Innovative thinking and a passion for discovery are just the beginning when it comes to telling the story of Ultra Marathon event brand Ultra X. Their events are gruelling, life defining experience for a community of people that grab life with two hands and hold it tightly. Ultra X are known for hosting events in some of the most remote and demanding locations imaginable and with their eyes set firmly on the future, Covid or no Covid, we thought now would be the perfect time to see what makes one of the co-founders tick. Introducing Sam Heward...
What gets you out of bed each day?
Besides breakfast, the opportunity to grow Ultra X. I genuinely believe that participating in one of our events will positively impact the lives of competitors and I also know that EVERYONE is capable of doing one. Increasing the accessibility of life changing experiences is pretty exciting.
If you had to choose between a sandy trail or a steep rocky one, what would it be, and why?
Ooosh. That's hard but would have to go for steep as I'd hope the climb means there is a view at the top.
As a founder of Ultra X, you've likely worked with some of the world's highest performing endurance athletes, how has that helped you shape your own life?
Everyone who toes the start line of one of our events is an inspiration. Funnily enough, it's never the "highest performing" athletes that have had the most impact on me but rather those that have met with adversity and come through it.
"The winners of our events might spend 25 hours out on course over a week, but it is those who spend 60 who are truly incredible."
There's an overused saying that an ultra marathon is a good metaphor for life but it is absolutely true. You can go through lows, but if you keep on going you will get out of them and hit that high again.
If you had to spend one full day locked in an elevator with someone you've known, who would it be and why?
Hmmm. Probably the author Matthew Syed. I hardly know him (we once shook hands) but am a big fan of his work and could listen to his theories on business and sport all day.
There are 365 days in a year, if you had to use 10% of them doing something you don't do enough of now, what would it be?
I'd love to spend 36.5 days completely offline. It's difficult to get away from emails, Instagram and Whatsapp at the moment..
Who has inspired you more than anyone else?
No single person but I have a tonne of role models mainly in business and sport - James Dyson, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, James Cracknell being a few on the list. Generally grafters who do not give up when the going gets tough and stand up to a groupthink mentality and societal norms. This year, Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford has done some pretty awesome stuff to break a stereotype.
Choose one; You can now fly (at the speed of walking), or swim underwater without taking a breath (for a maximum of an hour a time)?
Easy, fly...I walk fast.
What would you say to a 15yr old Sam Heward?
Maybe to back him to do his own thing more often and not worry what others were thinking but I I don't think I'd change much. It's all about the journey!
What has this whole Covid-19 thing taught you?
Humankind's insane ability to adapt when it needs to.
Who would you like to give gratitude to?
My parents. They have never batted an eyelid with anything that I have done and always encouraged me to follow the dream and do what I enjoy. I don't thank them enough.
For more on Ultra X, you can follow them HERE on ActivePlace.
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