Rosie Swale-Pope, 61, will soon arrive back in Wales after running around the world to raise money for charity. This week she arrived in Scotland from Iceland.
Jezebel (in a category Fleet-footed Femmes): British Grandma Is Literally Running Around The World
Despite frostbite, double pneumonia, a breast cancer scare, and nearly 30 marriage proposals from miscellaneous strangers, Rosie Swale-Pope, 61, is only a few hundred miles from completing her 20,000 mile around the world journey. She started out in 2003 at her home in Wales after the death of her husband from prostate cancer, reports the Times of London, and has subsequently run across the continents, and sailed the intervening oceans. Of her 29 marriage proposals, the self-effacing Rosie says, “I think most of them were simply because I looked strong and handy for hauling logs and things. I had nine in Poland alone.”
This isn’t Swale’s first time in the press for her death-defying feats. In the ’70s, she made headlines for yachting around the world — and sailing through the Caribbean in her birthday suit. Her more recent round-the-world trip will land her in the Guinness Book of World Records, and included two filling-cracking winters in Siberia.
On Rosie’s own website there are lots of photos (from which I created the montage above), a journal of her trip of and a moving biography page. Having sailed the world’s oceans when younger, Rosie decided she wanted to get up close to the world’s landmass in the same way, and that she should do it now because her husband’s death showed her that putting plans off can mean missing out altogether.
On 2nd October 2003 my 57th birthday, I’m going to set off to run around the world. Making my dream come true and practical necessity, go together. I shall be solo, self supporting and on a very low budget. I couldn’t afford back up teams, luxury, or flights to different continent and stages across wide oceans.
My dearest wish anyway, is just to do a complete circle of the earth, planned to keep me on as much land mass as possible, This is also the coldest, hardest, most fascinating way, and includes almost 7,000 miles of Russia and Siberia. I shall go across Europe through Holland, Germany, Poland and Moscow, before hitting the Trans Siberian Railway route. Then go on to the Bering Straits, Alaska, America, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Scotland and England, before returning to the start and finishing line at Tenby, my home in Wales. It will be my world voyage on two feet.
The charities Rosie was raising awareness and money for during her trip are these:
The Prostate Cancer Charity, The Siberian Railway Cancer Hospital at Omsk. The Kitezh Community for Orphan Children Orphanage, the hope of the future of European Russia through its children. The Nepal Trust that achieves so much with almost no money, in the Hidden Himalayas.
Her son has been keeping her website updated with her reports of her trip. I’ve only dipped in to the latest entries, but I’ll be back to read more of how she went at the beginning and what adventures she had along the way. Hooray for Rosie!
Hat tip to Stephan.