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Brendan Leonard

Author of I Hate Running and You Can Too

Brendan Leonard knows a few things about self-discipline, mental toughness, and physical perseverance—as well as defeat. He has completed more than a dozen ultramarathons and marathons, including three of the most difficult 100-mile trail races in America. In 2019, he set out to complete 52 marathon-distance runs in 52 weeks, and survived, while having fun—part of the time. He also lived out of a van for three years, spent weeks camping below the rim of the Grand Canyon, climbed Grand Teton in a day, bicycled across America and Norway’s Lofoten Islands, trekked Italy’s Alta Via routes and the original Haute Route, traversed Wyoming’s Wind River Range and Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo Range by foot, climbed big walls in Zion National Park, and skied off the summits of peaks in Colorado, Washington, and Switzerland.

Brendan is an accomplished adventure writer and masterful storyteller who turns his physical feats, as well as professional experiences working for newspapers, in restaurants, factories, and farm fields, into candid and humor-filled lessons of personal discovery and transformation. He speaks all over the globe about his travels, endeavors, and failures.

Brendan Leonard is a columnist at Outside, contributing editor at Adventure Journal, and his writing has appeared in Runner’s World, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Climbing, Backpacker, Sierra, Alpinist, on, and in dozens of other publications. Award-winning filmmaker and artist, he is also the author of Surviving the Great Outdoors and the coauthor of The Camping Life. He is the creator, which draws more than half a million visitors each year.

Speaking Topics

  • The Big Bang Theory of Extreme Joy: Failure and Personal Evolution
  • How to Stop Making Excuses and Get It Done
  • Make It Till You Make It: Truths About Creating and Storytelling


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