Rosie Swale-Pope – A Living Legend of Wales

Rosie Swale-Pope
Photo courtesy Rosie Swale-Pope

Possibly the most famous female adventurer to come from Wales, Rosie Swale-Pope who, after sailing around the world with her family and then sailing across the Atlantic on her own, set out to walk around Wales in September 1987. Carrying everything she needed,  Rosie covered 1,375 miles (2,213 km) on foot and wrote about her experiences in a book, Winter Wales.

This was the beginning of a career that saw Rosie, after running the Marathon des Sables in 1995, Run across Cuba (over 1,000 miles), Across Nepal in April 2003, (1,060 miles establishing a new world-record time of 68 days) set her sights on the ultimate challenge.

When her second husband, Clive, 73, died of prostate cancer in 2002, Rosie decided to run around the world to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Charity and an orphanage in Kitezh, Russia which provides children with education and care. Her aim was to run around the northern hemisphere taking in as much land mass as possible, with no support crew and just minimal supplies and sponsorship.

Starting from her home town of Tenby in Wales on her 57th birthday, 2 October 2003, pulling a cart Rosie she returned to her home on 25 August 2008 after an incredible journey which she documented in her book “Just a Little Run Around the World: 5 Years, 3 Packs of Wolves and 53 Pairs of Shoes”, which was released on 28 May 2009.

Difficult to top that amazing effort but Rosie, now 70, is relentless in raising money for charity and causes that touch her heart. In October 2015 Rosie began crossing the USA setting out from New York finally reaching the Ocean at Long Beach, California, December 27th 2016.

pilgrim banditsI recently asked Rosie what she was up to and she says “I am busy writing my book BUT – have to run! And so doing shorter runs – next runs as follows:

  1. First setting off this Thursday to run from London to Brighton pulling my cart with all my needs! In aid of the Pilgrim Bandit war veterans.
  2. Returning to US where I have so many friends – to undertake another 3 marathons in 3 days pulling my load in aid of DAV.
  3. Early next year running from London to Berlin.
Rosie_swale-pope and her jogpod Slickchick
Rosie Swale-Pope and Slickchick

On her facebook page Rosie posted a few days ago:-
“To clarify! Running in Britain from London to Brighton for the Pilgrim Bandit – starting. Vv slowly with Slick (Slickchick is Rosies “jogpod” a cart with all her gear and in which she sleeps) on 25 August which is the anniversary of the day I got back from my run around the world. Then hopefully going back to Texas in October as if ok with ya’ll. I would love to run from Albany to Dallas Fort Worth for the DAV – Disabled American Veterans but supporting BOTH of these wonderful charities in my heart on both my forthcoming little runs😍😍😍.”

You can support Rosies efforts at

Wikipedia: Rosie Swale-Pope MBE
Why This Grandmother Is Running 3,000 Miles Solo To ‘Find America’
Grandmother, 70, finishes run across America in Long Beach
Facebook: Rosie Swale-Pope
Website: Rosie Swale-Pope
Runners World Podcast: Episode 20: Rosie

About Abichal 40 Articles
I believe ultrarunning can be and is, for many people, a transformative experience. I hope to inspire and encourage runners from all levels of abilities to stretch themselves and discover what they truly are capable of achieving in the running world. To that end we produce a free online magazine, Ultrarunning World, from material produced mostly by ultrarunners from around the globe offering insight and experience from all kinds of ultras and multidays.

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