Meeting Jenny Tough
If you ever wanted to find Jenny Tough then you'd probably be best to start in the mountains. Jenny spends her time exploring the world via human power. Her ongoing project is to run across a mountain range on every continent, however when she's not running across mountains she can be found on her bike.
Jenny will be lining up in Burgas, Bulgaria for her second attempt at the TransContinental race. Her first attempt ended with illness and a scratch so she back with a point to prove.
We caught up with Jenny before the TCR kicked off to find out a bit more about her and expectations for the Transcontinental Race.
Tell us briefly about what influenced you to live the life of adventure?
I was really lucky to have parents who believed in following your passion, not the status quo. They taught me to think creatively about how you live your life and make things work for you. Growing up in the Canadian Rockies, I've always been attached the outdoors and seeking adventure in new places. So I followed that passion, and it's lead to some incredible places and memories around the world and a life that equally scares and excited me most days.
You have spent plenty of time travelling over the past years, what is your favourite spot (if you can narrow it down!), and why?
I could really never pick a single place. I'm always excited and motivated by what's around the next corner, so I rarely go back to places as I have too many places still to discover. I do have a deep love for mountains, and always feel at 'home' in them, even if they're mountains I've never been to before.
As well as cycling you undertake long distance journeys by foot. What differences do you feel there are between cycling and running, does it give you the same travel experience?
Running is so simple, pure, and innate. There are no mechanicals... just serious blisters. There is nothing between me and the earth. But while I'm running, I miss my bike (and vice versa). They're each fun in different ways and offer different ways of exploring trails and roads around the world. They're also both a common language with the cultures you move through- almost everyone in the world uses bicycles to get around and definitely everyone understands running, so I've found them both a great way to connect in the small places I move through.
TCR no7 will be your second attempt after suffering from illness in TCR no5. What motivates you to come back to TCR and what are your expectations for the ride?
TCRno5 was a huge disappointment, and the first time I've ever had to walk away from something and leave it unfinished. I think that really hurt my confidence, so coming back for TCRno7 is purely a race between me and that disappointment. I dont have any expectations for the ride, I just want to put in a clean run and get there. All I really care about is seeing my name on GC, I don't care how far down the list it is!
Tell us a little bit about your bike and equipment setup. Are there any pieces of equipment that you wouldn’t go without? And are there any pieces of equipment that you’d take on both a bike and a running adventure?
I'm riding a Shand Rizello, its made from steel, is light and comfortable. I know some people will take heavy risks with kit for a race like the TCR, but I like to know that I can take care of myself if I get caught out so I'll be bringing bivvy kit and the right layers for when the Alps come, along with tools and tubes and all that. Doing fast and light expeditions on foot in extreme environments, I've really dialled in the pieces of equipment I trust so I do tend to use the same things a lot. I've selected a yellow spork for this adventure.
Finally what would you say to someone who is thinking of taking on a long journey, or race for the first time? Any tips or words of encouragement?
You're tougher than you think you are. Buy a decent jacket and go for it.
Jenny will be riding TCR on a Shand Rizello kitted out with HUNT Carbon Dynamo Wheels. You can follow her progress on her instagram @jennytough or watch one of her adventure videos on her Youtube channel