All about Coasting

This is the place where I’ll be talking about running, adventures and how I make a living from these things. You can expect tips, recommendations and honest reflections.

This is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.


Hello

I’m Elise. Mainly, I’m a writer, runner and all-round big fan of the outdoors.

In 2016, aged 24, I became the first woman and youngest person to run 5,000 miles around the coast of Britain, carrying my kit on my back. Since then, via a lot of trial and error, various mistakes and disasters, and a good amount of happy accidents, I’ve managed to build a career from running and adventure. I wrote a book about the experience called Coasting, which was chosen as one of The Times Best Sports Books of 2021.

I can not overstate how completely unqualified I was to run around a country. Prior to setting off, I’d run one marathon dressed as a purple Crayola crayon where a small child heckled me as ‘The Crying Crayon’ and I’d never wild camped or read a map before. I spent a huge amount of time getting lost, crying on grass verges and calling my mum. But I also saw Britain at its most wild and wonderful, met literally hundreds of amazingly kind strangers, and discovered that I could do something hard, and enjoy it too.

When I was writing Coasting, the book, it was really important to me to be honest about the whole experience. It’s so easy to look at other people doing big adventures and think, I could never do that. But I truly believe that if I could run around a country, then anybody could, and that’s what I want people to take away from reading it.

The same is true for Coasting, the newsletter version. I’ll be writing about running, adventures and how I (mostly) make a living from adventure and doing the things I love. These worlds can seem impenetrable sometimes and I want to help change that.


Join the community

By subscribing to Coasting, you’ll regularly receive posts on the following topics in your inbox:

  • Adventure ideas and Route recommendations (including essential cake shop/cosy pub tip-offs)

  • Guides to running and hiking kit (what you need and what you don’t)

  • Honest thoughts and practical advice for funding a big challenge and creating a career in adventure

  • General life and training updates

  • Regular roundups of good things to watch/read/listen to (to save you scrolling)

  • Beginner guides to everything from running your first marathon to going on a fastpacking adventure

  • Whatever you want! I’m super open to suggestions and writing what you want to read. Let me know by commenting on this thread.

For less than £1.50 per week, paying subscribers you will receive weekly posts and also have access to threads, the comments section and a monthly adventure book club (launching soon!).

If you’d prefer to remain as a free subscriber then I still really appreciate you being here. I’ll make at least two posts per month available for free, plus you’ll receive updates about new books and events. Non-monetary ways you can support my work include liking and sharing my posts and recommending this page to others.


Complimentary subscriptions

I believe that readily sharing information is an important part of increasing the accessibility of the outdoors. If you think you’d benefit from accessing the full archive of content on this page but genuinely can’t afford to subscribe right now, I’m happy to offer a number of complimentary subscriptions. Times are hard, I get it. Just email hello[at]elisedowning.com. No explanation needed but this is an honesty-based system so, you know, don’t be a d*ck.

Likewise, if you have a little bit extra to contribute, please consider subscribing as a Founding Member to support me in offering free subscriptions and engaging in other unpaid work, such as delivering pro-bono talks to community groups. You’ll get a free signed copy of Coasting as a thanks. (If you already have a copy, I’m happy to carry this gift forwards to my next book release.)


Thank you for reading this newsletter. Please share it with any friends you think would enjoy it!

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Sometimes coasting, sometimes struggling - through life, adventures and running.

People

Elise Downing

I like being outside. First woman to run self-supported around the coast of Britain and author of COASTING (one of The Times Best Sports Books 2021). Now mostly writing about running, adventure and work.