Rosie Swale-Pope Running Around the World
Rosie is doing her expedition solo and self-supported. She pulls all her equipment in a cart, and has traveled through some of the most remote and rugged areas on the planet. Colin met Rosie on a lonely road in NE Siberia when he was doing his own circumnavigation. Rosie was chugging up a slushy, muddy hill wearing gum boots and struggling to pull her cart through the six-inch muck. It had been two months since Colin had last seen a westerner, and he was grateful to sit down on the side of the road to chat with gregarious Rosie over a cup of tea.
Rosie explained that she had been jogging right through the winter, as temperatures sometimes reached -50, and would camp in the remote taiga bundled in her multiple sleeping bags.
She was jogging towards the infamous Road of Bones where Colin had just come from. Large sections of this remote Siberian highway are not passable by traffic in the summer because of marshes and unbridged rivers. This didn’t stop Rosie, however, and she managed to haul her cart through some of the wildest, and most mosquito infested parts of Siberia, reaching the coastal city of Magadan. Here she found passage on a ship going to Alaska where her run would resume.
This disciplined runner has now made it as far as Alberta and prospects are looking rosy. Some of the toughest sections are behind her, and Rosie looks forward to continuing through Canada, the USA and Iceland.
Where does one of the world’s toughest women draw her motivation?
Rosie states on her website:
It’s October 2nd 2003, my 57th birthday, and I’m going to set off to run around the world. I shall be solo, self supporting and on a very low budget. I can’t afford back up teams, luxury, or flights to different continents and stages across wide oceans.
My dearest wish is to do a complete circle of the earth. I plan to journey over as much land mass as possible. This is also the coldest, hardest, most fascinating way, and includes almost 7,000 miles of Russia and Siberia. I shall go across Europe through Holland, Germany, Poland and Moscow, before hitting the Trans Siberian Railway route. Then I will go on to the Bering Straits, Alaska, America, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Scotland and England, before returning to the start and finishing line at Tenby, my home in Wales. It will be my world voyage on two feet.
Many years ago I sailed to Australia and back around Cape Horn with my young family in a catamaran, and later solo across the Atlantic in a 17ft boat. The magic of sailing is in the vivid images of trees, mountains, villages, towns and faces. It has left me with a longing to explore the land as well. So the legs that come free from God have taken the place of hulls, as a way of passage making!
Running can take you to places that do not exist if you travel in any other way. The accompanying exhaustion will leave one vulnerable and shaky. Sometimes when you are weakest, you experience things most vividly. This is when those you meet others in the midst of their own difficult lives and situations, and they are not fearful of you. You tread gently through someone else’s land.
The death of my husband, Clive, from prostate cancer last year, taught me more than anything about how precious life is. Life can be so short and you HAVE to grab life, do what you can while you can, and try to give something back. I’ll be trying to raise awareness of the following very special small charities – to represent the world:- The Prostate Cancer Charity, The Siberian Railway Cancer Hospital at Omsk, the Kitezh Community for Orphan Children Orphanage, the hope of the future of European Russia through its children. The Nepal Trust that achieves so much with almost no money, in the Hidden Himalayas.
I am extremely grateful for the generosity of my family and friends, without their help and faith I could not succeed. Regards Rosie.
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