Hard As Nails is a weekly podcast produced by Outsider.ie. We interview some of the most hardcore people on the planet to find out what makes them tick and how the hell they keep on going as they take on epic challenges.
Mike O'Shea: From Hollywood Movies to Ice Caps
Mike O'Shea hails from Co Kerry and he is quite literally AS HARD AS NAILS. This man has climbed remote peaks and trekked across ice caps in temperates as low as -50 degrees.
Here Mike tells us why he takes on these mammoth challenges and about some of the incredible incidents along the way. A really incredible insight into Polar Expeditions and adventure.
From Zero to Hero: How Brian Maher Became an Accomplished Endurance Athlete
When Brian Maher told his family he wanted to run the marathon they all burst out laughing. At the time, Brian struggled to run just 1km. However, determined to prove his family wrong, Brian put on his trainers and hit the pavement to train for his big day. A year later, Brian completed five marathons in 5 days. A year later he ran 126 miles non-stop. Fast forward ten years and Brian has shown no sign of slowing down. He recently completed a 10km swim across Dublin Bay.
So far, Brian has raised a whopping €70,000 for Speical Olympics. Here he tells us how he went from zero to hero and what drives him to take on these long endurance challenges.
Rob Cummins: From Smoking 60 a Day to Competing at Kona
Rob Cummins was a difficult teenager. He smokes, drank and liked to cause trouble. By the time he hit his 20s, he was smoking up to 60 cigarettes a day.
Life took a major turn when he bought a mountain bike and realised he quite enjoyed the pain of competing. And there really has been no stopping him ever since. Rob tells us all about his journey from his teenage years to competing at the Ironman World Championships at Kona and offers some valuable advice along the way.
Claire McCluskey & Nick Russell: The Rookies Who Sailed the Atlantic
Rookies Claire McCluskey and Nick Russell recently sailed across the Atlantic. The idea was hatched over a few pints in the pub. The only thing standing between them and the adventure was the fact that neither of them had huge experience of offshore sailing! But that wasn't enough to stand in their way. The duo took on courses and dedicated three years to prepare for their voyage. Here they tell us all about their epic adventure.
Richard Nunan: Juggling Ultra Marathons, Family and Work
Columbia Sportswear athlete, Richard Nunan, is one of Ireland's top endurance athletes. He has completed the Wicklow Round, competed at the Adventure Racing World Championships and is a regular on the Irish mountain running scene.
On 27 August, Columbia Sportswear athlete Richard Nunan and his teammates, Thure Fuhrmann and Zoran Škrba, embarked on one of the toughest foot races in Europe. The Petite Trotte à Léon, or the PTL, as it is more commonly known, is an epic 300km running race around Mont Blanc that takes on a whopping 28,000 metres of climbing.
Teams of two or three have to complete the course – which is entirely self-navigated – in under 151 hours, hitting strict cut-off times along the way. Only 300 people take part in this race every year, all of whom have serious mountaineering credentials. Sleep deprivation, changing weather conditions, near impossible navigation and gruelling terrain all add to the challenge.
Richard tells us all about this epic race and how he juggles his passion for competing in multi-day endurance events with fatherhood, marriage and a full-time job to boot!
Karen Darke: Ain't Nothing Going to Hold Her Back
Karen Darke was a keen runner, climber and orienteer when she fell off a cliff and became paralysed from the chest down at age 21.
However, this life-changing accident did not quell her passion for adventure. With the help of friends and in a large part thanks to her creativity and perseverance, Karen discovered that most things are still possible, and has since led an extraordinary life.
Karen has taken on some epic adventures that include climbing El Capitan in Yosemite, handbiking in the Himalayas and a ski traverse of Greenland. In addition to all of that Karen is also a full-time athlete with the British Para-Cycling Team. She was a silver-medallist in the London 2012 Paralympics and became Paralympic Champion in the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
Here she tells her incredible story.
Interesting insight to endurance athletes
Great to hear the stories behind some of the craziest athletes on earth! Looking forward to the next instalment...
Brilliant new podcast
Great podcast from the outsider team. Inspiring interviews with some amazing Irish athletes, looking forward to the next ep!!