Rob served in the military for 25 years until he was medically discharged with depression and PTSD in 2016. While his father was fighting cancer, Rob started running ultra-marathons. Unfortunately, his father passed away but not before Rob made one simple vow, that every time he got breathless, like those suffering with lung cancer do, he would make it count and raise money for charity. He set himself a challenge of running what are reputed to be the toughest, highest,and coldest foot races in the world.
The battle with depression has been one big constant struggle for Rob. The dark places his mind takes him has ultimately cost him many things: from relationships to a job he wanted to do since he was 8 years old. As a result, he hit his lowest point in 2013 and ended up in a mental hospital, after attempting to end his own life.
However, throughout all this Rob continued on his running challenge. In 2011, Rob went and completed the Marathon des Sables, added the Everest Marathon in 2013, and finished in April 2018 quite literally on top of the world with the North Pole Marathon.
Rob is a high functioning depressive who has used what he has learnt from running in the extremes to help him cope with his depression. He applies the same basic principles of preparing for an extreme running event as he does to managing his life. Rob now runs every single day. In 2018, he started track running, he is finding running 1500m in a respectable time as much as a challenge as running an ultra-marathon. But, overall Rob just loves to be able to run, it has given him so much.
More on Rob
Rob classes himself as a normal person who has done some very extraordinary things. Brought up on a council estate in Cheshire, Rob has always set himself incredibly high goals. From the age of eight Rob set his heart on becoming an Army Officer. His determination and good nature saw him gain a degree, pass out from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, lead men on operations and become a Chartered Engineer all by the age of twenty seven. However, after then Rob describes the rest of career as the “wilderness years”.
It was not until his father was dying of lung cancer that Rob faced the reality that he himself was not well and sought help for depression. Through his treatment and his love for running, Rob started to make sense of his world. Through this journey Rob has learnt many lessons that he gets across in his presentations.
What the audience can expect
Rob has the ability to draw audiences in with his personal and matter of fact style. He will take you through some of the symptoms of his depression, and what it actually is like when Rob feels his life is spiralling out of control. He talks about the large amount preparation he goes through to get ready for events such like the Marathon des Sables, the Everest Marathon and the North Pole Marathon. He will then explain how doing these events, and taking himself to the extreme has helped him learn about his mental illness. Rob hopes that his example will encourage people to be more open about their mental health by through his thought provoking and inspiring presentation. Rob has a cheerful, honest and hardworking approach to life that comes across in the way he presents.