I've been continually inspired by people around me when deciding to undergo a challenge. Notably my sister Jess, who ran the Gobi Desert ultra-marathon and raised an extraordinary amount of money for her cause and also one of my PTP team mates Hector, who is one of the youngest people to finish the Marathon Des Sables. I aimed to emulate people like this in some small way when I did the London Marathon in 2014.
After the marathon I decided I wanted to do more to challenge myself, make a difference and maybe inspire other people to do the same. I completed the Marathon Des Sables in 2015. The sense of community amongst all the competitors and the feeling of invincibility when you finish a quest like the MDS is something I can’t really put into words, but I knew I wanted to do something big again and needed some inspiration.
I've always been a fan of the outdoors and love sport. I'm probably most content in the mountains or down by the coast in Cornwall. When my friend Max suggested we took a pedalo across the Atlantic with him Henry and Hec, I saw an opportunity to revolutionise the idea of an Atlantic crossing and champion the almost criminally overlooked cause of mental health. It was a no brainer.
I grew up in Northamptonshire and was always an active kid. During this time my dad was often heading off on crazy adventures, climbing mountains and trekking across the world. I eventually got fed up of being left at home so it was only a matter of time until I took on a challenge of my own.
So aged 16 I decided to run the Marathon Des Sables as part of a larger team of guys, I managed to finished it and said never again!
A few years later after 4 months of Newcastle's finest nights out and kebab shops I decided it was time for another challenge. I signed up for and completed my second ultra-marathon through the Spanish mountains and a year later took on a white collar boxing challenge.
So when Max suggested to pedal the pond to me after a few jars, I took zero persuading! An Atlantic crossing brings its challenges for sure, but as a team we are all very determined. Moreover, I think the chance to take part with 3 good friends and raise money for a fantastic cause which is close to our hearts galvanizes us all…..plus I've always loved a good pedalo!
I have always been a keen sportsman and will give anything a go. I spent my younger years at Millfield School where I quickly realised that rugby was the sport for me. I eventually made it into the school 1st XV where I played alongside some of the current England stars and a certain Paddy Johnson. This lead to a firm friendship and many adventures travelling across South America, climbing mountains and trekking through the Amazon.
I always wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps by joining the Royal Marines as the array of challenges, adventures and stories really inspired me. Unfortunately this career path didn't work out for me but I have always felt that I need to prove to myself and others that I have the capability of doing something that is exceptionally challenging.
Tough Mudders, half marathons and 9 mile marine assault courses are some of the challenges which I completed whilst at University. This is also where I met Hector. Hearing about Hector, Paddy and Max's past achievements has really motivated me to get involved in Pedal the Pond. I am convinced, knowing the team, that we will give our all to succeed in support of this incredibly important charity.
Inspired by a number of friends who have undertaken the famous Talisker Whiskey Challenge, I felt it was time to put a new spin on Atlantic crossings and hopefully take our Pedalo into the history books. Growing up in Leicestershire I could not have been further from the coast. However, I have always been hugely respectful of the sea and fascinated by the tales of courage and endurance associated with it.
A keen sportsman and a lover of the outdoors, I am happiest in the mountains on a pair of skis. I am a keen swimmer and spent most early mornings at University swimming in the river tributaries around Oxford. I love a challenge and have recently taken part in various white collar boxing matches and cycling trips around the UK and the French Alps. The idea of pushing myself to the limit with three of my closest friends was an opportunity I couldn’t resist. I am proud to be representing The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, an organisation close to my heart, raising money and awareness for the amazing work it does.