to pay my bills, living off the land, off credit cards, in the back of my van. Is this a complaint? No way!’

Wh ’s your burning goal?

‘Although I have aspirations for trips for myself in the future, my biggest goal is to keep doing what I love for the next 30, 40, 50 years. Keep meeting amazing people, travelling to awesome places and making positive differences in other people’s lives, however small those differences may be.’

What are your tips for

adventure?‘Eat clean when you can –I don’t have a huge amount of control over my diet when I’m away so it’s important to me when I’m back home or in an environment where I can to eat very few processed foods. That said, I think that food should be a lifestyle choice. I believe in everything in moderation! It’s OK to eat cake or ice cream, just maybe not a whole tub in one sitting. And it’s important to use your common sense too: all these crazy “superfoods”won’t make you lose weight – pure,unprocessed foods, fish, meat,vegetables, combined with healthy doses of exercise, will.’ ■

THE ULTRARUNNER

Shona Thomson, 37, slowtwitch.co.uk

MISSION: ‘I want to feel I’ve Achieved things in my life and seen the world, not wasted away in the pub’

Shona Thomson works in the City of London and has run marathons on all seven continents and the North Pole.She began running at school, before doing her first marathon.‘It was really just a natural progression– plus, someone beat me I couldn’t run a marathon!’ says Thomson. More recent adventures have taken her to Outer Mongolia to run a marathon in -40oC. She’s Ticking off the six World Marathon Majors,having run New York, London, Chicago And Tokyo, with Berlin and Boston in the pipeline. Thomson has hemorrhagic telangiectasia, which leads to nasal haemorrhage and anaemia, to deal with.

Do you love a challenge? We talk to five women who are achieving amazing feats in the great outdoors

What inspires you?

‘I love how endurance and distance running offer endless ways to challenge yourself – in a huge variety of conditions and environments, from the katabatic[descending] winds and the -40oCconditions of Antarctica, to the stifling humidity of the Vietnamese summer. I Don’t view myself as a very good runner run for my physical and mental wellbeing and as a way to see the world.’

What’s your proudest achievement?

‘I’m the first female Scot to run a marathon on every continent and join the Seven Continents Club. In 2014, I joined the Marathon Grand Slam Club by completing the North Pole Marathon. I’m also proud of raising funds for Riding for the Disabled Association and Scottish Association for Mental Health through running the Inaugural Genghis Khan Ice Marathon in Outer Mongolia. Underpinning all this is my condition. Running with a haemoglobin count of eight and a ferritin count of two is nothing short of punishing, and sometimes impossible. I’ve had a few blood transfusions to help, but most of the marathons I’ve done have been with pretty severe anaemia.’

What’s your must-have kit?

‘It depends on what I’m doing! I’m Sponsored by Ellis Brigham (ellis-brigham.com) so I get all my gear from there. For the polar marathons and Outer Mongolia, Used an Arcteryx outer shell jacket, a midlayer, base layer and thermal gloves and socks. It’s not a fashion show! I wear Salomon Speedcross shoes for most off-road events. For road marathons, the footwear is the most important part. I use Asics Kayanos and have done for years!’

Do you love a challenge? We talk to five women who are achieving amazing feats in the great outdoors

What’s your burning goal?,

‘I’m focused on completing the six marathon majors. After that, who knows?’

What are your tips for adventure?

‘I try to live by four rules. Comparison is the thief of joy – so just do your best at what you enjoy. Listen to your body – if you need timeout, take it. Don’t stress over your diet – eat what you like in moderation. Finally, don’t do it if you don’t enjoy it! If you like what you do,you’ll be more likely to keep doing it.’

Do you love a challenge? We talk to five women who are achieving amazing feats in the great outdoors

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