Highland Ultra 2021 - Speakers and Workshops

Along with 125km of gnarly trails in among the coastal mountains, on each evening of the 3 day event we’ll be holding talks and workshops hosted by some of the amazing friends we’ve made in our years of working in endurance sports. Here’s an introduction to each of them so you know what you’re in store for.

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We’re getting seriously excited about the Highland Ultra here at BTU HQ.  This is our first opportunity to show what we do right here in our home country, to bring the type of EPIC event we’ve been organising around the world for years now to mainland UK.

In October we’ll be on the Knoydart Peninsula, one of the most isolated, rugged and beautiful areas of Scotland, a refuge for stunning wildlife and to runners and hikers yearning to experience genuine tranquility.

Along with 125km of gnarly trails in among the coastal mountains, on each evening of the 3 day event we’ll be holding talks and workshops hosted by some of the amazing friends we’ve made in our years of working in endurance sports.  Here’s an introduction to each of them so you know what you’re in store for.

Tales of Adventure and Conservation from Knoydart

On the first evening of the event we’ll hear from people closely involved in the preservation and conservation of the Knoydart peninsula who’ll tell us all about this unique and beautiful area.

Lorna Schofield

Lorna Schofield is the Manager of the Knoydart Woodland Trust.  Lorna escaped city life over 25 years ago and has lived on the remote west coast peninsula of Knoydart ever since. She has been involved with the Knoydart Forest Trust since its inception in 1999, originally as a volunteer bookkeeper and for the past decade working full-time keeping the day to day organisation in order.

When she can fit it in, Lorna seeks refuge from the office in the Wood Knoydart workshop as part of the small wood product making team or in the surrounding hills.  Beyond the Ultimate have partnered with the Knoydart Woodland Trust to support a local reforesting project.

Nick Watson

Nick has spent over 25 years exploring the Scottish Highlands through running, hiking and climbing.   He took part in the first Beyond the Ultimate For Rangers Ultra, and the Ice Ultra, and has also done other Ultra events in his native Scotland and beyond. 

His great passion is exploring wild areas which he particularly enjoys doing on multiday adventures, and his nose for adventure is what led to the development of a race on the Knoydart Peninsula.

Dr Helen Senn

Helen manages the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Conservation department. She has worked at RZSS since 2011, and is a specialist in conservation genetics.  She also works on species conservation strategies and action plans across the globe.

Dr Helen Senn will be bringing us an expert’s insight into Knoydart’s amazing wildlife and eco-system.

A Night of Adventure Tales to Inspire your Own Adventures

A set of talks from some of our most inspiring and enthusiastic friends. Here we have world record setters, paralympic medalists, Everest summiteers and

Sonny Peart

Sonny Peart took up running in 2012, since when he has completed a dozen marathons, including London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Brighton. Now a trail and ultrarunner, he completed the Centurion Running 50 mile Grand Slam in 2019, and is three quarters of the way through the 2020 100 Mile Grand Slam, with just the postponed South Downs Way 100 to run in June. This year he will also run the 125km Highland Ultra and the 235 mile Deadwater six day ultramarathon. He co-founded Black Trail Runners in July 2020, aiming to increase the participation, inclusion and representation of black people in trail running. He became an ASICS Frontrunner in 2021. When not running or campaigning for diversity on the trails, he teaches at King’s College London, and enjoys watching Bielsa ball. His first book is due out in the autumn.

Kristina Madsen

Kristina Schou Madsen is an exceptional Ultra-runner from Denmark.  On the 23rd February 2018 Kristina became the fastest woman ever to summit Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the African continent.  She achieved this in an astonishing time of 6hrs 52mins.

She has since also completed the World Marathon Challenge (7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days) winning the series overall in a record time, and has completed the Bob Graham Round in under 19hrs.

Steve Bate MBE

In 2011, Steve was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition which would lead him to lose his eyesight. Determined not to let anything stand between him and adventure, Steve resolved to make every moment of his life count. 

He became the first visually impaired person to solo El Capitan, the famous 3000ft rock wall in Yosemite National Park before switching to competitive cycling, and in 2016 won 2 gold medals, 1 bronze, and set a new world record at the Paralympics in Rio.  He is still a member of the Team GB Paralympic Cycling team and is planning an attempt to break the world record for cycling from Cairo to Cape Town.

Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith is an adventurer, former professional Ice Hockey player, an Everest summiteer, and the founder of bigmoose.co.  He is also currently around 18 months into a planned 10 year running streak.

Bigmoose, is a non-profit organisation born out of a very sad event in Jeff’s life, the death of his best friend.  That event made him, in his own words, vow to get the most out of every minute of his time on planet Earth.  Through his challenges, public speaking events and work with Bigmoose, Jeff’s aim is to help people to live happier, healthier and kinder lives.

Being a Better Runner

Talks from Athletes and Coaches who can help you get more out of your running.

Gary House

Gary is an Ultra runner and Head Honcho at RUNSTRONG, an online training hub with members from around the world.

His aim is to try to make running training easier to understand so his clients can get the most from their time together. He’s also the very funny host of the RUNSTRONG podcast. Gary has completed The Dragons Back Race, despite suffering from compartment syndrome on day 4, and has PBs from 35 min 10km to 135 miles in under 24 hours.

Mimi Anderson

Mimi is a Motivational/Inspirational Speaker, Endurance Cyclist, Runner, Triathlete, Multiple World Record Holder and coach who has also authored 2 books, ‘Beyond Impossible’ & ’Limitless’.

Mimi has taken part in extreme races around the world, running across Deserts and mountains, enduring the freezing temperatures of the Arctic, the heat and humidity of the Peruvian jungle and the extreme heat of Death Valley in America.  Her long and illustrious running CV includes a Double-Comrades, a Double Badwater, and world records for running LEJOG and the M2M (the southernmost to the northernmost points in Ireland).

Mimi will be sharing stories of her career and about the mindset of an ultra-runner.

Brett Rocos

Brett is an extremely talented orthapedic surgeon and the founder of Exile Medics (LINK), the wilderness medicine specialists.

Brett founded Exile Medics in 2009 having seen that wilderness medicine needed the same leadership as hospital medicine. Since then, Brett has led teams to every continent and every environment, providing medical support to some of the most recognised expeditions and adventure races with some of the biggest names on the planet. An Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon by day, Brett is Clinical Assistant Professor in Wilderness Medicine at the University of Nottingham, Senior Spine Fellow at the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children and has worked as a trauma and spinal surgeon in the USA and Europe.

Dr Greg Potter

Greg Potter has worked with medal-winning athletes, world record-setting rowers, and even the US Special Forces, and has a self-confessed passion for helping people to live happier and healthier lives.

Resilient Nutrition, the company he co-founded in 2020, leverages cutting-edge science to produce foods and supplements that make feeling and performing better simple and delicious.

He also coaches individuals and teams who are committed to accomplishing their aspirations, teaching people about how all aspects of our lifestyle and environments nudge them towards or away from our goals.

Adventure Skills and Survival Training Workshops

Archi Stewart – Packing for Multiday Adventures

Long prior to joining the Beyond the Ultimate team, Archi was well known to us as an extremely capable and meticulously organised competitor in multistage ultra-marathons. Archi is here to give you the benefit of his extensive research and experience when it comes to preparing the kit you’ll need to thrive while you’re adventuring.

His ability to squeeze 5-days-worth of supplies into the smallest and lightest pack is unsurpassed.  Archi has completed the Jungle Ultra, the Desert Ultra twice, and the MDS.  Closer to home he has finished the West Highland Way Race and Hardmoors 110. 

When occasionally forced off the trails and into an office he is an established business consultant and coach.

Kris King – Strength Training for Endurance Athletes

Our Race Director and Co-owner.  Along with leading the team behind all of BTU’s races around the world since 2015, Kris is a seasoned ultra-runner, expedition leader, coach, and public speaker with a knack for getting people to do things beyond what they ever thought they were capable of.

Kris started early as the youngest gym owner in the country in 2009 and was a Pride of Britain Nominee in 2014.  Through personal endurance challenges, he has raised over £30,000 for multiple HD foundations.

Phil Hayday-Brown – Surviving Extreme Cold

Phil has spent over 20 years as an expedition leader/organiser, especially in polar regions.  He has vast experience of coaching people through extremely cold conditions.

Phil work with Polar Challenge, organising a race to the magnetic North pole, and has worked with the BBC on a number of occasions – The Challenge series in 2004, Top gear in 2007 and with the On Thin Ice series race to the south pole, the first ever race to the South Pole since the famous Scott and Amundsen race almost 100 years ago.

Phil also co-founded and continues to act as Race Director for The Spine Race, the world renowned, 268 mile race along the Pennine Way Trail.

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Will Roberts

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