© Colin Clarke
In 2017, Jacqui Bell hit rock bottom after enduring a downward spiral that included breaking multiple bones and becoming addicted to prescription pain killers. Struggling to find a reason to get out of bed, she signed up for a crazy challenge that would change the direction of her life – to complete four multi-day ultramarathons across the world’s most inhospitable deserts, from the Namibian Desert to Antarctica, the Atacama Desert and the Gobi Desert.
With just eight months to train, Jacqui threw herself into the world of ultrarunning and at the age of 23, became the youngest woman to finish Racing the Planet’s Four Deserts Grand Slam. Since then, Jacqui, who is an Ultra X pro athlete, has become the youngest person in the world to run an ultramarathon on all seven continents. I caught up with her via email to find out more about how it all came about.