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Anna McNuff

‘Dream. Dare. Do’

Biography

Anna McNuff is an endurance athlete and adventurer. Named by the Guardian as one of the top female adventurers of our time, Condé Nast Traveller also recently included her in a list of the 50 most influential travellers in the world. She has also been named by the Lord Mayor as one of the City of London’s top 50 most inspiring people, and is one of The Discovery Channel’s ‘Make Your World Bigger’ Champions.

The daughter of two Olympians’ Anna grew up in a family where the pursuit of physical and mental excellence was encouraged. Seeing the respect and admiration that her parents received led to her harbouring ambitions from an early age to be an Olympian herself.

Background: As a middle sibling sandwiched between two brothers, she simply did what the boys did, and often better. By aged 16 she had taken up the sport of rowing, and went on to represent Great Britain. During her time in the Great Britain squad, Anna became a World Champion at the University Games in 2006, and won a Bronze medal at the 2007 European Championships.

Dogged by injury in her twenties, Anna made the difficult decision to retire from the sport and to let go of her Olympic dream. She then embarked on a new life as an adventurer - darting around the world on the hunt for new and exciting endurance challenges.

Adventures: In 2013 Anna cycled a beautiful Pink bicycle 11,000 miles through each and every state of the USA, from Alaska to Hawaii. Pedalling up to 130 miles a day for 6 months, solo and unsupported, she encountered blizzards, floods and temperatures as low at minus 15C.

In January 2015, with no previous experience as a long distance runner, Anna set out on a 2,000 mile run along New Zealand’s Te Araroa trail. Travelling alone for 148 days, she moved through forests, along ridge-lines, over mountain passes, along beaches and across swollen rivers. Running up to 32 miles in a day, she carried all of her belongings in a backpack that was often as heavy at 20kgs. By June 2015 she had become the first person, male or female, to run then length of the country entirely unsupported.

In October 2016, Anna began a journey to cycle along the spine of the largest mountain range in the world: The Andes. By the time she returned home to the UK in May 2017 she had pedalled through some of South America’s most remote and inhospitable regions, and ascended over 100,000 metres on a bike - more than eleven times the height of Everest.

Topics

  • Confidence and self-belief

  • Overcoming fear of failure

  • Growth mindset and the courage to begin

  • The ability to ‘choose your attitude’

  • The practicality of turning big dreams into reality

  • Determination, resilience and perseverance

Testimonials

“An incredibly talented speaker - full of guts, energy, determination, stamina and vision. At our after dinner event, you told your story with great humour and placed us right in the heart of the action. As a result you have encouraged each and every one of us to try new things and push ourselves more. We can’t wait to hear what you get up to next!”

Barclays

“It really felt like we experienced the journey with Anna. Her passion for pursuing a life beyond the norm, and her drive to encourage others to do the same shone through from start to finish. A truly memorable presentation and I would welcome her back to speak at future events in a heartbeat." 

Cancer Research UK

"Hugely engaging and entertaining with plenty of food for thought for all of us watching. Thank you for not just having great stories to tell, but for telling them in such a compelling way. One of the team at dinner tonight has now pledged to cycle around the world for charity – or rather the distance equivalent to round the world... how about that!”

GlaxoSmithKline, Global Leadership Conference

Key Facts

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