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Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, Sean had an adventurous upbringing in the Mana Pools National Park with his conservationist game ranger father, Tony. He spent his early years climbing trees and chasing elephants out of his garden, and this unique childhood has been the fuel for his adventurous ambitions.
Well-known for his quirky take on endurance sports and adventures, Sean came to the UK in 2002 with just £100 in his wallet and started working in Cambridge cutting 12,000 cabbages a day and then as a freelance photographer in London, whilst living in a tiny room in London with 7 other people, spending any cash he earned on various travels and bonkers adventures.
Sean famously sold his photography business for just £1 to pursue his dream breaking the world record for cycling around the world, Sean gained sponsorship from USwitch.com and set out on this epic adventure on 18th February 2012. After three weeks he was ahead of schedule averaging nearly 180 miles a day. His dreams were shattered in America when a driver hit him causing severe whip lash, concussion, torn ligaments and a compression fracture to the spine. Despite this, Sean continued on dropping to 140 miles per day, changing his goal to get back to London in time for the Olympics and raise money for charity. He made it back with a week to spare, having covered 16,000 miles - 12,000 of them with a fractured spine.
In 2013 he became the first person in history to swim the length of Great Britain, having previously cycled it in 2008. After battling the weather, currents and seemingly endless swarms of jellyfish, Sean and his legendary beard wrote history on November 11 2013, after 135 days at sea.
in 2015, after a failed first attempt at running Britain, he completed the Ultimate British Triathlon when he finished his run from John O'Groats to Land's End, without undergoing any kind of training in advance.
In 2016 Sean raised the bar once more when he took on the greatest challenge of his life. Starting in April 2016, he completed a self-supported 4000+ mile, continuous Ultra Triathlon that circumnavigates the entire coast of mainland Britain and Discovery Channel followed Sean's incredible and dangerous journey.
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Sean Conway was stuck in a life dead end of his own making when he heard about a round the world cycling race. He was immediately inspired – but it was a huge undertaking and he’d hardly been on a bike in years. Could he really cycle all the way round the world, solo and unsupported?
Six months later, after completing a punishing training schedule and packing up everything he owned into boxes, Sean was in Greenwich Park on the start line of the adventure of a lifetime. Soon he was way ahead of schedule, averaging 180 miles per day, and on course to break the round the world cycling record. But then disaster struck, and Sean was forced to confront the possibility that he may not be able to complete the race...
In the course of his 16,000-mile journey, Sean travelled the famous pan-American highway across the Atacama Desert, outran tornados, relied on fellow travellers to ferry water across the Australian outback, and inadvertently joined a cycle club in Mumbai. He learnt things about himself he didn’t know and rediscovered a spirit of adventure that changed everything. This is a book about an amazing and sometimes incredibly difficult journey, but it’s also a book about never giving up when there’s an opportunity to follow your dreams.
'Rain pelted down on the back of my neck and saltwater rushed down my throat as I tried to breathe into a wave. A foghorn started booming from a lighthouse in the distance. For a moment I thought it was a rescue siren for me. Imagine if I got rescued on day two. That would be embarrassing.'
In June 2013 Sean Conway set out from Land’s End in his bid to be the first person to swim the length of Britain. It was a challenge so extreme that not only had it never been attempted before, but most of the sponsors Sean approached turned him down as they were worried that he would die trying.
Landlocked Cheltenham – Sean’s hometown – isn’t really the ideal place to train for a long sea swim, and he only managed three miles in a local pool before setting off from Land's End. Once in the water Sean had to develop incredible mental strength to deal with the extreme cold and hours alone. He also needed to devise ways to take on the huge number of calories he needed to sustain him. On the support boat he and his three-man crew had to cope with storms, seasickness and living in close proximity for months. After taking a few jellyfish stings to the face, Sean decided to grow a huge beard to protect himself.
The physical challenge was gruelling, but came with unexpected rewards. Sean swam with dolphins and seals and among stunning night-time phosphorescence. He had a unique view of the British coast, discovering tiny hidden coves and exploring shipwrecks. When there were problems with the support boat, Sean and his crew met many kindly people who were willing to come to their aid.
From the first person to complete a British 'triathlon' - running, swimming and biking the length of Britain - this is Sean's remarkable and funny story about how anything is possible if you truly put your mind to it.
Bored of constantly going abroad for holidays, and then realising how little he knew about the British countryside, Sean decided to take a month off work, buy a bike, and do the epic Land's End to John O'Groats, solo and unsupported. What followed was one of the most adventurous months of his life as he faced cold nights, rainy days and a lot of time on his own.
“If I had not done this ride then I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. Every adventure cyclist needs to cycle around Britain. There is just so much to experience.”
Find out everything from equipment, nutrition, training, safety, sponsorship, and how to go from cycling 40 miles to 200 miles a day.
Sean really believes that ANYONE can cycle around the world. The hardest part is getting to that start line. This book will make sure you are as prepared as you’ll ever be when you get there.
20,000 Words - 134 Pages