Gavan Hennigan is an Irish Extreme Endurance Athlete who hails from Galway. He has worked worldwide as a deep-sea saturation diver for over 10 years, diving to depths of 200 m to perform heavy construction on oil rigs.
During his time off, Gavan has adventured to all 7 continents, climbing and snowboard mountaineering in Antarctic, Arctic, Alaska, Ultra Running at home in Ireland and he has completed 2 of the longest and toughest Winter Ultras in the world - the Likeys Arctic Ultra, a 566km Winter Ultra Marathon inside the Arctic Circle and The Yukon Arctic Ultra 500km where he placed 2nd with the 3rd fastest time recorded since it's induction in 2003. Through both of these events Gavan has raised over €20,000 for local Galway charities.
Gavan has pushed the extremes of what is possible for the human body and mind from working at extreme water depths to climbing high-altitude peaks in the Himalayas, to taking on some of the worlds toughest races. in 2016 Gavan became one of only a handful of people to cross Lake Baikal in Winter, solo on foot, he hauled a 60kg sled 700km in 17 days, which is a marathon a day!
His life hasn't always been about extreme adventures. As a youth, Gavan suffered badly at the hands of alcohol and drug addiction and went into rehab at 21. He managed to turn his life around and has stayed clean and sober since then. His story is one to be heard. Through his personal adversity, career and expeditions, he has built an incredible mental fortitude which he likes to test again and again. Gavan is now the National Ambassador for Jigsaw, the Youth Mental Health Charity.
Gavan's latest and biggest adventure to date was to row solo across Atlantic Ocean as part of the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. The 5, 000 km crossing took Gavan 49 days to complete and he finished on February 1st 2017 landing in Antigua after spending the entire time alone in his 20ft boat 'Doireann'. He left La Gomera in the Canaries on December 14th 2016. Not only did he win the Solo category of the race, breaking the race record for the concept class, but he beat all the other 3-man and pair boats, finishing in 3rd overall behind the 4-man boats recording one of the fastest times for a solo crossing.
He only learned to row 2 years ago! in completing this epic challenge Gavan demonstrated his class as not just an endurance athlete, but as a person who can take on, organise and pull off expeditions of the greatest magnitude. His next big challenge will be February 2018 where he will be in the wilds of Alaska taking part in a 1,700km footrace called Iditasport, more on that here