SAMANTHA GASH – Ultra-marathon runner, Speaker, Podcast Host and Social Impact Champion
Nothing can stop Samantha Gash armed with the philosophy, if you want something you’ve never had – you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.
An accomplished lawyer working for the largest international law firm in the world, Samantha traded in her heels for running shoes and went out to change the world through highly collaborative social impact campaigns. With true grit, unrelenting focus and the willingness to create the next best plan in the face of chaos and change, she has created lasting impact.
Samantha was the first woman and the youngest person at the time, to complete the Four Deserts Grand Slam – one of the world’s toughest endurance competitions that spans 1000kms across the hottest, coldest, driest and windiest deserts on earth.
After years of pushing her mental and physical boundaries she now uses running as a vehicle for social change through advocacy; peer to peer fundraising and integrated digital campaigns. Sam has now raised $1.4 million dollars for charities through running & social impact campaigns.
In 2016, she became a Goodwill Ambassador for World Vision and used her growing platform and endurance experience to raise awareness of the barriers to quality education for Indian children. 3200kms, 77 days and $150K later, she did just that.
In 2014, Samantha co-founded Freedom Runners – an initiative that combined a fundraising and awareness campaign around the high cost of feminine hygiene products for women in Sub-Saharan Africa and its link to female absenteeism in school. Over 32 days she ran
1,968kms across South Africa’s rugged Freedom Trail, navigating her way through river crossings, mountain ranges, thick bamboo and wildlife. $55K was raised for a Save the Children initiative.
She is featured in two award winning documentaries – Desert Runners and Run India; was a delegate for the Australia and India Youth Dialogue conference; has a publishing contract with Macmillan; is a Global Ambassador for Lululemon; is a Pride of Australia nominee and finalist in the Women’s Agenda leadership awards in the Agenda Setter and Inspirational Leaders category.
Samantha and her husband will feature in Bear Gryll’s new 10-part series on Amazon Prime called ‘The World’s Toughest Race’. A 700km extreme adventure race in Fiji that took place in September 2019 where Samantha led a team of three men.
In 2020 Samantha launched:
- The Relief Run campaign – a virtual run supporting the Australian Red Cross bushfire relief efforts. Utilising social media and an e-commerce platform, she raised over $1 million dollars in 12 days from 19,000 registered participants in 67 countries on every continent in the planet.
- The Sam Gash Podcast – hosting conversations with rule breakers, trail blazers – those who pave their own lane. It has reached over 25,000 downloads and guests have included: Emelie Forsberg, Mark Healey, Dean Karnazes, James Lawrence, Nick Butter & Ray Zahab.
- Her Youtube Channel which will be a hub for inspiration, running insights, mindset strategies and adventure tips.
Samantha uses authentic storytelling and dramatic documentary footage to share her journey through life.
She is an inspiring change leader and will guide your team through managing industry disruption and learning to become comfortable in the discomfort in an engaging and memorable way
Passion, Purpose and Process
How can you link something you are passionate about for a purpose outside of yourself through a process of focus, leadership and collaboration? Samantha outlines her methodology in being able to push her body and mind through some of the most extreme environments. Practical tips will show you how to develop motivation and create wins by following a passion, with a purpose.
Execution – where the (shoe) rubber hits the road.
Dreaming big is important – doing is always the hard bit. Learn about the planning, risk mitigation, and continual failures that plagued Sam’s planning from well before Day 1. Learn about the importance of cultural recognition, and framing of setbacks.
A Story About Life Beyond the Comfort Zone
Find the values, risks and benefits of a life outside your comfort zone – illustrated by Samantha’s example of crossing India. True growth lies in pushing your boundaries – Samantha explains what can make you – and break you – on the paths that lie outside your comfort zone.
Composure and resilience under duress.
Find out Samantha’s formulae for maintaining clear team goals in extreme, and sometimes dangerous settings. The ultimate lesson on leading (and following) in chaos.
Successful Teams – Building and Leading a Highly Functional Team
Identifying and empowering your ‘support team’ can be the key in enabling you to achieve goals outside of your comfort zone. Find out how Samantha created a world class ‘misfit’ team of non-runners, family, friends, and mavericks that supported her push to world record runs. Diversity, hilarity and hi-jinks were ever present in these endeavours, and you might find some gems in her approach to team building.
Samantha challenges peoples assumptions about their mindset limitations. Offering practice examples of how to exceed their capabilities and achieve outstanding goals.
Samantha uses her 3000km from the West to the East of India as an example of how to combine purpose, passion and process to create sustainable and impactful change.