Alex Staniforth is no stranger to overcoming adversity. In his early life, Alex suffered from a stammer, an eating disorder, epilepsy, anxiety and bullying, but this didn’t stop him putting his mind into action to achieve to some truly impressive goals.
In 2017, the adventurer became the fastest person ever to climb all 100 UK county tops by foot, bicycle and kayak, covering over 5,000 miles in just 72 days, at a rate of almost 70 miles per day. By the time he was 25, he had made two attempts at summiting Mount Everest, had published two books and founded a mental health charity.
Alex Staniforth Everest Mountaineer
His first Mount Everest attempt at just age 19, for which he single-handedly raised over £35,000 in sponsorship, had to be abandoned following an avalanche that killed 16 climbing Sherpas. He returned a year later, but again, this had to be abandoned following the 2015 Nepal earthquake which triggered another avalanche, killing three Sherpas and trapping Alex and his team on the mountain for two days. In 2016 he returned to the Himalayas and attempted to reach the summit of the world’s sixth-highest mountain, Cho Oyu, which stands at 8,000 metres. He managed to reach 7,125 metres before turning back. In 2020 he ran the National Three Peaks, climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, and running the entire 452 miles between – equivalent to roughly 17 full marathons – in 9 days 12 hours.
A podcast with mental health speaker Alex Staniforth
As part of our ‘Chat with…’ series at Great British Speakers, our director Jane Farnham, sat down with Alex Staniforth to discuss his adventurous career, fundraising and what makes Alex such an engaging and motivational Mental Health speaker. You can watch the full interview on our blog HERE.