Facts & Stats
DATE OF BIRTH
29 December 1994
1st Fire and Ice Ultra
2nd Grand to Grand Ultra
3rd Alps 2 Ocean Ultra
3rd The Last Desert (Antarctica)
There are few people in the world who will accomplish or experience as much in their entire lives as Australian ultra runner Jacqui Bell has in her first 25 years. From battling addiction to breaking world records, Jacqui knows what it takes to go from rock bottom to the top of her game.
Jacqui grew up in Brisbane, Australia and discovered her passion for running somewhat by accident. A promising junior tennis player, Jacqui’s “on-court passion” (read: tantrums and racquet throwing), would often prompt her father to leave her at the tennis court facing a 7km run home. It was during these punishments that Jacqui realised she quite enjoyed running.
At 19, Jacqui signed up for her first 50km race – not even knowing this qualified as an ultramarathon. After finishing third and riding high for a week after, she decided to enter more races, including 100km hikes and road marathons. However, her route to stardom was far from plain sailing.
In 2016, Jacqui was left hospitalised with a number of broken bones after a series of sports-related incidents. During her recovery, she became addicted to prescription painkillers and her mental health began to suffer. In a bid to clean up, Jacqui moved to Bali to become a yoga teacher, but found herself in hospital once more after falling victim to a violent robbery, which left her with 200 stitches and in excess of $30,000 in medical fees.
For Jacqui, this was a real wake-up call. To avoid becoming immersed in self-pity and falling back into old patterns, she began researching ultra marathons and soon discovered her true passion: multi-day events. In little over a year, Jacqui competed in four 250km self-supported races across scorching deserts and freezing ice and, in 2018, became the youngest person in the world to run an ultra marathon on all seven continents.
The simplicity of life during multi-stage events is what appeals most to Jacqui (perhaps no surprise, considering what she’s been through) and she loves being disconnected for the week, totally immersed in the race. Outside of ultra running, Jacqui is also a professional speaker on a mission to inspire, educate, and activate a deeper sense of purpose in tomorrow’s leaders.
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