Interview with Adventurer Alastair Humphreys

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Credit: Alastair Humphreys
Credit: Alastair Humphreys

Published on OutDare Adventures, read the full interview here.

Q: Did you ever drink and party and live the ‘student life’?

A: Ya definitely, I was a completely normal student; I did all of that stuff!
Q: You’ve never received sponsorship; you just save up and then do cheap trips. That’s freedom in one sense but does it mean you’ll never be financially free because you have to spend so much of your own money?

A: The row the Atlantic was a sponsored trip so I am starting to head down that way. But if I can possibly afford to do it myself then I like to maintain the independence, the simplicity and just to be my own boss and that’s worth quite a lot of money. Most of the trips that appeal to me really aren’t very expensive, so I just save for it.

Q: Do you think it’s just as safe for women as it is for men to go on solo adventures/expeditions?

A: I think that 99 percent of the time yes it is or perhaps even safer because people are nicer to you, but I also think there is that slight, elemental, potential risk that at times you’re a women on your own in the middle of somewhere, it can get a bit scary.
Q: What do you look for when choosing a suitable place to set up camp?

A: Running water, so near a river would be good and nice soft grass.
Q: Do you get any criticism over not having a traditional job? – How do you prevent that from disheartening you?

A: A little bit, people often say things like oh it’s alright for you, or you’re lucky, or it’s easy for you. Mostly I think, well I chose to do this, I’m no superman, I’m not a genius. Anyone could have done what I have; it’s just a choice I made. It slightly annoys me when people sneer a little bit and say oh when are you going to get a proper job. I’m earning enough money to live the life I love. So it doesn’t really bother me, mostly I think it’s just envy.

Read the full Interview here.

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Marathon des Sables

Published in OutDare Adventures 1 Oct 2012

The progression of an endurance runner:

First you go for a walk down your street.  Then you progress to a 10km run, a sprint distance triathlon, followed by an Olympic distance.  Now you do a marathon, a double Olympics even, and then, duh duh duh, the legendary Ironman!

You still want more you say?

How about the Race across America (RAAM), or the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, the Antarctic 100k Ultra Race, or perhaps even the Namibian 24 hour Ultra Marathon?

But, none are quite as prestigious as the Marathon des Sables.  This event is the equivalent of six regular marathons all rolled up into one and dropped down in the middle of the Sahara desert. It is crazy, but it is brilliant.

All you need to survive for the 7 day, 151 mile race, rests on your back. Literally. Competitors carry all their supplies; food, water, sleeping bag, etc., in a backpack for the duration of the race. Competitors battle through rugged terrain and punishing heat; they suffer exhaustion and swollen aching feet.

The Marathon Des Sables course changes annually. The route  is not released until two days before the race begins adding another dimension to this extreme endeavor. The dates for this year are April 7-13 and will set you back a tasty US $3,900.

But just think how would it feel if you completed this feat of physical and mental endurance?

If you smile when you think of the answer, then start saving and start training, because this race could be for you.

Click here to learn more.

Longboarding in Ireland

Published in OutDare Adventures on 1 Oct 2012.

A stretch of tarmac, a summers breeze, and a longboard – that is all you need for an evening of bliss. You yearn for an adrenaline rush, but you are restrained by a tight leash;  the dreaded word that consumes your thoughts and haunts your dreams; money. You are broke.

I’ll share with you a little secret. There are kicks to be found outside of the pricey niche of skydiving, BASE jumping, snowboarding lessons, etc. The growing sport of longboarding is accessible wherever you may be. It just requires practise and a pair of balls.

The longboard was created to mimic the motions of surfing and snowboarding, now it stands on its own, as a sport in its own right. But why just pave down your own road when you could be racing all over the world.

America and Australasia seem to be leading the charge when it comes to surfing the roads. When I went searching I discovered a bustling hub of festivals and races dotted around the globe, all dedicated to this niche sport.

The following are just a few races to try out around America and Canada, plenty more lie just a google search away:

As for the rest of the world we’ve got some options:

For more events around the world click here.

When I purchased my first longboard, I took it down to the tennis courts behind my old school to practise, hiding it from prying eyes because people in my little town in the south east of Ireland did not understand what this board was. I began to think this was going to be one lonely sport as I carved the pavements on my own with just my Ipod tucked in my ear for company. But now my eyes have opened and I see the world out there, the people that are traversing across their home lands via their boards to join together and unite with this epic booming community of longboarders.

You want to try longboarding in Ireland? Be warned; its hilly, the weather is crap and the community of riders is small. However, if you catch her on a good day, it can be spectacular.  You can roll through the streets of Dublin city; dodging cars, cobbles and people or you can dapple in the extreme and push out to rural Ireland (aka nearly every other county outside of Dublin) thereby taking on the country lanes, the cattle and the wildlife.

If your curiosity has been piqued then you’ll need to know that the Dublin Longboard Crew are at the forefront of the rise and they are waiting to welcome you to our home.