The second leg of our epic road trip (during which we covered the entire length of the M6 – lucky us) took us to London for the Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show. If you haven’t read all about the first leg, you can read it here and here.
The show was amazing! We had a fabulous weekend, and the only way to cover everything is to break this down into separate posts. I’m going to cover People (the cool folk we heard speaking, those we met, plus some we already knew), Products (a few things that really stood out for me) and then Other Stuff (can’t think of another title beginning with P, but this includes stuff such as me being outclimbed by a giant mouse and other such gems…)
So, here’s my roll call of amazing people;
Sean Conway – if you’ve read my blog for a while, then you’ll know all about Sean. If not, have a look here and here. This, however, was the first time I’d seen Sean talk. It was excellent! Probably even more so, because he talked about both his round the world cycle and the Swimming Britain adventure. I’d not heard much about the cycle so I loved hearing all about it, and the Swimming Britain part was amazing – I had insider knowledge on this because of Owain so it gave it an extra dimension for me. Sean is a fabulous speaker, and had the audience chuckling away.
It was also good to catch up with Sean after his talk and enjoy a beer (well, I had a cup of tea. Everyone else had a beer. I’m hardcore like that). I always find it slightly odd because after O spent five months with Sean, I feel like I know him better than I actually do because of all the stories and annecdotes I’ve heard!
James Ketchall – James is a friend of Sean’s who we met on Saturday evening, and then went to see speak on Sunday. He’s a seriously amazing endurance athlete who’s done possibly the coolest triathlon ever; a solo row across the Atlantic, an Everest summit and then two weeks before the show, he arrived back in London after cycling 18,000 round the world! I’m knackered just thinking about it!
He’s a lovely chap with an amazing story behind his adventures. Make sure you check it out.
Sophie Radcliffe – I’ve spoken to Sophie a few times on Twitter and she’s a good friend of Sean’s, so I was really looking forward to meeting her. She’s cool – and hardcore! She’s an Ironman (Ironwoman?), an accomplished cyclist and is also into ice climbing. She’s done some amazing stuff. Check out her website and the stuff she’s been doing.
|Sean, Sophie, me, Owain and James – Owain looking freakishly tall!|
Alan Hinkes – this was a weird one; a couple of weeks ago I watched a programme about K2 and exchanged a couple of tweets with Alan and another chap about it. Then, to my surprise, there he was on stage talking about being the first Brit to summit all 14 of the worlds mountains over 8000 metres! It’s a small world. Alan is possibly the straightest talking speaker I’ve ever heard. Blunt is not the word. However, he was very funny to listen to, and O and I enjoyed meeting him afterwards where we had an interesting chat about why we should buy his book; because he might die up the next mountain and it’d be worth more. Seriously. One hell of a sales pitch.
|Me and Alan Hinkes – he’s sponsored by the coffee people, hence his t-shirt and why I’m trying to hide the logo on the Costa coffee in my hand!|
Will Hodson aka SuperCyclingMan! – we met Will completely by accident when he sat next to us, listening to James’ talk. Will stood out and got our attention cos he was wearing a superhero outfit and a cycling helmet. Of course, we got talking to him! Will has a fabulous challenge ahead of him, and he’s an absolutely lovely chap. He’s planning to cycle round the world in his superhero outfit, in order to raise money for charity. It’s going to be a great one to follow.
It takes a special person to convince me to adopt a daft pose in front of people!
Kim Ingleby – I met Kim when we were both selected for the Great South Run North vs South Challenge which took place back in October. It was great to see her speak professionally, and I was really pleased we got to have a catch up. She’s an amazing person; she’s accomplished some impressive stuff, despite battling Weils Disease recently. Kim has been very open on social media about how her Weils has affected her, and the impact it’s had on her life. I love that she acknowledges when it gets her down, then bounces straight back up in appreciation of what it hasn’t stopped her doing, and that she’s overcoming it. It’s a great life lesson.
I also got to catch up with Rosie and Jim (yes, the song is in my head too) who I first met on the Gore-Tex Experience Tour last year. I’ve met up with Rosie a few times since on our girls adventure weekends (see here and here), and we always have a giggle so it was lovely to see her on the Adventure Travel stand. I haven’t seen Jim since the tour but it was great to see him – and pick his brains on down jackets and hard shell pants. Thanks for the advice Jim!
So, that’s the people. Next up it’s products! And then I’ll finish off explaining about the climbing mouse…