Rosie Swale-Pope is the only person; man or woman, to ever run around the world solo and unsupported.
"The biggest adventure is everyday life. Make it count."
Solo Run Around the World
I’m always looking for inspiring true stories of people, and their adventures and a friend recommended I read Rosie Swale-Pope’s book “Just a Little Run Around the World: 5 Years, 3 Packs of Wolves and 53 Pairs of Shoes.”
From the very first page, I felt like I was a friend of Rosie’s as she wrote about her heartbreak over losing her husband, Clive, to prostrate cancer and how that inspired her to run around the world and raise awareness. Her story is inspiring and extraordinary, and she makes you feel like you’re right there with her as she recounts her experience. I laughed, I cried and savored every page to make it last as long as I could.
In October 2, 2003, on her 57th birthday, Rosie Swale-Pope said goodbye to her children and grandchildren and set out from her small cottage in Tenby, Wales to run around the world. Five years, over 20,000 miles, and 53 pairs of shoes later she successfully finished her run. She ran harnessed to her custom-made cart, which was designed for sleeping, shelter, and storage. She was able to rent out her cottage to pay for her journey.
Her route around the world was through the Northern Hemisphere. “A lovely little circle through Europe, Russia, Siberia, Alaska, Canada, America, Greenland and Iceland. It was the most logical, though not the most comfortable, way around the world.”
As part of her preparations, she learned six languages: Dutch, German, Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian and Russian.
Her run around the world helped raise awareness and money for the Prostate Cancer Charity. She encouraged others to get checked out sooner rather than later. Her run also raised money for an orphanage in Russia which provides children with care and education.
The people she meets, the places she runs through, the adversity she faces but overcomes along the way seems like something out of a surreal movie. Rosie is the only person who has ever run around the world.
"My run became much bigger than me; it became a metaphor for life. It made me see that everything in life is an adventure and a miracle, whether it's running across a glacier or boiling water to make a cup of tea."