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Adventurer, MotivationalSpeaker,BrandAmbassador

On the 27th December 2013, Maria Leijerstam became the first person in the world to cycle from the edge of the Antarctic continent to the South Pole and also set the new World Record for the fastest human powered coast to pole traverse, completing her journey in 10 days, 14hrs and 56 minutes.
Maria spent four years planning, creating, training and preparing for this double world record and built a winning team, drove the project from concept to delivery, pushed through extreme mental and physical barriers and achieved the unthinkable.

"The White Ice cycle was about modernising polar travel. It was about being creative, being smart and being first". Maria does not believe in following in the footsteps of others.

Besides her polar journey she was also the first woman to complete the Black Ice Race in Siberia in 2012, coming second overall. She has run the Marathon des Sables and raced on the World Series Adventure Racing circuit over the last seven years.

Maria has a wealth of knowledge in expedition planning, event management and physical training. She now runs her own sport event business and previously has 10 years experience as a Business Improvement Consultant for a range of multi-national companies. She has travelled extensively, immersing herself into cultures along the way.

Past Speaking Engagements


Maria has spoken about her adventures across a wide sector of audiences such as adventure groups, youngsters, students, business personnel and sport clubs.

Approximately 50 events to date including Porstmouth University, Cardiff Explorers and the Wilderness Lectures.


Maria's Talks include:

The White Ice Cycle – World’s first cycle to the South Pole


Aim higher than your neighbour  – it’s a world of competition


Success of a World First record is all in the planning


21st century modernisation at the bottom of the world



TEDx Cardiff

Maria speaks with great passion and humility and addresses the audience in an engaging and entertaining manner. She combines humour with the more serious matters of physical pain and mental stamina needed to achieve such incredible feats.

If you would like to book Maria for a speaking event, or for more information click on the booking enquiry below.

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