How does a law student and casual runner from Melbourne become the first woman and youngest person ever to complete the ‘4 Desert Ultra Marathon Series’ – one of the toughest endurance events on Earth?
Samantha Gash initially set out to test her physical and mental limitations – having no idea of the journey of self-discovery she would undertake.
Naivety, vulnerability, pushing through seemingly impossible odds, taking a collaborative approach to a solo sport, creating a high performing team, competing in a male dominated race, incredible feats of endurance and spades of unrelenting spirit are all part of Samantha’s story.
In 2010, Samantha was the first woman and the youngest person ever to complete four, 250km ultra marathons across the driest, windiest, hottest and coldest deserts on earth. Her journey, along with three others, was captured for the big screen in the award winning film Desert Runners. In 2011, she ran 222kms nonstop across the Himalayas and the penny dropped during this race that she wanted to use her capacity to run long, for a reason outside of herself.
During her time as a lawyer at Baker & McKenzie she ran 379km non-stop across the Simpson Desert in 31/2 days, raising funds for Save the Children Australia.
Ambassador to numerous organisations and charities, Samantha is a dynamic corporate speaker and coach with 9 years on the public speaking and professional training circuit within Australia and internationally. Samantha was a finalist in the NAB Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards and a nominee for a Pride of Australia Medal. Samantha is an inspiring and energetic communicator with a unique ability to help business and individuals push through their limitations and achieve extraordinary success.
In October 2014, Samantha ran 2350km run across South Africa with UK runner Mimi Anderson. The two women used this run to raise awareness to the limitations young South African women face with respects to education, confidence and feminine hygiene. Samantha uses her stories and lessons learnt through ultra racing and translates them in a way that is applicable to everybody.
For the past 12 months Samantha has been preparing for her biggest project to date. In August 2016 Samantha will run close to 4000kms across India. As an Ambassador with World Vision, Samantha will traverse from one of the driest desert on earth and complete her run in the wettest place on earth to explore the barriers to quality education. She will explore World Vision's Area Development Projects, meeting with locals and technical experts who will provide rare insights into the issues . Samantha has inspired and empowered audiences with her impactful story. Sam’s presentation is interspersed with dramatic film footage and imagery, helping to convey the following messages:
- A story about life, beyond the comfort zone
- The challenge of endurance (inside and outside of running) requires – adaptability, resilience, mental determination and commitment
- Building and leading a highly functional team
- Risk management and planning
Passion, Purpose and Process
How can you link something you are passionate about for a purpose outside of yourself through a process of focus, leadership and collaboration? Samantha outlines her methodology in being able to push her body and mind through some of the most extreme environments. Practical tips will show you how to develop motivation and create wins by following a passion, with a purpose.
Execution - where the (shoe) rubber hits the road.
Dreaming big is important - doing is always the hard bit. Learn about the planning, risk mitigation, and continual failures that plagued Sam’s planning from well before Day 1. Learn about the importance of cultural recognition, and framing of setbacks.
A Story About Life Beyond the Comfort Zone
Find the values, risks and benefits of a life outside your comfort zone - illustrated by Samantha’s example of crossing India. True growth lies in pushing your boundaries - Samantha explains what can make you - and break you - on the paths that lie outside your comfort zone.
Composure and resilience under duress.
Find out Samantha’s formulae for maintaining clear team goals in extreme, and sometimes dangerous settings. The ultimate lesson on leading (and following) in chaos.
Successful Teams - Building and Leading a Highly Functional Team
Identifying and empowering your ‘support team’ can be the key in enabling you to achieving goals outside of your comfort zone. Find out how Samantha created a world class ‘misfit’ team of non-runners, family, friends, and mavericks that supported her push to world record runs. Diversity, hilarity and hi-jinks were ever present in these endeavours, and you might find some gems in her approach to team building
I recently had the pleasure of listening to Samantha speak at a financial services industry function and found her to be thoroughly engaging. It is very refreshing to hear someone speak so clearly and authentically about taking on extraordinary challenges. Samantha spoke without hesitation about her passion to make a difference and was compelling and inspiring. Her aim to make an impact on women’s lives in Africa while creating employment is at once creative and meaningful. Samantha’s talk did not fail to connect with anyone who understands the importance of young women needing confidence to take opportunity in life…starting with the basics. Her feats, this purpose and the way she connects, means time with Samantha Gash is very worthwhile.
Samantha’s story is authentic, moving and inspirational. Her delivery was heartfelt and honest and had attendees glued to their seats. Samantha’s energy, positivity and passion is infectious and left the audience inspired by what can be achieved with determination, motivation and pushing yourself beyond where you thought you could not go.
Executive General Manager
I had the absolute pleasure of working with Samantha Gash on our flagship Business Forum conference. Sam is such a dynamic and engaging speaker that we were very lucky to have on our stage. Sam’s story is amazing and resonated with our audience, many of whom were members in business at the C-suite level. I have never seen so much immediate positive feedback, it left delegates feeling moved and inspired – and most importantly, actionable suggestions – on how to implement these valuable life session in corporate life.
Samantha tells an incredible and personal story. Although her physical pursuits have been super-human, her messages to our teams are more about how much of a role the mind plays in setting and achieving goals – whether they be business or personal. She really helped my team put business issues into perspective, and helped them realise that ‘what’ we do as a business, is far less important than ‘why’ we do it.
Head of Financial Planning
Such an inspirational story that brought tears to many people’s eyes. Sam is a great speaker and has an extraordinary story to tell. She spoke about her physical and mental preparation & how she prepared for the unknown and there were many messages and takeaway tips for our people. I would not hesitate to recommend Sam.
Samantha is truly inspirational. I have seen many speakers over the years but Samantha's authentic presentation and incredible personal story has inspired me to succeed in several aspects of my life - both personally and professionally. I feel very fortunate to have heard Samantha present, she exceeded our expectations and would highly recommend her as speaker.
Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse.