Anna McNuff is an endurance athlete and adventurer.
Named by the Guardian as one of the top female adventurers of our time, Condé Nast Traveller also recently included her in a list of the 50 most influential travellers in the world. She has also been named by the Lord Mayor as one of the City of London’s top 50 most inspiring people and is one of The Discovery Channel’s ‘Make Your World Bigger’ Champions.
The daughter of two Olympians’ Anna grew up in a family where the pursuit of physical and mental excellence was encouraged. Seeing the respect and admiration that her parents received led to her harbouring ambitions from an early age to be an Olympian herself.
As a middle sibling sandwiched between two brothers, she simply did what the boys did, and often better. By age 16 she had taken up the sport of rowing and went on to represent Great Britain. During her time in the Great Britain squad, Anna became a World Champion at the University Games in 2006 and won a Bronze medal at the 2007 European Championships.
Dogged by injury in her twenties, Anna made the difficult decision to retire from the sport and to let go of her Olympic dream. She then embarked on a new life as an adventurer - darting around the world on the hunt for new and exciting endurance challenges.
In 2013 Anna cycled a beautiful Pink bicycle 11,000 miles through each and every state of the USA, from Alaska to Hawaii. Pedalling up to 130 miles a day for 6 months, solo and unsupported, she encountered blizzards, floods and temperatures as low as minus 15C.
In January 2015, with no previous experience as a long-distance runner, Anna set out on a 2,000 mile run along New Zealand’s Te Araroa trail. Travelling alone for 148 days, she moved through forests, along ridge-lines, over mountain passes, along beaches and across swollen rivers. Running up to 32 miles in a day, she carried all of her belongings in a backpack that was often as heavy at 20kgs. By June 2015 she had become the first person, male or female, to run the length of the country entirely unsupported.
In October 2016, Anna began a journey to cycle along the spine of the largest mountain range in the world: The Andes. By the time she returns to the UK in May 2017 she will have pedalled through some of South America’s most remote and inhospitable regions and ascended over 90,000 metres on a bike - more than ten times the height of Everest.
Anna's high energy talks are life lessons from the road, told with raw honesty, humour and passion. From sitting on an International Regatta start line in Great Britain colours to finding herself deep in the New Zealand bush alone and injured, she has learnt a great deal about personal limits in the past 15 years.
Through her speeches, Anna advocates a willingness to embrace the many obstacles that litter the road to success and to view each one as an opportunity to learn and to grow.
• Confidence and self-belief
• Overcoming fear of failure
• Growth mindset and the courage to begin
• The ability to ‘choose your attitude’
• The practicality of turning big dreams into reality
• The Importance of perspective & positivity
• Determination, resilience and perseverance
TEDx, Cancer Research UK, SKY, Deloitte, MasterCard, Barclays, Team GB, GlaxoSmithKline, The North Face, Caxton FX, Ellis Brigham, Rapha, Trek, The Telegraph, and National Trust
What the Clients Say:
What you do is absolutely fantastic.
HRH Prince Edward
I laughed, I cried, and I left ready to take on the world.
You are an incredibly talented speaker - full of guts, energy, determination, stamina and vision.
Without the use of any visual aids, you told your story with great humour.
You placed us right in the heart of the action, and as a result encouraged each and every one of us to try new things and push ourselves more. Personally, as your shadow for the evening, it was great to see how well you interacted with all of the attendees - they adored you. We can’t wait to hear what you get up to
It really felt like we experienced the journey with Anna. Her passion for pursuing a life beyond the norm, and her drive to encourage others to do the same shone through from start to finish.
She delivered a truly memorable presentation and I would welcome her back to speak at future events in a heartbeat.
Cancer Research UK
Hugely engaging and entertaining with plenty of food for thought for all of us watching. Thank you for not just having great stories to tell, but for telling them in such a compelling way. One of the team at dinner tonight has now pledged to cycle around the world for charity – or rather the distance equivalent to round the world… how about that!
GlaxoSmithKline - Global Leadership Conference
All of those in the room at the Gold Award Presentation raved about you! Having you as a presenter really made all the difference, and made the day extra special for the young people and their families. We can’t thank you enough.
Duke of Edinburgh presentation, St James' Palace
Just to say a huge thank you for your talk yesterday. I have had multiple athletes and staff approach and thank me for arranging your visit. They all said how inspiring, motivating and positive you are, and how useful they found the talk for their own journey on the road to the Olympics. You made a huge impact in such a short space of time!
English Institute of Sport and the GB Archery Team
In the same way Jamie Oliver has a kind of innate and interminable positivity that makes cooking and food seem like the best thing ever, adventurer Anna McNuff manages to do that about life.
To be on stage in front of 700 people is one thing. To hold court, field questions from the crowd and conduct fascinating and insightful interviews with fellow adventurers is entirely another.
Congratulations on hosting the best female adventure panel I've had the pleasure to watch. More time next year please - 30 minutes is not enough!
The Adventure Travel Show, Olympia, London