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31 December 2020

8 Inspiring Adventures from 2020

Athlete Stories

Celebrating the best SunGod adventures of 2020...

2020, what a year it has been… We have been humbled to see you, our incredible community tackle every challenge the year has brought with energy and compassion. We have been inspired and blown-away by your ingenuity and resilience as despite all odds you have continued to put your SunGods to the ultimate test. But before we set our sights on a more positive 2021, 8 SunGod athletes share why 2020 has been an unforgettable year for them, for all the right reasons…

1. Rowing the Atlantic - HMS Oardacious

“Completing our 3,000 mile row across the Atlantic will be an experience we will never forget. As we rowed further into the Atlantic we left all that was familiar behind to battle sleep deprivation, unpredictable weather and 40 foot waves which capsized our little boat on one terrifying occasion. Crossing the finish line was sheer madness and as nameless emotions washed over us, we looked at one another knowing that this was a moment that would stay with us forever. Reflecting on 2020, I hope we can all be inspired by the resilience of the human race, getting through the toughest year of our lifetimes by appreciating and celebrating all those little wins.” Hugo Mitchell Heggs, SunGod Ambassador, HMS Oardacious crew.

The HMS Oardacious team aren't done here! Follow their adventures: @hmsoardacious

2. Crossing the Antarctic – Jenny Wordsworth

“So many years of effort and determination went into achieving this lifelong dream, and finally reaching the south pole earlier this year is probably the most surreal thing to have happened to me. I badly injured my leg, and the pain was unbearable as I reached the finish line, but the moment I set eyes on the famous silver barber pole, this pain was temporarily forgotten. I am eternally grateful for this experience, and spending 40+ days in total isolation with no clear idea when the expedition would end was not dissimilar to how 2020 has been for many of us. We’ve all learned some valuable lessons this year, and a favourite quote by Sam Beckett springs to mind: 'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.' ” Jenny Wordsworth, SunGod Ambassador.

We could not be more proud of Jenny and the perseverance she has shown. Follow Jenny's next adventures: @jenny.wordsworth

3. A Silver Medal at the 2020 Youth Olympics – Kirsty Muir

“Getting the call up to represent to GB at the 2020 Youth Olympics was an incredible feeling! I could barely contain my excitement as the comp crept closer and while I was feeling good in the lead up to the event, I didn’t let myself carried away. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself, I just wanted to go out there and land the best run I could, so to come away with silver was beyond my wildest imagination. It’s fueled the hunger in me to train harder and to eventually qualify for the Olympics in the future. 2020 has taught me to be so thankful to have the opportunity to live this incredible lifestyle and make the most of every moment.” Kirsty Muir, SunGod Ambassador.

We're confident that we haven't seen anything yet when it comes to Kirsty Muir... Follow her progress: @kirski12

4. Sailing solo around the world – Pip Hare

"The Vendée Globe is a race I have been dreaming about since I was 16 years old and I am so proud to be here, racing against some of the best skippers in the world. Just being in the ocean alone can be a challenge in itself, but I've always said there's a difference between being alone and feeling lonely - I have a strong support network that I'm grateful for. My main goal is to get round and complete the race. I've also set myself the goal of beating the current female record of 94 days 4 hours and 25 minutes set by Dame Ellen MacArthur in 2001. And, as I enter the Southern Ocean, I am all too aware of how extreme this sport can be and that we still have a long way to go until the end of the race..." Pip Hare, SunGod Ambassador.

Pip's Vendée Globe adventure is still underway, follow her progress: @piphareoceanracing

5. Everesting with a twist - Francis Cade

"I'd never done an outdoor Everest before, but I had done a double Everest indoors, so I wanted to make my first outdoor one a bit more challenging and do it on a BMX… I knew the position on the bike would become uncomfortable towards the end of the challenge, but the worst part was the flat handlebars! I was buzzing when I finished and really pleased with the time I did, 14 hours moving with only two hours of stoppage - ahead of my target. You learn a lot about yourself when you take on a long challenge like this. I'd definitely encourage others to have a go, try out some different types of bikes and see what happens.” Francis Cade, SunGod Ambassador.

See what Francis gets up to next: @francisccade

6. The comeback of the year - Carro Djupsjö

"After destroying my ACL, I had counted out competing at worlds this year. My recovery process was very frustrating and it took so long that I had started to accept that I wouldn’t be competing this year. After two surgeries and 6 days a week in the gym I was so fed up. But, two weeks before the World Championships, something clicked, my knee felt strong, my riding came together, and my head got back in the game! My goal was just to try and throw down the best I could without getting re-injured, so to get a silver medal was incredible! To my physios, my surgeon, my family and my friends who helped me get back here - I owe you a debt of gratitude.” – Carro Djupsjö, SunGod Pro Wakeboarder.

We're stoked that Carro is back out competing at the top of her game! Follow her progress: @wakecarro

7. Campaigning for gender equality in cycling – the Internationelles

"We weren't able to train, meet or travel this year so we came together virtually and conducted our challenges from our own locations around the globe with one common cause, equality. We could have easily sat back and done nothing but that’s not what we’re about! We wanted to do our bit to keep our message of closing the gender gap in cycling at the top of people's minds. The sweetest moment this year was completing our Everesting challenge. The 5 UK based riders got together and we had a fantastic day ticking off this challenge that's become very popular this year! Once again we gained worldwide media coverage for our cause and got to spread the message of equality. We were relieved the pandemic didn't hold us back from making a difference, we just adapted!" Louise Gibson, SunGod Ambassador and Internationelles team captain.

Follow the Internationelles in their campaign to level the scales in cycling: @internationelles

8. ‘Trenching’ for mental health – Chris Hall

“It's an incredibly alarming statistic that in the UK, 13 men take their own lives every day. That's 91 a week. So, I wanted to raise money for mens mental health charity, Movember, and tackle 91 descents of Box Hill to cover the depth of the deepest darkest point on earth, The Mariana Trench, which is 11034 metres. I was pretty nervous of this one to be honest, I’ve done 24 hour races before and I’d just ridden 107 miles every day for the Tour de France, but this one was a bit of an unknown. It was going to be long, it was going to be cold and I knew it was going to hurt. I know 2020 has been a tough year for so many people so I wanted to try and do something that would not only help raise some funds for them, but more importantly encourage conversation, encourage discussion and encourage people to reach out to one another. One little message can change the course of someone's life!” Chris Hall, SunGod Ambassador.

Chris is rarely stationary, watch out for his next charity challenge: @chrishallrides

We're proud of you, our incredible SunGod community. Despite everything, you have continued to win medals, smash PBs, raise thousands for charity and fight for causes close to your hearts. We’re all excited for the year to come and the adventures we will have. But, don’t forget to look back at 2020 and feel inspired by what you have achieved, no matter how small or big!