Guildford Travel Club Presents

Running the World’s Mountains

20th November 2018

Jenny Tough

The Speaker

Growing up in the Canadian Rockies, mountains have always been home for Jenny. And travelling the world she has discovered commonalities with mountains, and mountain people. In 2016 she began a major long-term project to run solo and unsupported across a mountain range on every continent where indigenous mountain people live isolated from the outside, urban world.

In Kyrgyzstan Jenny met the Kyrgyz nomads, who live a traditional lifestyle in yurts and were overwhelmingly friendly. In the Atlas Mountains, the Berbers were an essential support network who welcomed her into their communities and helped her survive in the incredible hostile desert environment.

Her next continent is South America, where the first road network was originally stamped out by Inca message runners, and today their mark is still visible on the Andes, where the Quechua people still live in the traditional way, thriving in the incredibly difficult environments at high elevation.

Running solo and unsupported comes with obvious logistical as well as physical challenges, and travelling in this way forces dependence on the small communities inhabiting these remote regions. Running is also a common language, which helps build an instant rapport with people along the way.

Come hear about her world-first running traverses of the Tien Shan (Asia), High Atlas (Africa) and Sierra Occidental (South America), including the challenges and dangers she faced, the people she met along the way, and her latest plans for the remaining ranges.

Jenny Tough has also completed other solo endurance challenges all around the world, including mountain running expeditions, bikepacking adventures, paddling trips and more. Further information can be found on Jenny's website.

Yurt camp
Yurts belonging to Kyrgyz nomads, and a rucksack that smells interesting!
End of run at Osh
At Osh, Kyrgyzstan
Atlas running
Running in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco
Berber town
Typical Berber Village in the Atlas Mountains
running in the snow
Mountains sometimes come with snow!