Extreme endurance adventurer Sean Conway is the first and only man in history to swim the length of Britain in 2013 from Land’s End to John O’Groats across 900 miles. He has previously cycled the length of Britain (1300 miles) and plans to finish his Great British Triathlon in 2015 when he will run the length of Britain.
Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, Conway had an adventurous upbringing in the Mana Pools National Park with his conservationist game ranger father, Tony. Sean’s father has been at the forefront of the fight to save the rhino for 35 years, something which Sean passionately supports along with other charities, Solar Aid and War Child.
Sean spent his early years climbing trees and chasing elephants out of his garden. This unique childhood has been the fuel for his adventurous ambition and throughout his teens he competed in several river marathons including The Duzi Canoe Marathon, arguably the world’s most prestigious canoe race in South Africa from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. At 15 years old he completed the Midmar Mile (the world’s biggest open water swimming event) in 35 minutes.
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.
Giving up a career in photography to pursue a dream of 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.
Looking for his next hardcore adventure, Sean wanted to prove that he could break a world record and decided to attempt to become the first person in history to swim the length of Great Britain. Having cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 2008 he tackled the second leg of his GB Triathlon and after battling the weather, currents and a remarkably large amount of jellyfish, Sean and his legendary beard wrote history on November 11th 2013 after 135 days at sea.
Sean currently lives in The Cotswolds and makes his living as an athlete, author and speaker.