Elise Downing

Elise Downing – First woman to run 5,000 miles around the UK coast and best-selling author.
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Elise Downing – First woman to run 5,000 miles around the UK coast and best-selling author.

In 2016, Elise became the first woman and youngest person to run self-supported around the coast of Britain. Aged just 24, she ran 5,000 miles over the course of ten months, covering up to 40 miles per day and carrying her kit on her back.

It’s almost impossible to overstate just how unprepared Elise was for this journey. With zero ultra running experience, unable to read a map and having never done any solo adventuring before, she was completely unqualified to embark on such a challenge. But what she discovered was that all she really needed to know was how to take the first step. The rest she could figure out as she went, with the help of the hundreds of strangers she met along the way.

Elise’s best-selling book, Coasting, was published in 2021 and named by The Times as one of The Best Sports Books of the year. Her highly relatable account of her adventure aims to show that you don’t have to be the best or most talented person to succeed – you just have to be the one who dares to have a go. In her talks, Elise tells her story with the same humour and honesty, using tales from her adventure to inspire your audience to face their own challenges.

Book Elise Downing

This isn’t a story about being superhuman – it’s about how even the most ordinary person can achieve extraordinary things.

Featured Topics Include:

1
You don't need to be the best to succeed
We spend so much time worrying about being good enough. But there are thousands of faster, fitter, more talented runners out there than Elise - she just happens to be the one who had a go. She talks about getting out of your own way and letting go of comparison.
2
Achieving impossible goals
Providing the inspiration to dream big and take those first steps towards achieving a seemingly impossible goal, including advice on breaking scary tasks down into actionable steps and maintaining motivation.
3
The power of community
Elise embarked on a solo adventure but it turned out to be anything but. Along the way she was helped by literally hundreds of complete strangers who ran with her, gave her a bed for the night and delivered cake to the trail. She talks about the power of connection and the positive impact of social media to bring people together.
4
Choosing adventure everyday
The main thing Elise knew when she finished running around the coast is that she didn't want to go on another ten-month run. She talks about embracing the outdoors on a smaller scale and bringing more adventure into your everyday life.
5
Creating a career in adventure
Elise can talk to your audience about what it's actually like to forge an untraditional career path. With refreshing honesty, she'll talk about turning your passion into a job, the pros and cons of a portfolio career and how progress isn't linear.
6
Sustainable adventuring
Elise's next book is a guidebook of car-free adventures in the UK, aiming to improve access to the outdoors while lessening the environmental impact of our favourite adventures. She will share with your audience the importance of protecting wild spaces.
1
You don't need to be the best to succeed
We spend so much time worrying about being good enough. But there are thousands of faster, fitter, more talented runners out there than Elise - she just happens to be the one who had a go. She talks about getting out of your own way and letting go of comparison.
2
Achieving impossible goals
Providing the inspiration to dream big and take those first steps towards achieving a seemingly impossible goal, including advice on breaking scary tasks down into actionable steps and maintaining motivation.
3
The power of community
Elise embarked on a solo adventure but it turned out to be anything but. Along the way she was helped by literally hundreds of complete strangers who ran with her, gave her a bed for the night and delivered cake to the trail. She talks about the power of connection and the positive impact of social media to bring people together.
4
Choosing adventure everyday
The main thing Elise knew when she finished running around the coast is that she didn't want to go on another ten-month run. She talks about embracing the outdoors on a smaller scale and bringing more adventure into your everyday life.
5
Creating a career in adventure
Elise can talk to your audience about what it's actually like to forge an untraditional career path. With refreshing honesty, she'll talk about turning your passion into a job, the pros and cons of a portfolio career and how progress isn't linear.
6
Sustainable adventuring
Elise's next book is a guidebook of car-free adventures in the UK, aiming to improve access to the outdoors while lessening the environmental impact of our favourite adventures. She will share with your audience the importance of protecting wild spaces.
Individual-Speakers-Quote

Elise Downing is a comedy genius and has a heart of gold! Her self deprecating humour makes her talk one of my favourites ever.

Danny Bent, Founder, Project Awesome + One Run Global

Individual-Speakers-Quote

Elise came to The Ministry of Clean to share her incredible story with the team. Elise was very relatable, extremely engaging and told her story in a very humorous way. We loved it! The office have since set up a weekly run club having felt so motivated by Elise to get out and run.

Sophie Panter, EA, People Against Dirty (Ecover + Method)

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