Sarah Williams is a woman who loves adventure – and the more extreme the better. She has skydived and bungee-jumped, but also completed the Marathon des Sables (six marathons in six days across the Sahara Desert), hiked the 2,190 mile Appalachian Trail solo and unsupported in 100 days, cycled over 4,000 km from Vancouver, Canada via the Pacific Coast Highway to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, scaled the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and run the London marathon not once, but five times.
It’s all a far cry from her previous role – that of a banker. It’s a job she gave up in 2013 having had enough of working long hours for what she saw as little reward. ‘I was no longer happy and this unhappiness was starting to spread over into other areas of my life,’ she says. ‘I was tired, run down, and felt exhausted and ready for a change, I was ready for something different I just didn’t know what that was.’
It turned out to be a thirst for adventure that has seen her travel the world and push her limits of endurance. However, it’s not just her own exploits that she publicises, but also those of other ‘tough girls’ thanks to her award-winning podcast Tough Girl Challenge, a series of interviews with other female adventurers. She started the podcast after realising that young girls had so few role models to inspire them. ‘And there is a huge difference in sponsorship and media coverage of women who do take on physical challenges, or play sports or going on adventures,’ she says.
Those she has interviewed range from Olympians, runners, swimmers and mountaineers to rowers as well as boxers and female fencers, and the podcast is now listened to in 174 countries around the world, making it one of the world’s most listened to podcasts.
Part of the Autumn Talks series at The Grosvenor Arms, Shaftesbury, Sarah will be talking about her own adventures and motivation as well as her successful podcast on November 7. Her talk begins at 7pm. Tickets cost £10 and can be bought on the door or in advance here