From corporate lawyer, to professional athlete. Follow Jenny’s inspirational story.
Jenny Davis (born October 1985) is a lawyer turned professional athlete. She spends her time travelling the globe to compete in some of the world’s toughest races, events and expeditions.
The Starting Point
Having spent her childhood in Balikpapan on the island of Borneo with her parents and brothers, Jenny’s passion for adventure started at an early age. Her childhood was spent exploring the rainforests, whilst soaking up the opportunity to travel to new countries and experience different communities. She also lived in Paris and Qatar for short periods of time and spoke French as her first language.
Growing up with four brothers, sport was always on the family agenda. Jenny soon discovered a talent for swimming when the family moved to Scotland for Jenny and her siblings to attend high school. She was competing in the elite squad for Scotland aged just 13 whilst enjoying all the sports available at school, including basketball, netball and cricket.
Work Hard, Play Hard
Jenny went onto the University of Edinburgh to complete a law degree. Despite a packed academic calendar, sport and adventure remained a priority. Weekends were spent competing in half marathons and triathlons, or discovering the finest surfing spots on the West Coast of Scotland whilst enjoying wild camping trips with friends.
Jenny was constantly on the look out for her next adventure. She climbed Kilimanjaro via the notoriously difficult Umbwe route via the Western Breach. The expedition was achieved unsupported after a determined battle to be allowed to proceed without a crew.
By 2009 Jenny was working full time and making a name for herself in corporate law, specialising in Oil & Gas. She thrived in the fast paced environment of her employer MMS (https://www.mms.co.uk/) and spent several years also working as in-house legal counsel with the biggest names in oil and gas exploration and again travelling the world as a result.
The Turning Point
Jenny’s world was turned upside down several years ago when a period of sickness led to the discovery of a dangerous growth in her abdomen. She was admitted to hospital immediately where she endured a course of tumour shrinking drugs, major surgery and an intense three month recovery period. Despite some dark moments, Jenny’s positive outlook kicked in and she decided to spend her days planning all the expeditions and adventures she’d like to one day complete.
The wheels were set in motion from her hospital bed. Jenny signed up for Marathon des Sables 2015 thanks to the hospital wi-fi, a gruelling 250km multi stage race known as The Toughest Footrace on Earth, through the Sahara desert.
Adventure in the Face of Adversity
Jenny devised an intensive training programme to bring herself back to full health and prepare for the race. As training progressed, so did her determination to succeed and she set her sights on being amongst the first 200 to complete the race.
Despite heading into the race with an injury, Jenny was the 35th female to cross the finish line which she completed in just 5 days, an incredible achievement for her first multi-stage adventure race.
Jenny had caught the bug. Overcoming a serious illness had created a desire to discover what she was truly capable of, and she continued to search for expeditions and adventures to push her body to the physical limit. She soon started to make a name for herself on the professional circuit, resulting in offers of sponsorship which enabled her to pursue her dream of becoming a professional athlete on a full time basis.
With a number of impressive titles under her belt, Jenny is still determined to achieve the ambitious goals she set herself whilst recovering in hospital. Watch this space for details!
Alongside her expeditions, Jenny fiercely supports female participation in sport and works with several charitable causes to inspire women and girls all over the world to participate in physical activity, whilst creating exposure for positive female role models in sport. She is adamant that anyone can follow in her footsteps to experience the elation of achieving a goal, however big or small it might be.
She was extremely honoured to be asked to become an Ambassador for Free to Run, a charity which uses the power of sports to help women and girls overcome the harmful effects of conflict and discrimination. Jenny fundraises for Free to Run whenever she can whilst using her influence as a professional athlete to promote the charity's goals.
Jenny has set up the first ever International Women’s Team to compete in the Marathon des Sables. She was inspired to create the team after spending time training in Morocco with Mohamed Ahansal (five times winner of the Marathon des Sables). His brother, Lahcen Ahansal has won the race eleven times and it was the brothers’ celebrity status in Morocco that led Jenny to realise the power that lay in having equivalent female role models, not just in Morocco but Worldwide.
Jenny has secured sponsorship from X-Bionic which enables the team to compete in the race in April 2017. She plans to use the team’s participation in this globally renowned race as a platform to promote female role models in sport, and inspire women and girls all over the world to take on their very own physical challenge.
Jenny splits her time between Texas, where she lives with partner, Army doctor and fellow expedition enthusiast Matt, and London. She also returns to Scotland whenever possible to enjoy time with family whilst exploring the great Scottish Outdoors.
Jenny is fortunate enough to work with some of the best companies in the industry who support her to perform as a professional athlete:
X-Bionic - Jenny has been wearing X-Bionic clothing for years, and firmly believes that nothing else comes close in comparison. She was therefore delighted to be offered a sponsorship and the opportunity to work with the global company to promote their innovative range of functional clothing for athletes.
Extreme Adventure Foods - Jenny’s longest standing sponsor, Extreme Adventure Foods are a British company specialising in the design and manufacture of nutrition products. They supply Jenny with nutrition for her races and expeditions and she has a particular appetite for their range of super light weight dehydrated meals.
Runderwear - Runderwear design and manufacture performance underwear for athletes. Jenny is a huge fan of their innovative range of seamless sports underwear, particularly for multi-stage race events.
Pure Sports Medicine - A unique sports injury practice, dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries and musculoskeletal problems. The team go above and beyond the call of duty to support Jenny with her medical treatment. As well as providing treatment in London, they provide advice when she is out and about in the field.
Exile Medics - With a team of enthusiastic medical professionals providing medical support for extreme expeditions, Exile Medics will be supporting Jenny with all aspects of her medical planning in the lead up to her Antartica project. They have also been present at most of Jenny’s races and often got her out of a scrape or two.