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Ellen Piercy - Leading a double life of adventure and engineering.

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Ellen in her own words:

I was a late starter to living more adventurously: in my late-thirties I realised that maybe I hadn’t left it too late and began to push my boundaries.

I gained my Hill and Moorland Leader qualification and after cycling a section of the Camino de Santiago in 2017 I set my sights on a cold adventure.

With 42 being the answer to life, the universe and everything I planned and trained for an expedition on Svalbard in the high arctic in 2020 when I was 42.

But just two weeks before leaving, covid cancelled everything. And cancelled again in 2021.

The only thing to do was set a challenge I could do during lockdown and so the Cheshire Challenge was born.

Searching for long distance walks local to home, I found there are 25 long distance trails that start or finish in Cheshire totalling 1500km and I’m walking them all.

I love the wilder mountains and moors but lockdown has made me appreciate what is on my doorstep, but I still have my sights set on Svalbard. Third time lucky?

Listen to Ellen on the Tough Girl Podcast - New episodes go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time -

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Show notes

  • Leading a double life of adventure and engineering

  • Feeling as though she’d missed out on adventuring

  • Getting into adventure in her mid thirties

  • What changed in her mid thirties

  • Growing up in Cumbria

  • Starting to meet up with a friend in the Peak District

  • How Rando Girls came about

  • What Rando Girl means…

  • Developing her outdoor skills from navigation to map reading

  • How discovering the Tough Girl Podcast helped

  • Getting into climbing and joining the Chester Mountaineering Club

  • Enjoying the learning process

  • Hill and Moorland Leader Qualification

  • How long it took to get the qualification

  • Balancing the training, gaining the knowledge and having a life!

  • The dream to go to Svalbard, Norway

  • A cold adventure! North, South or going High

  • 42 - “the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.”

  • Being interested in human powered adventures

  • Being inspired by Adelaide Goodeve

  • Training expedition to Svalbard with Newland Expeditions

  • Instructor - Helen Turton

  • Having everything cancelled because of Covid

  • Fingers crossed that it will go ahead in 2022

  • Being in the proper cold and learning how to ski

  • Approach to fitness and keeping motivated during local lockdown

  • The Cheshire Challenge - to walk all 25 long distance paths in Cheshire totalling 1,500km

  • The The Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA)

  • The 12hr Challenge (Inspired by Rae Red - Tough Girl Tribe)

  • The Wirral Circular Trail

  • Wanting to hit 42km…. in 12hrs!

  • The toughest moment on the 12hr challenge

  • Not wanting to get injured

  • Having fun on the challenge

  • Final push….. Final push!!!

  • Roller skiing on Skikes

  • Tyre pulling with Evil Edna…

  • Final words of advice


Social Media


Instagram: @randogirl42

Twitter: @randogirl42


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