Thought leaders, race directors, change-makers, FKT setters and GB Athletes...
Take a look at who we've confirmed already and check back soon or subscribe for updates!
(Access to all talks is included in your ticket price)
Founder, Project Awesome
Danny bent, voted one of the 100 happiest people in the UK, and one of the 50 most inspirational people in London, is an award winning author, journalist, world record holder, adventurer, and community leader.
Motivating people to be the best version of themselves, Danny’s passion is encouraging people to do more, give more, and live more.
Trail Runner, Mental Health Advocate, Optimist
Dan is a purpose-driven optimist dedicated to sharing his story & keeping men alive by talking.In 2012, after 6 months of not looking after himself, Dan experienced a full-scale manic episode in Italy which led to him preaching from the central lane of a major motorway at rush hour. He believed he was ‘the chosen one’. What followed was time spent in psychiatric wards, a diagnoses of Bipolar Disorder and 6 months of crippling depression which had him wanting to take his own life.Thankfully through an incredible amount of love, warmth & patience from his closest family & friends, coupled with life-saving medication & talking therapy, Dan began his progressive journey back to the positive place you find him in today.All this combined, you’ll rarely find Dan doing anything other than channelling as much of his time, energy & focus towards what he believes really matters most – his health, relationships, passions, growth and being in service to others.
Endurance Athlete, Public Speaker
Sarah Thomson is a life enthusiast, endurance athlete, surfer, and world record holder for the fastest completion of the 870 mile Wales Coast Path. At just 24, Sarah came second place in the BBC2 series ‘Ultimate Hell Week’ and successfully presents ITV’s Bear Grylls Survival School. Her determination and enthusiasm for life holds so much inspiration, and she is a delight to meet.
Annie Ross is the energy and mind behind Exerk.com and its programmes designed to help busy people find their fun in staying active to build habits that last alongside real life. Annie knows what it feels like to feel chained to your desk - that frustration is what led her to complete 52 sporting challenges in 52 weeks alongside her full time banking job, proving you can make time for the things you care about. With over 450 people joining her on the activities, which ranged from 5km swims, triathlons and sea kayaking to hula hooping and rollerblading, and picking up a gig as a health & fitness columnist for The Evening Standard Online, all the while working in The City, Annie learnt some key lessons about what a sustainable lifestyle actually means. Annie shares her highs and lows of the 52in52 year, as well as key takeaways and tips for people who are frustrated with exercise always being dropped in favour of work or social life. Find her on @exerkyourself.
Founder, Living Mactavish
Susan MacTavish Best is the founder & CEO of Living MacTavish. She hosts salons around the world on a diverse range of topics bringing together an eclectic array of influencers she knows into one room. At these salons Susan mixes cocktails and cooks for all of her guests, then interviews an expert or two on a specific topic followed by a live music performance. In an era of always-on one’s phone, always connected to technology, Susan brings people together informally and imperfectly, and encourages them to look each other in the eye and have a spirited conversation all the while tickling their senses with tasty food, yummy smells, interesting debates and live music. Susan lives in Soho in NYC, SF, and on the Big Sur Coast. She is a long distance trail runner and frequently goes on extended trail running trips in remotes places. . Susan grew up in Scotland, and went to school at St. Leonards in St. Andrews. She was born on Prince Edward Island after her very pregnant mother, Laurie MacTavish, flew herself unexpectedly to Charlottetown in her Cesna to deliver her daughter.
Founder, Caffeine Bullet & Bad Boy Running
David Hellard is an endurance athlete, and recent founder of Caffeine Bullet. Along with Jody Raynsford, David also hosts Bad Boy Running, a podcast dedicated to humorous and social stories of the running world. Bad Boy Running is a podcast for runners who are bored of the dull and dry podcasts currently on offer. The show features the conversations they'd have in the pub focusing as much on the camaraderie and social side of the sport as the technical.
Athlete and Midnight Runners Captain
James is a runner, burrito lover, and leads Midnight Runners in London. He's been running about 4 years and more seriously for the last 2. He loves racing - any surface, any distance! Training hard and continuously learning has yielded results - he qualified for Championship entry at London Marathon, came 5th in the CTS Dorset Ultramarathon and can run a 4:34 mile. When not running he is nerding out over technology and coffee.
Athlete and Midnight runners Captain
This year will see Jody return for his third talk at Love Trails Festival. After 8 years in the Army, running in some of the worlds most extreme and dangerous locations, he joins us this year for the first time as a mere civilian. As one of a duo taking Midnight Runners, London's largest Run Crew, global Jody is now busy opening running communities across Europe - connecting more people, from different cultures to the sport he loves. However Jody is far from just another urban runner. In this talk he will reflect on his own journey in the sport and the people he has met on along the way. From Palestinians using running as a way of telling the story of their lives under occupation in the West Bank, to organising a marathon in the Somali Capital in the middle of a 26 year old civil war, to what its actually like to run in Afghanistan; this talk will tell the story of modern running, through the eyes of somebody who has had the unique opportunity to connect with people whose running narrative is rarely told - but whose stories are breathtaking - and that most of all how running, in what ever shape or form - can truly change the world.
Founder, Running Adventures
Matt is a Salomon sponsored ultra runner and coach, who owns Running Adventures. Running Adventures offer coaching, guided trail runs, trail weekends and more. Matt has completed some of the toughest ultra races around the world, notably the Berghaus Dragons Back Race, Marathon Des Sables and the Wild Elephant Trail race in Sri Lanka. Matt coaches both beginners and elite athletes, helping them to achieve their goals and get results in anything from 5km races to multi stage ultras.
Huw Jack Brassington
Huw likes to be out of his comfort zone (if he has one). He completed the gruelling BBC Ultimate Hell Week, is also a former Team GB Triathlete and has even dabbled in Cumbrian Wrestling. He recently turned to ultra-running, completing the infamous Berghaus Dragons Back race along with the New Zealand Coast-to-Coast.
Mentor, The Running Charity
Claude moved to the UK as a child to live with his mum who fled Rwanda. When he turned 18, Claude left home to go to university and struggled to support himself financially. A family breakdown meant Claude couldn’t return to his Mum’s and left him without a home. As a result, he turned to night buses, friend’s sofas, and shelters for refuge, and spent the rest of the time sleeping rough on the streets. Claude joined the Running Charity’s inaugural programme in 2012 after battling with homelessness for eight months. Claude then stayed on to become a mentor, helping new members through offering support.
Jana Studzinska - Chamonix local to be - moved to London from Slovakia. Travelling is one of her biggest passions together with mountains and running. Jana chose trainers over heels about 6 years ago. Since then she's run about 15 ultra trail races abroad including Azores Ultra Trail, Marathon du Mont Blanc and Gran Trail Orobie. More than races she loves exploring the nature and new places, recently ran self supported across Lanzarote as part of her personal project with aim to encourage women to travel solo. Passionate about the outdoors, she founded Cool Cats – introducing friends to beautiful trails outside London on regular basis. An introvert at heart, she found freedom and happiness on the trails.
Founder, Ultra-Trail Cape Town
Nic Bornman is the founder and Race Director of Ultra-trail Cape Town (UTCT).
Nic, an architect by trade founded the race in 2014 while working and running ultra races while in Hong Kong, UTCT is a race in its 5th year and part of the Ultra-trail World Tour since 2017.
The event started with 250 runners from 28 nationalities and has grown into one of the worlds most recognised events that sees 1700 starters from 60 countries.
UTCT presents four trail races of 100km, 65km, 35km and 21km that traverse the mountains of the beautiful Cape Peninsula. The host city Cape Town is a world-class destination that is shaped by two oceans and Table Mountain National Park, a dramatic mountain chain that stretches from Table Bay in the north to Cape Point in the south.
Founder, Impact Marathon Series
Nick is the energetic leader behind the Impact Marathon Series dream - a dream that takes runners right into the heart of communities all over the world to touch lives and run ludicrous races together. From Guatemala, to Nepal via Malawi and Kenya - up volcanoes and through the Himalayas he has now generated over $800k for grassroot charities in under 3 years since selling all but his two bags and becoming a nomadic running entrepreneur.
Ricky is a Fireman, GB International, World Trail Running Champion 2013, and has won numerous global trail and mountain races. Multiple winner classic long-distance Lakeland fell races such as Barrowdale and Wasdale, 2 x winner 3 Peaks Race.
Founder, Brake the Cycle
Joe Reid is the founder of Brake the Cycle. Having toured all over Europe visiting the most interesting and inspiring sustainable initiatives, he decided to make a career of taking other people to them. The tours provide a platform for personal transformation; alongside a coaching programme, participants push themselves physically while exposing themselves to some of the most radical initiatives taking place; eco communities, permaculture sites, creative spaces and social enterprises which are trying to change the world. The tours ask you to see the world differently and consider your own role in it.
Founder, Wild Swimming Brothers
Meet Jack, Calum, and Robbie Hudson, three brothers born and raised in an English pie-eating county called Yorkshire. Growing up, they loved nothing more than exploring the wild outdoors, whether it was kayaking with seals and porpoises in Scottish lochs or body surfing waves on the Cornish coast. Their lives changed when they moved up to Cumbria and found the idyllic Lake District within reach. Slowly they learned the simple joy of whiling away their summers jumping off stacks and wild swimming with friends.
Adventurer, Public Speaker, Educator
Ellie is an experienced speaker, adventurer, educator and ‘biologeek’. She has undertaken multiple solo expeditions over the past decade, including summiting the ten highest volcanoes in SE Asia and living with indigenous tribes in Papua New Guinea. She has led scientific field trips and educational programmes across four continents and documented a global conservation project with a multi award-winning feature film. She is a keen environmentalist and advocate of enriching education for young people from all backgrounds.
Jo Moseley is a 53 year old Mum from Yorkshire, flying solo with her sons, 21 & 17. Living on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, Jo is loving her 2018 Run1000km challenge. A huge advocate of tiny adventures to enhance the everyday, she also runs along the cliffs of the Yorkshire Coast, enjoys bodyboarding & SUP and is learning to surf. She freely admits this may take some time! New to the joy of trail running and interested in environmental issues since the 1980s, Jo combines the two as a Plogger & Plalker. She created her #365daysoflove project to document her daily 2minutebeachclean & 2minutelitterpick (wherever she is!) which she shares on Instagram & Twitter @healthyhappy50.Her approach is to encourage and celebrate the small changes we can all make in our daily habits and which together can make a huge difference to the environments and communities we love to play in.
In 2014 Paul became the 20th and oldest person to complete the Arch to Arc, the world's hardest triathlon. The Arch to Arc consists of an 87 mile run from Marble Arch to Dover, a solo swim of the 22 miles across the English Channel and a gruelling 182 mile cycle ride from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe. However, Paul’s is anxious to point out that his real challenges lie with his battle with alcoholism and his road to recovery.
In order to help his recovery Paul embarked on a simple running programme, to fill the chasm left when he was told he would die if he continued to drink. His new life led him to discover the joys of exploring wide open spaces and finding himself becoming emotionally tied to the natural world. “I was told I needed a Higher Power” to aid my Recovery”, recounts Paul. “As a confirmed atheist I had no idea how or where I might find this. It was when I removed myself from the drunken fug of bars and engulfed myself in the outdoors that I began to realise that here lay my motivation and here lay a joyful life beyond my wildest dreams.
I’m an ultra-runner having raced a few long distance / multi stage ultras including London to Brighton and The Grand to Grand. I’m now focusing on my first Half Ironman in August and my first Ironman in September. I have come a long way since 2012 where I realised that I had a real problem with alcohol. I started my rehab journey in The Priory and four other places until I found sobriety just under 4 years ago. It took some time – I was literally near death. My drinking was brought on by my depression that I had been dealing with since the age of 8. I wore a mask and in fact created a different me.
As I was bouncing in and out of rehab I discovered running / being outside helped with my depression tremendously. I promote this in my Instagram feed. I don’t take medication and find that having given myself confidence back in to my life without the need of self-medication that my relationship with the outdoors has really helped me overcome one of my biggest ever hurdles in my life.
Endurance runner, public speaker, author
Aged 22, Alex Staniforth is an endurance adventurer, inspirational speaker, author and fundraiser from Cheshire. He is no stranger to overcoming adversity – suffering epilepsy, stammering, bullying in early life, and more recently mental illness. He survived the 2015 Nepal earthquake during his second attempt to climb Mount Everest. In July 2017 he became the fastest person ever to walk, cycle, run and kayak to all 100 UK county tops and won the Pride of Britain Granada Reports Fundraiser of the Year. Alex is a competitive runner on road and trail... at least when not injured!
Minimalist & Adventurer
Hannah Cox, a 33-year-old creator, minimalist and adventurer living in Manchester, UK and is hosting the talk ‘Exploring what matters through travel and adventure’.
Last year she got rid of everything she owned except what would fit in a carry on backpack. She then travelled overland from the UK to Bhutan through eighteen countries with her partner Phil to document and discover what makes people happy. She’s now back in the UK writing about her experiences and sharing ways for people to make their lives more fulfilling. At betternotstop, Hannah shares stories about how to enjoy everyday life through our work, friendships, travel, and adventure.
Inov8 athlete and endurance runner
Heidi Davies is a 20 year old runner living in the heart of beautiful Mid Wales with her family. She has been running since she was a young teenager in all sorts of races and has represented Wales and Great Britain. Heidi's heart has been stolen by the hills and her main focus is on the somewhat challenging but wholly invigorating sport of mountain running. Mountain running has opened her eyes to the world and the natural environment in which we live and the many different possibilities. The different cultures, languages and the numerous breathtakingly beautiful places you get to run. She find herself craving future adventures and continuously looking forward to and dreaming about where the sport may take her next. Ultimately, Heidi runs because exploring new places by foot makes her happy. Heidi is an inov-8 brand ambassador and is supported by Wales' only mobile network, RWG Mobile. She is also a peripatetic piano teacher at home in Llandrindod Wells
Run Leader, Project Awesome
Dave Finch is a dedicated Project Awesome leader who spends most of his time running, being nice to strangers, and more running. Dave Finch's training has certainly ramped up in the last few years where he's gone from having a 38 inch waist, to running a sub 17:00 5k, and a 2:46 marathon. Dave recently tackled the gruelling Transylvania 80km with 6000m of ascent, coming in third veteran then going on to spend the next 12 hours helping fellow runners - that's the kind of guy he is, and we could all do with being more like Dave Finch.
Founder, Midnight Runners
Greg Drach is a runner, mountaineer, technologist and co-founder of the urban running crew phenomenon Midnight Runners. He’s raced in several city marathons across Europe, as well as trail races of varying distances from 21km to 100km; including the OMM, Race to the Stones, and Ultravasan to name just a few. Greg lives by ethos “the more you give to the world, the more you get back”, and his passion and leadership at Midnight Runners has inspired 1000s around the world to get more active and made running in London, Berlin, Barcelona & New York more fun and more social.
Co-founder, We are Daybreak
Like most people his age, Ian is 26. After discovering and diving headfirst into the world of running 2 years ago, he is still dealing with the repercussions today; never enough annual leave, a constant insatiable hunger (mostly for food, but also races), and awkward Monday morning water cooler conversations about the previous weekend’s efforts. A passionate mental health advocate, Ian is drawn to exploring and discussing the psychological impact of running. Ian co-founded We are Daybreak in January 2018, is a Crew Runner for Adidas Runners London, and occasionally leads sessions for Project Awesome with only the most convoluted of workout themes. After mostly focusing on road races until now, all eyes are on the trails, with Adidas Infinite Trails World Championships, SVP100, and 65k at the Útilív Adventure Festival all coming up this year. Pray for Mojo.
Ultra-Marathoner and World Record Holder
Despite being ' Not an Athlete' Lee was in the first team to cross 100 mile long Frozen Lake Khovsghol in Mongolia this year at minus 47C, run the Sahara in the Marathon des Sables, accidentally represent the UK in The World Obstacle Course Race Championships in Canada and complete a marathon entirely on a Pier and a 5K on Goodwin Sands 6 miles off the coast of Dover. He holds the fastest known time on the 650 Mile Monarchs Way and the 141 mile Sussex Border Path. Lee blogs regularly from his blog www.airlandandsea.blogspot.co.uk and has presented at a TEDx and been a speaker at the Marathon des Sables Expo in London. He once ran a 54 Mile Ultra in a White Shirt and Shorts for a bet, and proved Mens Health Wrong in their article ' The 10,000 Calorie Challenge - Why you cant outrun a bad diet' He is proud of his 10 min 10s Beer mile time but thinks he could do better. Like Sherlock Holmes Lee lives in Sussex and keeps Bees.
Dr Chris Holton is a neuroscientist with a PhD from Imperial College London. He is currently at a Pharmaceutical company finding ways to alleviate pain in our increasingly unhealthy population. Exercise is intimately linked to pain as it can be both a short term source and long term treatment for many types of pain. Chris will discuss the changes that occur in the brain due to exercise, and show that running marathons can really change pathways in our brain. This includes improvements in markers of cognition, immunity to illness and our metabolism of different types of food.
Co-Founder WMN RUN
Mancunian writer, endurance runner, nature rambler, co-founder and captain of WMN RUN. Fond of equality, dry humour & peanut butter
Run Leader, WMN Run
Amelia Ritchie is a Canadian former hockey player who hung up her skates for trainers when she moved to the UK 8 years ago. When not leading runs for WMNRUN can be found doing yoga, drinking coffee, cooking up veggie food and having dance parties in the kitchen!
Run an Empire
Maddy recently joined the Run An Empire team, a real world strategy running game, which neatly combines her enthusiasm for all things innovative and her love for darting through the streets of London in her trainers. Aged only 20, Maddy has been pretty busy in her short time on this planet, rarely sitting still, representing London in the Nationals for triathlon as a youngster, as well as representing Durham uni and the South East of England at volleyball. Her pursuits have recently returned to running, completing a 50km charity run over the summer and returning to triathlon training. Now working with Run An Empire and on another innovative tech product, she loves blogging about her food & fitness when she isn't captaining her work desk (which is filled with her beloved porridge oats).
Stephen Fabes is a doctor, writer, speaker, runner and adventure cyclist. LIke most decisions of grat consequences, his plan to cycle around the world was made in a pub, beer in one hand, mini-atlas in the other. He spent six years crossing 75 countries and six continents by bicycle, racking up 86,209km - a distance equivalent to more than twice around the world. En route he crossed Mongolian during the winter, pedalled through deserts in Sudan, Syria and Afghanistan, and visited remote medical projects serving marginalised people. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Telegraph, BBC Travel, CNN, Geographical, Adventure Travel, Backpacker and Wild among others. He blogs at www.cyclingthe6.com and his first book 'An Audience of Strangers' will be published by Profile next summer.
Founder of RUN the wild
Simon started running in 2006 after having put on 36lbs of weight in a job in the City. Following a late night bet with a client he signed up to a 54 mile race across the West Highland Way in Scotland. The longest he’d run before that was 5 miles. He hasn’t stopped running since. A year later, he ran his first London marathon in 2hrs 57 minutes. Distance he says is all about perspective. Since then he has completed many ultras in the UK including the 87 miles Ridgeway Challenge, finishing 5th in 16.5hrs, as well as abroad including the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, 104 miles around Mt Blanc with 9,000m cumulative ascent, and the Marathon Des Sables, a 155 mile multi day event in 55 Deg C heat. Only 10 months earlier he spent climbing Mt Denali in Alaska in freezing temperatures, as low as -50 Deg C. Simultaneously he’s pushed his marathon PB to 2hrs 37mins. Simon is a keen mountaineer having climbed some of the highest mountains in the Americas, Africa, Europe and the Himalayas. He is passionate about running outside of the race arena too, running Hadrian’s Wall in the UK, the GR20 in Corisca, Haute Route and Trail Du Mt Blanc in France, all in self sufficient style. In 2013 he took a year out to pursue both running and climbing whilst travelling. Having set off on many self-sufficient multi-day trail runs over the European Alps, where mountain passes are normally only reserved for trekkers and mountaineers, the idea of Run the Wild was born. Simon is a qualified International Mountain Leader and Leader in Running Fitness as well as a Member of the Explorers Club. Qualified Sports and Remedial Massage Therapist. LSSM Dip, IRSM, ITC Certificate in Outdoor First Aid
Watch this space!
We'll be announcing more speakers over the coming weeks.