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2016 SPEAKERS

Details of the 2016 speakers. 2017 speaker to be announced soon.

BRUCE FORDYCE is a South African marathon and ultramarathon athlete. He is best known for having won the South African Comrades Marathon a record nine times, of which eight wins were consecutive. He also won the London to Brighton Marathon three years in a row. He is the current world record holder over 50 miles, a record he set in 1983, and the former world record holder over 100 km.

JOE FAULKNER is the man behind NAV4 with a very long history of off-road running, adventure racing and mountain skills training. Joe created The Great Lakeland 3 Day Mountain Trial, Haweswater Half Marathon and the Tour de Helvellyn. Joe is a very experienced mountaineer, fell runner and adventure race competitor. Being ‘on the podium’ was always a rarity for Joe, but he has a lifetime of fell running and Ultra running experience, and is highly respected for finishing strongly in some epic races. Joe’s race ‘cv’ includes 16 x 100 mile events, three Bob Graham Rounds and a Paddy Buckley Round, along with heaps of adventure races, mountain skills courses and personal adventures.

Joe has ticked off all the Big Bad mountain triathlon, but The Hebridean Challenge is perhaps his most favourite race; either as a Solo, Pair or team. Joe completed the 2012 and 2015 Dragon’s Back Races, and so is the only athlete to have done all three editions. Joe has completed both Marmot Dark Mountains Elite courses, 2013 and 2014 in bad weather, The full Spine Racer in 2015 and NAV4 have provided Safety Cover for The Spine Race.

The NAV4 Adventure race team have completed numerous Expedition style multi-day races, including TERREX and ITERA races, and the World Championships in 20017.

Joe is a qualified Mountain Leader and Instructor (MIA and Winter ML, and AMI member) and an experienced kayak and canoe tutor, and Rope Access Technician. Joe is a professionally qualified Trainer and Safety Manager.

STUART SMITHis the lead member of NAV4’s training team. He is a very skilful tutor and leading practitioner within the Institute for Outdoor Learning. Stuart also heads up the safety team for Nav4 events, especially the Tour de Helvellyn each December; Stuart is the guy you see above Greenside at the remote checkpoint. Stuart has over 25 years experience in outdoor pursuits including solo trips across Iceland, many long-distance walking events (20 – 100 miles). He holds numerous outdoor qualifications and is currently the northern representative for the British Association of International Mountain leaders.


JAMES ADAMS likes nothing more than talking about himself in the third person. And did you know he had a book out?

But seriously James has been riding a wave of ultra running mediocrity for nearly a decade now, coming in the top 47% in a number of big ultras over the years such as the Spartathlon, Badwater, The Grand Union Canal Race, that one in the Desert, Northburn, UTMB, the Vol State and probably most significantly the Los Angeles to New York race in 2011.

What James lacks in running prowess he does not make up in technical writing skills, but he gives that a go anyway. In fact ultra running really was just an excuse to start a blog (back in the days when blogs were hip and cool).

He has run about 100 marathons and 100 ultras. He now has to take care of his new born twins and so his ultra running days might be on hold for a while. However being housebound might allow him to indulge in another hobby of his, ultra social media trolling.

He is generally quite a laid-back chap. He only occasionally gets angry. When he does this tends to result in a new race being invented, such as the Piece of String Race, the Bingo Race, Run Until You Drop, Anthrax and the Predator.

Oh - and James had just qualified as a running coach, which means he now has the absolute authority to tell you to drink a bit more water and take at least one rest day a month.




MIMI ANDERSON loves pink and is also a multiple Guinness World Record Holder.

After battling with anorexia for 15 years, Mimi discovered running and gained the the ability to believe in herself again. Running has quite literally given Mimi her life back. She is now a formidable world-class competitor with a strong mind that translates to a strong and healthy body.

Mimi seeks challenges, either through races or expeditions that push her boundaries and limits beyond what other people wouldn’t even consider attempting. Always on the search for more extreme environments, Mimi has run across Deserts in the Sahara, Libya, Chile, Kalahari and Namibia, run over mountains in Colorado, Alps and the Himalayas, braved the Jungles of Peru and set a new female record in one of the hottest places on earth.

At the other end of extremes, Mimi has raced and won a 352 mile self sufficiency race in the Arctic, setting a course record that has yet to be broken. In 2008 Anderson embarked on her biggest challenge running from John O’Groats to Lands End in the UK – a distance of 840 miles – which she achieved setting a new Female World Record. A few years later in 2012, she set another Female World Record for running the length of Ireland, 345 miles (she in fact holds the overall WR). Mimi is the first person to hold both World Records simultaneously.
In September 2014, Mimi faced her biggest challenge yet: she ran an average of 61km for 32 days continuously across South Africa’s Freedom Trail (2,000km). In doing so, she raised over £26,000 on behalf of Save the Children to set up a initiative in South Africa to support young women in a rural area of KwaZulu-Natal giving the girls greater access to feminine hygiene products, enabling them to remain in school. Mimi is also a Motivational Speaker as well as a coach/trainer/Mentor helping others to achieve their goals and dreams.


KAREN HATHAWAY is an aviation security officer from Hampshire, who over the last two years has found herself winning races. Very long races. The outright winner for both the T184 in 2014 and the Thames Ring 250 in 2015, Karen also holds the ladies record for both races. She is a 3-time Team GB representative in the 24hr World Championship with a PB of 138 miles. Last year she was first lady in the Fire & Ice Ultra in Iceland, and also became the first lady to finish The Hill.

A practitioner of pranic healing, Karen is a regular contributor to ULTRA magazine and will be attending the event to join a Q&A session and pass on some of her tips about staying mentally strong over long distances.

SARAH MORWOOD is a full-time junior doctor who first took up running in her 20s to lose weight, and by her early 30s was winning ultramarathons. Her proudest achievements to date are coming in first British female in the 2015 World Trail Championships, and her 100-mile PB time of 16:13. She attributes her success at the sport to a combination of patience and determination, and also to a pure and simple love of the outdoors.

This attitude has recently been put to the test following a biking accident, during which she fractured her patella, removing her from competition for the foreseeable future. She is currently putting all her energy into recovery while blogging about her experience of injury. She hopes that this will help other runners who are in a similar situation to manage the rollercoaster of recovery from injury. (Photo courtesy of Threshold Sports)


JON COWELL is a former paratrooper and adventurer best known for his writing about area cleaning Mount Kenya, saving baby turtles at Ras al Hadd, Oman and running across Rwanda with a team of Paras in 1994 – an experience he tried to recreate in a solo run in 2015 (see Issue 5 of Ultra!). He has represented Team GB on twenty four occasions at world and European duathlon championships and captained the Team GB Long Distance Duathlon Team at the last three world championships. He briefly held the world record for 12-hours indoor running and still holds the Guinness world record for indoor ironman.

After a double fracture of the leg, he turned his attention to coaching athletes and developing Natural Running Form; the creation of a more effective and efficient model for running which he teaches through workshops to clubs, groups and individuals of all abilities. He holds a Master of Science in Sports Coaching from Loughborough University, a 1st Class Honours Degree in Sport Science from MMU and is a qualified teacher, courtesy of the University of Greenwich.

ALEKS KASHEFI completed the Land’s End to John O’Groats run barefoot and unsupported. He is classed as a barefoot runner, but it is more accurate to say that he sticks to the minimalist ethos – take what you need and nothing more. Aleks is shortly to embark on a winter Bob Graham Round, and is currently raising funds to become the first person to solo run the E1 Euro trail.

ROB PINNINGTONis an expert in failure. Having refused to continue at seven ultras this man constantly sets himself low targets which he consistently fails to achieve. Rob will be explaining how he manages to succeed in failure to such a high standard, andwill be explaining how he manages to succeed at failure to such a high degree - along with his complete and unremitting shame at finishing Spartathlon after three very successful failures.