Unlocking “inner strength and magic” through adventure: Anna McNuff’s approach to exploring

Anna McNuff is a British born adventurer who gets her kicks by traveling the world on long, human-powered journeys and by sharing those journeys with others. Her adventures to date include cycling the spine of the Andes in South America, running the full length of New Zealand on the Te Araroa trail, and most recently, completing her Barefoot Britain project to run the distance of 90 marathons through Great Britain… with no shoes on. 

She’s rowed, run, and swum competitively but her recent adventures are about “testing the limits of her own potential”. 

Read on to find out more about what makes Anna tick.

Describe yourself in three words

Fun. Curious. Restless.

Instant hiking meals or DIY?

DIY all the wa-hey! Pre-packaged ones taste like dog food.

Do you cut your toothbrushes in half?

Absolutely not. I can’t justify that when I pack so much chocolate. Life is too short not to be comfortable and happy when you’re on a longer running or hiking adventure.

What motivates you to get outside and explore?

Seeing new places, meeting new people, the thrill of seeing how far my body can go and what my mind can put up with. And in between all of that… the peace and quiet of nature. It soothes the soul.

Summit log book or IG pic?

IG pic. I love sharing thoughts/feelings/stories with others – although it might be a few days before I post that pic. I’d enjoy the moment, savor it for myself, and then share it later.

Can you tell us about your most epic adventure yet?

Ah! That would be one in Great Britain. I ran from the Shetland Islands to London, 2,352 miles, with no shoes on. I know, crazy! I was on the run for almost 6 months and along the way, I was joined by over 2,500 local runners at various points. Some days I ran alone, some days I had a big group with me and other times it was just me and a man called Phil, running through the Scottish borders. The landscape made the journey mind-blowing. The people made it memorable.

Looking forward, what future plans are you excited about?

Well… I’m 5 months pregnant (!) so this year will be about smaller adventures with a bump and then working out how long it is before I can sling that babba on my back and start taking it up mountains. I’m super excited for the family adventures to come.

What do you never hit the trail without?

My Pants of Perspective. A pair of brightly colored leggings with a unicorn and a rainbow on them – they snap me back to reality and make me feel more like myself when I’m having a rough day. They totally rescued me when I was deep in the New Zealand bush on one adventure and mashed up my ankle.

What has been the biggest adventure game-changer for you?

The realization that you will always want more time on a trail and never less. I have never finished a trail and wanted to do it faster. I only ever wanted to go back and do it slower, or have allowed more time to explore cool side trails and hikes into other valleys.

Why do you recommend komoot?

I love komoot because it’s all about exploration, discovery, and sharing the joy of what you find out there with others. Especially if that’s a mean mountain vista or a killer coffee shop – those are some of the best things in life and should be shared!

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