Jenny Tough’s desire to push her limits has led her to numerous corners of the world. Currently working on a global challenge to run – solo and unsupported – across a mountain range on every continent, she's completed four world-first expeditions so far, taking between 17-25 days each, all in remote and wild mountains.
Jenny has also competed in long-distance bike-packing races, including becoming the first woman to finish the inaugural Silk Road Mountain Race – one of the world’s toughest off-road bike races – as well as its follow-up edition, the Atlas Mountain Race.
Why did you decide to run across a mountain range on every continent?
It’s a challenge I designed for myself - it’s definitely not a thing! In 2016, I ran across the Tien Shan in Kyrgyzstan, which had never been done before. I went there for the mountains and the running challenge, but what I discovered there was a deep connection to the people that live in the mountains. In Kyrgyzstan, that’s the nomads who live in yurts. I decided to repeat the expedition in completely different places around the world – every continent seemed ideal – to learn more about mountain cultures.
What have you learned on this challenge so far?
I’ve completed four continents now, and the common thread I’ve seen is that the people who live in the most hostile environments are also the most hospitable. I’ve been invited into so many different types of homes and shared meals with so many different types of families, but they all have one thing in common; they look out for fellow humans in the mountains. It’s been a massively uplifting project in that regard.