Endurance Athlete, Inspirational Speaker, co-founder Her Trails and Relief Run co-founder, AIA Vitality Ambassador, World Vision Goodwill Ambassador, Mother.
Samantha Gash is an accomplished lawyer turned endurance athlete and social impact leader. Her philosophy, “if you want something you’ve never had – you must be willing to do something you’ve never done,” has fuelled her remarkable journey of pushing mental and physical boundaries, creating lasting impact, and inspiring others to do the same.
Samantha is a trailblazer in the endurance world, having completed numerous gruelling challenges that push her mental and physical boundaries. She has also demonstrated her ability to create and lead high-performing teams that will go to the edge of the world to make a positive impact.
She was the first woman and youngest person at the time to complete Racing the Planet’s 4 Deserts Grandslam – 4 x 250km desert ultramarathons in the driest, windiest, hottest, and coldest deserts on earth.
Since then, she’s utilised her endurance capabilities to drive social impact initiatives, such as running across South Africa to raise awareness about the high cost of feminine hygiene products for women in sub-Saharan Africa and embarking on a 77-day run across India to raise funds and awareness for World Vision’s education programs in India.
Samantha’s resilience and ability to navigate chaos and change have also been on full display in her recent endeavours. She engaged over 18,000 people from over 78 countries to raise funds and run for the 2020 bushfire relief efforts and to support Indians during their second deadly wave of Covid-19 in 2021. Most recently, she embarked on a 50-day unsupported traverse of Nepal’s Great Himalaya Trail, covering 1,000kms and climbing over 50,000m through some of the most remote passes in the world. The project titled Resilience in Motion supported vulnerable women and girls in rural Nepal through funding access to education, financial and digital literacy programs via World Vision.
Samantha’s accomplishments are not limited to endurance sports and social impact initiatives. She is also the founder of Her Trails, a global adventure platform for women delivering online holistic trail running programs and in-person immersive retreats. She uses her experiences to cultivate resilience, interconnectedness, and creativity in individuals and teams, inspiring them to take on challenges and achieve their goals.
As a highly regarded international speaker, Samantha uses authentic storytelling and dramatic documentary footage to share her journey and inspire others to pursue their passions, embrace discomfort, and create positive change. She is a compelling change leader who guides teams through managing industry disruption and learning to become comfortable in discomfort in an engaging and memorable way. Samantha’s relentless pursuit of her goals, her willingness to take risks, and her commitment to making a positive impact on the world make her a truly remarkable individual and a powerful corporate speaker.
Samantha has been twice recognised as a finalist in the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards. She has been selected as a delegate for the Australia India Youth Dialogue, and was also nominated for a Pride of Australia Medal. She is a Goodwill ambassador for World Vision and is a proud AIA Vitality Ambassador – a personalised, science-backed health and wellbeing program that supports every day Australians to make healthier lifestyle choices. She was a competitor on the TV show Survivor where she met her partner Mark Wales. They welcomed Harry, their first child, in 2018.
- First female and youngest person to complete Racing the Planet’s 4 Deserts Grand Slam in one calendar year (2010)
- A 379km solo (supported) non-stop run across the Simpson Desert in Australia (2012)
- A 3253km, 77-day run from the west to east of India (2016)
- A 250km, multi-stage race in Nepal – 2nd female, 9th overall (2011)
- Beast of Burden 50 miles (NY, USA) – 1st female, 2nd overall in a time of 8:12 (2015)
- 3 Marathons in 3 Days (Cairns) –1st female, 4th overall (2015)
- Surf Coast Marathon – 2nd female (2014)
- Clif Bar 10 Peaks Lake District Race (2013)
- Raised close to $200,000 to support six education initiatives through World Vision (2016)
- Co-founder of Freedom Runners, raising $50,000 for a social enterprise business that will employ and train young women in South Africa on women’s health issues (2014)
- Raised $30,000 for Save The Children early education scheme (2012)
- Worked for three months on a death-row case in Houston, Texas with the Gulf Region Advocacy Center (GRACE). (2010)
- Ambassador for the Bali Hope Ultra – a social impact race that supports education programs in Bali. (2018, 2019)
- Pride of Australia Medal nominee (2012)
- Two-time NAB Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards finalist (2014 and 2016)
- League of Extraordinary Women National Crusader (2010-2013)
- Run Melbourne Ambassador (2017)
- Inspirational Ambassador for education organisation Impossible2Possible (ongoing)
- Nutrition Plus patron (ongoing)