Leicester

Rutland rower Sarah Outen sets off on world adventure

A record-breaking Rutland adventurer has set off on her latest challenge - a 20,000-mile trip around the globe.

Sarah Outen, 25, will follow a route across land and sea travelling only by kayak, bicycle and rowing boat.

Her solo trip started earlier at Tower Bridge, London, and is expected to take two-and-a-half years to complete.

During this time she will travel across three continents and two oceans, burning up to 8,000 calories a day and sleeping in a small tent by night.

The idea for "London2London: via the World" came to Sarah during her expedition rowing across the Indian Ocean in 2009.

"It was born out of just really loving and enjoying travelling by human power. You get a unique perspective on the world and nature and wildlife," she said.

Dangerous waters

Ms Outen rowed 12 miles (19km) a day through 30 ft (nine metre) waves and shark-infested waters to become the first woman and youngest person to row solo across the Indian Ocean.

Her experiences have made her fully aware of the dangers she could face in her latest challenge - from bear attacks in China, to capsizing in the Pacific Ocean.

"When you say goodbye on a trip like this you hug your loved-ones tightly, with the knowledge you might not hug them again," she said.

Her older brother Mike admitted he was anxious for her safety, but added he had absolute faith in her abilities.

"After our Dad's untimely and sudden death in 2006, I have felt as though it is now my responsibility to look after my mother and two siblings, which is a hard thing to do with a sister like Sarah," he said.

"Her passion for adventure and challenge is second to none and I am sure it runs through her veins instead of blood."

Determined spirit

Ms Outen credits her father as her biggest inspiration.

She said: "Dad was an unstoppable force. He was courageous, determined and stubborn in his fight to keep going through the trials and setbacks of operations and illness."

She will not return home at any point during the expedition, but family members and friends hope to fly out at various points to catch up with the adventurer.

She plans to regularly upload videos and blogs from her trip, with a focus on producing educational resources for children and raising money for four charities.

"I hope to share this expedition with schools around the world. This is more than just my journey, it is for everyone," she said.

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