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EMPOWER 2018 Keynote Speaker - Rory Coleman

News and Events / / Empower 2018 Keynote Speaker Rory Coleman

Ton Dobbe

Ton Dobbe is the founder and chief inspiration officer of Value Inspiration, an agency that helps business software companies rethink what can be, to become remarkable (again). During the course of his +25 year career in the business software industry, he occupied various national and international leadership positions in both product marketing and product strategy, building up a wealth of experience in the field of innovation and what companies need to excel in their industry.

Rory Coleman

Nearly 1000 marathons and 23 years on from a ‘New Years Resolution’ made to clean up his life, Rory Coleman has really earned the name 'Marathon Man’.  On January 5th 1994, the 40-a day smoker and hardened drinker managed to run just 100 metres.  Far from being disheartened, he felt ecstatic as he’d found a way to clean up his act and live the rest of his life to the full…nicotine and alcohol free.

In just three months he lost three stone in weight and ran a half marathon, completing his first full marathon later that same year.  Next was the London Marathon in April 1995.  He enjoyed it so much that he ran one the following weekend…and the one after that…and has actually run a marathon every week since.  To up the challenge, the distances became longer and the terrain became tougher, including the Grand Union Canal Race (145miles) and the
Marathon des Sables (branded ’The World’s Toughest Footrace’) in 1999.  Next on the horizon were a number of one-off challenges including nine distance Guinness World Records for running on treadmills (101.3 miles in 24 hours is just one of them) and mega day races such as the Flora 1000 Mile Challenge in 2003, London to Lisbon for Euro 2004 and Stoptober in 2013.

In 2007, after a long career in Design and Print Sales, Rory made his passion his business and qualified as an Advanced Personal Trainer.  Since then he has built a world-wide client base and has trained many celebrity clients, including Sir Ranulph Fiennes, BBC TV’s Helen Skelton.  He is now the UK’s Leading ULTRA-marathon Coach and is regularly featured on the TV and in the Press and Running Magazines as well as being invited to speak to businesses about ’The Process of Change’  Last year, following the Marathon des Sables, Rory faced his biggest challenge to date after being paralysed with Guillain–Barré Syndrome, an extremely rare auto-immune disease that left him unable to walk and confined to a wheel-chair.  He puts his amazing recovery down to being super-fit and having a positive mind-set.  Since then he’s completed a further 13 marathons including the Marathon des Sables again and is looking forward to making it 1000 marathons at the Robin Hood Marathon on September 24th surrounded by family and friends.


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