Ben grew up in the beautiful County of Kent, England, and quickly developed a taste of the outdoor life through the Scouts. He became an Outward Bound Instructor in his twenties, and has since run, kayaked, sailed, mountain biked, climbed and led expeditions across the UK, Europe, Indian Himalayas, New Zealand and the Argentinian Andes.
Ben has also worked in the Emergency Humanitarian Response sector, designed and taught a degree in Rescue and Emergency Management, and led volunteer response teams into Haiti, El Salvador and Northern Kenya. He is currently working as a Learning and Development Consultant and Personal Coach.
As a serving member of the British Army Reserve, he recently returned from an Operational Tour of Afghanistan, which he described as “one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of his life”.
Brought up in the small village of Lymm, near Warrington in the north west of England, Ben was a keen sportsman. He represented his school in Rowing and Cross-Country, and even competed for Manchester in water polo.
After joining the Army at 18, Ben was posted to Germany with 64 Fuel Sqn Royal Logistics Corps, and continued to compete in Cross Country and Alpine Skiing. Ben’s love of a challenge led him to complete his Physical Training Instructor and the All Arms Commando Course prior to trialling for a joint service Antarctica “Spirit of Scott” Expedition.
Ben has served in the Falklands and has undertaken several international exercises and expeditions, including Kenya, Spain, and Germany, where he continued his interest in high altitude trekking, climbing and Nordic Skiing. Ben currently lives near Exmoor, where he regularly mountain bikes, climbs, and runs.
Natalie grew up in the Suburbs of London, England, and spent most of her youth outside climbing trees, beating the boys at sport, or away on camp with the Air Cadets. Having taught herself to play lead guitar she formed her own Metal Band, performing gigs around London till she took herself off to University to become a Physiotherapist.
Natalie has completed two six-month deployments with the British Army Reserve. In 2009 she undertook a Peacekeeping tour with the United Nations where she received the Force Commander’s Commendation for Excellence, and in 2013, Afghanistan. Natalie now has her sights on gaining a commission from Sandhurst.
At 29 Natalie leads a Respiratory Physiotherapy department in outer London as a Clinical Specialist, and is also the Head Physiotherapist for the British Army Royal Logistic Corps Rugby Team. Outside of work this she is a keen climber, runner, mountain biker, mountaineer, and snowboarder who is always looking for the next Adventure.
James was born in the outskirts of London in Sutton, Surrey. Growing up he was always an incredibly active young lad who was never to be seen indoors.
At the age of eleven he joined the air cadets, where he learnt valuable skills and was able to get many hours of flight experience. In his Tuter Light air craft he accomplished the aerobatics course, including take off, landing, loop the loop and even the barrel role.
During high school he competed in every sport available to him, not satisfied unless he mastered every skill.
At the age of twelve he gained his first real insight into outdoor adventure when he joined the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and completed the bronze award by the end of the first summer.
Since his mid-teens he became fascinated with Engineering, and he is now preparing to study Aeronautical Engineering at University… His early days of flight have never left him.
At seventeen James then joined the British Army Reserves, where he proudly served for two years in the Royal Logistic Corps.
With his sights constantly set on his next big challenge, the Patagonian Expedition Race was too tempting not to accept…