Of Mountains and Minds
Conversation with Sophie Mullins
Sophie Mullins is an Edinburgh-based and plant-powered software engineer and runner. She was good enough to sit down with me just a few days after the 95-mile West Highland Way Race in June, with an impressive array of bumps and bruises, and tell me the story of some pretty sizeable life challenges she’s been through over the past few years. Sophie has a rare disease called Mastocytosis, where the body’s mast cells (a kind of white blood cell) become too active, increasing the risk of...
A conversation with Jamie Aarons
A California native living in the west of Scotland, Jamie has a string of adventures and running achievements behind her, and a few more in the pipeline this year. In 2015, she won the 95-mile West Highland Way and last year she set a course record on the 55-mile Cateran Trail. In 2013, she hiked, skied or snowshoed all 282 of Scotland’s Munros in a single year. She has tackled some monster endurance races and last year developed a rare condition called rhabdomyalysis during a multi-day...
Conversation with Laurie McAllister
Laurie is a blogger, yoga teacher and sober advocate, whose work has been featured in The Guardian, Huffington Post, Look magazine and The Times. Her blog, the skillfully named Girl & Tonic, shares her stories of new found sober-ness, yoga teaching, struggles with depression and all sorts of life stuff in between. Laurie worked in the intense world of media and marketing in London before taking the step to relocate to rural Norfolk and in our conversation we talk about what led to her...
Conversation with Adam Briggs
At the age of 9, Adam was told he would not live to see 18. Born a blue baby, he had over 60 operations growing up and grew so ill that he was confined to a wheelchair, with his heart working at a fraction of its capacity. A tragedy for another little boy and another family led to a successful heart transplant for Adam and following the operation and recovery, Adam discovered trail running a little later in life, throwing himself in head first to the Lakeland trails on his doorstep. In...
Conversation with Michaelagh Broadbent
This episode digs into the story of Michaelagh Broadbent, her family and her writing. Michaelagh is an American-born writer based in Edinburgh, wife to Harry and mother to two beautiful boys aged five and two. In 2009, at 25, Harry was diagnosed with a grade three malignant brain tumour and in a matter of weeks had brain surgery and radiotherapy, being told the tumour was life limiting. They got married and had their first child, Harry junior, and five and a half years later, in 2016, the...
Conversation with Ben Page
Ben Page is an award-winning filmmaker and adventurer, with a shining talent for solo-powered travel, self-sufficiency and capturing corners of the world on camera to share with others. In 2014, he set off around the world on a bike, travelling for three years and filming his journey. His film The Frozen Road, which follows his highs and lows of cycling through the vast and frozen Yukon Territory, caught the imagination of many thousands around the world when it was featured in mountain...
Conversation with Damian Hall
Here I talk with Damian Hall. Damian is an elite-level endurance runner, outdoor journalist and writer as well as a husband and Dad to two little ones. He was challenged to run his first ultra-marathon as part of his job and discovered a talent for lumpy and lengthy trail races. His approach to exploring his own potential in racing is inspiring; since taking on the notoriously brutal Spine Race – an ultra running the 268-mile Pennine Way in mid-winter - for the first time, he made it his...
Caroline and Caroline: an introduction to Of Mountains and Minds
I'm Caroline McKay, host of the new podcast Of Mountains and Minds with side habits in ultra running and adventure. This is a conversation with my lovely friend Caroline Wills, as an introduction to why I'm starting this project and an honest chat about our backgrounds, passions, struggles and ambitions in life, with a few laughs thrown in. Listen in as we delve into a few issues on our minds and those that we feel we need to talk about more in this country, as well as chat about our own...
Conversation with Ruari Fairbairns
Here Ruari Fairbairns shares his story, and it's one incredible path. Ruari grew up on the Isle of Mull on the west coast of Scotland and struggled hard with ADHD and suicidal tendencies through his teen years, which were also fuelled by heavy drinking, partying and in his own words feeling like a ‘fruit loop’. After setting up several businesses, Ruari fell into commodities trading in London, living a life of business success accompanied by playing hard to real excess, and all the fallout...
Conversation with Giles Ruck
Today we meet Giles Ruck. Giles has some incredible stories to share. He’s an accomplished mountaineer, ski mountaineer, endurance runner and International Mountain Leader, and if that doesn’t make you tired then his day job heading up a community foundation might, through which he travels all over Scotland. In 2011 he summited Everest and has also climbed Ama Dablam, Aconcagua, Mont Blanc and the highest active volcano in the world, Ojos del Salado in the Andes. Sometimes he runs – he’s...