WHEN ADVENTURE CALLS

MY HEART RESPONDS. IT ALWAYS SAYS YES!

5
Peaks Climbed
3
Desert Races Run
150
Marathons Completed

Married White Male Seeks Adventure

That would be me. I’m married to a wonderful woman who is a big dreamer herself and is the mother of my two awesome children, Spencer (12) and Neve (9). My wife, Sarah, and I met at MIT where I was studying Chemistry and Sarah, Chemical Engineering. She embarked on one of her own adventures when she left her family and friends and moved to Johannesburg, South Africa to build a life with me. I think our need for adventure is rubbing off on the kids. Neve wants to be the first person to travel to Mars! When I’m not out adventuring I’m the Head of Business Development with one of the large mining companies in South Africa.

The Adventure of Life  

It was fairly obvious to my folks early on that I had the ‘adventurer’ gene in my DNA. I ran the gamut of cub scouts and exploring the bush on my own before I hit high school. The adventures almost came to an abrupt, sticky and engine-fumed end when I was 15. I set off to cycle Europe. What my parents were thinking I have no idea! My advice – don’t try to navigate rush hour traffic cruising the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris on a bicycle.    

Knowing that once I went to university my adventure schedule would be curtailed, I decided I was going to have to cram as much adventure in the brief moments I could grasp. I decided to get a good top-up first, so for a gap  year I cycled through Scandinavia, climbed Kilimanjaro, overlanded through Africa for nearly six months, and got my pilot’s licence and scuba diver’s certification.

Once university started, I filled my summers with as many adventures as I could; six weeks backpacking through Madagascar, eight weeks in India, Nepal, Tibet and China, and then two months pulling an invasive species of water weed from the bottom of a pond – not so adventurous but hard work and very, very muddy!  

By the time graduation rolled around, I had developed an almost insatiable taste for diving and went to work with my father in Florida – a cave diving mecca!

Then came my greatest adventure, one that hasn’t stopped and keeps getting better – I married my beautiful wife and we moved to South Africa.

Seven Summit Quest

Peaks climbed so far  5
Everest 2007 – the highest in the world
Vinson 2008 – the highest in Antarctica
Aconcagua 2003 – highest outside of the Himalayas
Elbrus 2003 – highest in the Caucasus Mountains and in Europe, 10th most prominent in the world
Kilimanjaro 1993 & 2007 – highest in Africa, highest freestanding mountain in the world

Other Mountains climbed
Mt Blanc 2005 – highest peak in Western Europe

Desert Races

Desert Races Run – 3
The Kalahari 2010 – Trans-Kalahari Adventure Run – 1000km
The Sahara 2011 – Marathon des Sables, one of the toughest ultramarathons on earth – 251km
Greenland 2013 – Attempted world first run across Greenland in minimum temps of -30 degrees

Ultramarathons run

Marathons and Ultramarathons run – 150
Including four Comrades Marathons and four Ironman triathlons. The Comrades Marathon is a 90km race between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

Long Distance Mountain Bike races – 1
Cape Epic Mountain Bike Race 2008 Nearly 1000km with an ascent of 18,000m. TheTour de France of mountain biking

Straits Swam

Straits Swam – 1
Straights of Gibraltar – Spain to Morocco. 12 nautical miles.One of the toughest swimming challenges in the world. Less than 500 people have succeeded

Living beyond the ordinary

A lot of people ask why I set out on these often crazy trips and to be honest, I don’t know. They take me away from my precious family and I miss them every second I’m away. And I know they worry about me when I’m gone. So why? Are they fun? It depends how you define fun, I guess. Adventures aren’t really adventures unless there’s some element of danger. They can be gruelling. Mentally and physically they can grind you down until all you can think about is just putting one step in front of the other. You’re either freezing in sub-zero temperatures or your skin is blistering from the heat even when you’re in the shade. They push you far beyond limits you never knew existed. It can be heart-breakingly lonely and there have been a few times when I thought I’d never get home. But the call of adventure is so strong that it’s a need. Fulfilling that need makes me feel blazingly alive.

Some people have to travel beyond the known horizon every now and then. I’m one of them. But what’s even stronger is the call of family and they are what keep me going and what always brings me home.

1
Straits Swam
1
Long Distance Mountain Biking Races