Some of you may be wondering “where have I seen that face before?” That might be because Lauren has attempted the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge before, but Lauren also appeared on our TV screens on Channel 4’s reality TV show, The Island with Bear Grylls in 2015. She showed incredible bravery and resource during the show, and said the experience made her a “better, stronger person”. These are exactly the qualities that a capable contestant in this race requires, and as the team are currently holding fast to their second position, it looks as though the presence of these character traits is working in Lauren’s favour!
Let’s wind back the clock to the 2013 race, Lauren’s previous attempt. She was rowing as a pair with University friend Hannah Lawton. They were 96 days at sea, and the pair – one of 16 teams in the race – suffered what Lauren called a ‘catalogue of catastrophes’, leading to the decision to call it a day, rescued by a cargo ship bound for Canada. These included a broken autopilot, faulty compass, low pressure systems, a fire, a capsized boat, and various injuries, including a 7cm gash to the head.
Although unsuccessful in completing the challenge, her enthusiasm and determination to finish the race captured the hearts of people around the globe, resulting in both international and national press coverage.
Her application for The Island with Bear Grylls was successful, out of 80 000 applicants, and she appeared alongside 13 other women. The show involved 6 weeks of starvation and deydration, where the women had to do whatever it took to survive on a desert island. Lauren was dubbed “The Queen of the Island” by Twitter fans, and she was 1 of only 10 that made it to the end of the experiment.
Just 12 weeks after returning home, Lauren set her sights on the next big challenge. Running 7 marathons in 7 days, in 7 countries! A car crash in Belgium on day 5 meant that Lauren had to return home. Despite this setback, she went on to run the London Marathon with a time of 4.27.53 seconds.
Lauren strives to achieve the unachievable. She’s passionate about showcasing women’s strengths, both physical and mental. We’re convinced it’s this grit and determination that has got RowLikeAGirl to second position so quickly in to the race. With somebody like Lauren as a skipper, and the other equally driven crew members, Bella Collins, Olivia Bolesworth and Gee Purdy, success is pretty much written in the stars. Girl Power!