Oliver Dudley is an ‘Everyman’ adventurer who has tackled world records in ocean rowing and ultra-distance running. This is despite being a novice at both sports. He says his success down to him having an unshakable passion and unwavering determination. And that he is proof that ordinary people can do extraordinary things if they ‘think possible’.
About Oliver Dudley
Oliver Dudley says his ‘Think Possible’ philosophy is behind his astounding successes as a novice runner and rower. He has a particular passion for encouraging young people to make the most of opportunities. Oliver’s key messages are built on his experiences of teamwork, personal leadership, planning, embracing change and risk. He motivates others to go beyond their self-limiting beliefs and to ‘Think Possible’: a mantra and belief for our times.
Oliver Dudley was part of the 14-man crew aboard La Mondiale in 2008. During this epic adventure he rowed for 2 hours on, 2 hours off, for 33 days across the Atlantic breaking the 16 year old Guinness World Record. No mean feat as this record had withstood 60 previous challenges. In 2009, Oliver joined a small team of runners to attempt 7 ultra marathons on 7 continents 7 days. (He’d never run a marathon before.) As Sir Ranulph Fiennes put it this was a ‘great achievement – a success made all the more remarkable by their background as novice runners. This accomplishment demonstrates what can be done with proper planning, hard work and self belief.’
He does not call himself an athlete, rarely visits the gym, doesn’t have any particular outdoor training or skills, and no military training – but he believes if you ‘think possible’ you can leave your comfort zones, navigate fear, embrace change and start out in a new direction. Oliver’s ‘think possible’ philosophy was forged out of a turbulent childhood and a series of setbacks as a young adult (including breaking his neck when he was a promising Rugby Union player).
In January 2008, the Atlantic World Record row drew acclaim for the crew from all quarters. Gordon Brown wrote to the team, saying ‘your achievement in an inspiration to millions of people around the world.’ Finishing in 33 days and 7½ hours in January 2008, this was an astonishing feat given that they rowed in a second-hand boat and drifted backwards for 3 days whilst battling 30ft waves in a tropical storm.
In March 2009, Oliver organised and competed in the 777 Challenge – the world’s first attempt to run 7 ultra-marathons (50km) in 7 consecutive days on all 7 continents. In March 2009, two of his team set a new world record of 6 days, 23 hours and 40 minutes Oliver finished just 26 hours later – having been hospitalised in Johannesburg prior to starting the sixth run. Not one to be easily defeated, Oliver stayed behind alone to complete the 50km the following day. He re-visited hospital upon landing in London, losing even more time, but when given all clear completed the last of the seven 50km runs in London. The event had wide media coverage, including news channels on Channel 4, BBC, ITV and ABC.
"Oliver came out to Wellington College with Future Foundations as part of the delivery team. He integrated really well into our team from the outset, and was the hit of the day, with his session scoring the highest in terms of our feedback scores. He has a great message and his ‘Everyman’ approach is deeply appealing to the young people we were dealing with. Oliver delivers his material with simplicity and humility. The audience related to him immediately and enjoyed his natural delivery. We wish Oliver all the very best on his journey forward to take his core message of ‘Think Possible’ to young people all over the world."
"Oliver inspired our employees with his epic rowing and running adventures. His unique ‘I am a novice breaking world records’ approach shows all of us what we can achieve when we ‘think possible’. And he does this in such a captivating and unassuming manner."
Resilient Networks plc
"Oliver Dudley is a true inspiration. He came to give a talk about his transatlantic record-breaking row, his 7in on 7 feat, and his ‘Think Possible’ message to a packed house at Leap Anywhere. Some people stand apart from the crowd and have what it takes – that mental toughness to achieve the apparently unachievable. Oliver is one of those people. He tells his story from the heart in such an unassuming manner that it hit everyone in the audience right where it counts. We’re all stronger for it. I would recommend that any group invite him to inspire others and share his message. Brilliant."