Martyn Thornton, keynote speaker from our recent Power20 Summit, is an endurance athlete who undertakes sporting challenges that test him both mentally and physically. Originally from Yorkshire, he now lives with his wife and Jack Russell terrier in the Cotswolds. As a 61-year-old businessman and part time adventurer, Martyn doesn’t let age stop him from achieving his goals. In 2017 he hiked solo from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail, enduring the worst snow conditions in 30 years. He averaged 20+ miles per day, completing 2,667 miles in 5 months! This incredible achievement cultivated his mindset; “I see myself as a conventional and ordinary man who just happens to believe that you can do whatever you really want to – you just have to believe you can”
He is now set to embark on his biggest challenge yet, to beat the world record for rowing the Atlantic solo as a 60+ year old male.
In December 2020 Martyn will row solo across the Atlantic Ocean from La Gomera in the Canary Isles to Antigua. This 3000-mile journey is one of the most physically and mentally challenging. Martyn will need to endure the extremes of the ocean, drawing on every ounce of his resilience and spirit. The boat itself is a 25ft ocean rowing boat which will have to be loaded with enough food, supplies and equipment to last the entire trip.
How do you prepare for such a feat? The answer is by pairing the right equipment with the right coping mechanism. Martyn believes that the most important piece of equipment will be his water maker, a device that turns sea water into drinking water. Physical preparation involves high intensity interval training, with a view to extend his stamina and endurance whilst building up strength in his legs so that they will be able to cope with the stress.
Martyn’s motivation is to raise awareness and education around the issue of mental health. In the UK, suicide remains the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49. In Martyn’s teens and early twenties, he struggled with severe depression, however after finding support and encouragement through exercise, therapy and coaching he was able to cope and overcome it. Martyn now wants to raise awareness and encourage those in a similar situation to seek help.
“What I learnt from my depression is that everyone has unfulfilled potential. Now I am making up for lost time and realising my potential through these types of challenges.”
He is hoping to raise £50,000 for the UK based charity Horseheard. The charity uses the powerful connection horses have with humans to promote positive emotional health and resilience outcomes for children, young people and ex-service personnel in need.
Martyn is currently on the lookout for sponsorship to help him with his latest challenge. Current sponsors include Gloucester rowing club, Nutritionx and us here at Concirrus! Learn more about becoming a sponsor here, or if you’re looking to support his journey through donations, you can join the £250 club!