Who are you?
Aisling Bowman, Irish, Dublin born, living in the UK 30 years now. Based Aldeburgh, Suffolk.
Wife to Rory, mother of 3 girls, former Olympian (Sailor – Seoul ’88 & Atlanta ’96)
What’s your inspiration for taking on such an epic challenge?
After spending time running after children and a spell of breast cancer I suddenly began to feel better and wanted to get fit, have more energy and become myself again. I wanted a significant challenge that I could plan for and work towards methodically tracking progress as the event approaches.
Why Everest in the Alps?
We are very good friends with the Ritchies who were the founders of EIA and know several people who have completed the challenge over the past few years.
Have you ever done anything like this before?
No – but I have been a full time athlete for many years while campaigning for the Olympics and other events. I have never ski toured and am not a champion skier but I have been assured that I will manage!!
How are you tackling the training?
Although I had been relatively active over the years I lost a lot of strength and fitness over the 18 months when I was ill so I knew I needed some help to get back on track. I am under a team at The Running School (@runningschool) based in Acton who have brought me from a pretty low base to where I am now – focusing on building strength, activating the right muscle groups etc specifically with ski touring in mind. From October we will be moving into a new phase working to build endurance. The programme runs 6 days a week.
What scares you about the event?
I am worried about the cold on my fingers and toes if the weather is severe – years of sailing in freezing conditions when I was young has left them damaged.
What are you most looking forward to?
The process of getting fit enough to complete a challenge like this excites me. I am also looking forward to having a new skill and using my new found ski touring experience to enjoy the mountains in a new way. I hear the after party is pretty good too!!!!