In addition to our exclusive International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day discounts, we’ve teamed up with Sarah Williams, creator of Tough Girl Challenges*, to put together a list of some incredible female challengers for you to read about, follow and be inspired by.
#1. Beth French
Ocean Swimmer – Motivational Speaker – Mother – ME sufferer
Here’s a lady with an insane amount of determination. An extreme open-sea swimmer with eight oceans under her belt. You wouldn’t have guessed that she was diagnosed with ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) at the age of 17 and was once wheelchair bound, huh?! Now 39, she’s also single mother who juggles caring for her autistic son with training for world records, motivational speaking and swim coaching. STRONG.
#2. Mina holder
Extreme runner – Primary Teacher – (Narrowboat owner)
An ordinary woman with an extraordinary pair of legs…that won’t stop running! A 36-year old primary teacher who took her love time outdoors one step further, running the length of New Zealand and Great Britain.
#3. Fiona Quinn
Adventurer – Speaker – Entrepreneur – SUP World Record Pioneer
In 2017, she walked the length of Britain solo, and then cycled it straight after. Ya know, just for fun! Fiona’s now in training to set three new world records in a row by becoming the first and fastest person ever to SUP (stand up paddle board) Britain. Completing that would also make her the first woman to complete a length of Britain triathlon! Now there’s a gal who loves her country.
#4. Faye Shepherd
Cyclist – Climber – Adventurer
Here’s a small town Cornish girl who sets the bar high. Hits it. Then raises it again. Faye found her passion for adventure in 2014 when she went all out climbed Kilamanjaro. She then decided she’d complete a different challenge every year after that. Find out what she’s been up to over the last 4 years.
#5. Maria Leijerstam
Polar Adventurer – Author – World Record holder –
Meet the first person ever to cycle to the South Pole. Maria is a Welsh British polar adventurer who quit her London-based job in 2011 for a life of sport and adventure. And boy, has she made it! It was in 2013 that she set her South Pole record, known as the ‘White Ice Cycle.’ She beat two other male rivals by completing the 500-mile challenge across Antartica in just 10 days. And since then, she’s just kept on going. Her ‘casual’ add ons include a Marathon de Sables (6 marathons in 7 days across the Sahara desert) and cycling almost 400 miles across Siberia’s frozen lakes. She even has a wiki page !
And if that wasn’t enough, she also runs a multi-sport company – Burn Series– in Wales, which encourages families to get involved in adventure racing events.
#6. Claire Smith
Endurance Athlete – Deca Ironman champ – Founder of Brutal Events
As founder of the renowned endurance events company, Brutal Events and one of the world’s few Deca Ironman champs (yep, that means she’s completed 10 Ironmans in 10 days!) you might start to think that Claire Smith is some sort of superhuman. Au contraire! Also a mother of two and a graphic designer, Claire’s as down to earth as they come, maintaining that she’s just a ‘back of pack plodder’ and ‘you can do anything as long as you train well and really really want it.’
About Tough Girl Challenges
Tough Girl Challenges is a podcast, blog and online community that shares amazing stories about women who have gone from being ‘regular Ritas’ to record-breaking adventurers, explorers and athletes. Founder Sarah Williams is herself an inspirational challenger. Read our interview with Sarah here.