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Rosie Swale Pope, Adventurer, Author, Marathon Runner

Just be the best you can and you will achieve

Global adventurer Rosie Swale Pope is recognised as one of the world's most courageous, gutsy women of her generation.  She is the only person in history, man or woman, to have undertaken an epic solo, unsupported run around our world – over 20,000 miles facing extreme danger, bitter Siberian winters, wolves, axe men and desolate loneliness over nearly five years.  Her international best-selling book 'Just a little Run Around the World', is Rosie's understated, yet gripping account of the resilience of the human spirit to triumph over every adversity. 
Rosie is an exceptional storyteller and inspiring corporate speaker whose messages are full of the life enriching lessons we all need to hear in these challenging times. 

Book Rosie Swale Pope to inspire, encourage and provide everyone with the enthusiasm to never give up

Rosie Swale Pope - As long as you don’t give up – you can never, never, NEVER be beaten.

Rosie Swale Pope MBE was brought up by her grandmother in Ireland who was bedridden but showed Rosie that you can reach for the far horizons and never to give up.   Rosie trained as a journalist and wrote her first books about sailing round the world in her early days in a 30ft catamaran with her family.  

The hardest ever journey was her 21,000 mile solo self supported run around the world from Tenby to Tenby circling the globe to raise cancer awareness after her husband Clive died of prostate cancer.
Other adventures of a lifetime include –

  • Running  27 marathons in 27 days
  • Record breaking solo transatlantic voyage in a 17ft boat
  • Speed Trek to Everest Base Camp with a young Nepali team from the Nepal Trust
  • Completing, twice, the Marathon des Sables. ‘The toughest footrace on Earth’ .
  • 3,000 miles on horseback from the Atacama desert to Patagonia
  • Exploration of the Ancient Maya Kingdom, presenting Channel 4 documentary ‘Quest for the Maya’
  • Running 1,000 miles unsupported across the lava deserts and glaciers of Iceland.;
  • Rosie’s  Little Run Across America, 3,371 miles from New York to San Francisco 

Rosie has been an athlete and an adventurer for years. Before her husband Clive’s death in 2002 from prostate cancer, she had run marathons in different countries like Albania, Romania, Iceland and war-torn Kosovo and wrote about some of them for publications like Runner’s World and Woman’s Weekly. From those experiences, she learned how to travel with a backpack and tent and survive on a small budget. 

When she first met Clive she was preparing for her solo transatlantic sailing expedition in a 17 foot boat.
But it was her husband’s death at their home in Tenby, Wales that spurred her on for her run around the world. Heartbroken over her loss, in 2003 she decided to run a circle around the world in his memory to raise awareness about the importance of health checks and to raise money for cancer research. 

She wonders even today if Clive had gone to the doctor earlier maybe he would still be with her now. It took her 4 years and 10 months and over 20,000 miles to circle the world. In typical Rosie fashion as she met people on her journey and heard their stories, she added causes to run for along the way, but her two main charities were The Prostate Cancer Charity and Kitezh Children’s Community.
One of the most challenging parts of that journey was travelling in Siberia with the extreme temperatures. It was so cold she got frostbite and almost lost her toes.

Although her adventures on this trip are too many to list, she did share the time in Siberia where a timber wolf decided to pop his head into her tent to say hello. She wondered if he had never seen a human before.
“He never hurt me and he and his pack followed me for awhile. It was like they were running with me,” she said.
She also shared how one early morning in the forests of Russia, at 1 a.m., she woke up to find a man coming at her with an axe. At first she thought he was yelling at her in anger, only to realize that he was yelling with joy. He hugged her and invited her to a party with his fellow woodsman and said she was the woman for him. She politely declined, but later in the morning she found that he left her a parcel of food and a small bottle of vodka.
“There really is kindness in everyone,” she said.

Never ever give up

Since her little run around the world, Rosie does a lot of motivational speaking. She uses money she earns from speaking to businesses to pay for talks she gives freely at schools. She has also run 27 marathons in 27 days pulling Icebird to raise money for children’s hospices.

When she gives motivational speeches to business people, some of them very powerful CEOs, she teaches them little tricks to stay focused on their goals and to not give up when feeling down. All of them come from her personal experiences.
At the age of 68, Rosie doesn’t look like she is slowing down anytime soon. She wants people to see from her life that nothing is impossible.
“I learned that there is absolutely nothing special about me and that you don’t have to be stopped by the things you can’t do. Don’t give up. It is easier to be the best that you can be than to give up,” she said.

Her Irish grandmother always said to her, “Rosie, it’s not good looks or natural gifts that count – luckily for you my girl! – it’s the wanting to do things that makes them happen.”

‘Rosie will inspire any audience to do great things. To quote ‘Don’t look at the journey, look at the next step. Rosie is a next step. A must have speak at any Conference’

Rob Chaplin, BAE Systems Maritime

Rosie spoke at a seminar we had for fund managers, insurance companies and financial advisers in December 2013. Without exception everyone loved her talk. Rosie is extremely encouraging, motivating and unique. I had many unsolicited emails from delegates the following day and every email without exception included the word ‘inspirational’. I cannot recommend Rosie enough – she would inject energy and determination into the most apathetic and would be a great addition to any event. Unlike some motivational speakers, she is very ‘real’ and everyone warms to her, can relate to her and importantly can take something away from her. She is a Platforum favourite!’

Holly Mackay, Managing Director, The Platforum

Rosie inspired the 420 Unilever Global Leaders with her extraordinary story and great courage, sharing with us valuable life lessons drawn from her experiences, and many have risen to her challenge.’

Unilever Global Leaders Conference

‘Rosie has been an inspiration to 900 delegates at our Conference.  Her honesty, good humour and endless positivity have been truly inspiring and has made this event a huge success.  I cannot praise Rosie enough – what an amazing woman!’

Richard Sheriff, Director, Red Kite Teaching School Alliance

‘It was definitely right to ask you to contribute last, because I don’t think that any of us, despite our best efforts, could possibly have followed you.’

Dr Kate Miller, University of Oxford

‘Thank you so much for speaking. It ended the day exactly as I wanted it. My colleagues didn’t stop talking about you and your adventures all night and the continued again this morning. Your love of life and your never give up attitude was just perfect.’

Stuart Johnson, NAHT AGM