Steve Gurney

Steve is highly motivated to succeed in a variety of endeavours, and has studied and tested how to turn this motivation into winning reality, giving him the knowledge to be a natural motivational speaker. 

Combine this background with his eagerness to share his knowledge and his true-to-life honesty, mixed with loads of integrity, and you get a highly enthusiastic, entertaining, and motivational speaker.

Well known as that “Crazy Coast to Coast guy”, he won the Coast to Coast 9 times, in a row. He invented a bike with wings, has been poisoned by bat dung while racing in Borneo jungles, nearly died, and then fought back to win the Coast to Coast six times more.

Internationally, he and his team live for Adventure Races, which are the most enduring of endurance races. Traversing jungles, swamps, rivers, seas, deserts and mountains as a team, the athletes navigate their way through the course by foot, horse, raft, kayak, bike, and sometimes camel. For 8-10 days continuous they sleep only when they dare. As you may expect, Gurney has interesting tales to tell that will make you cringe, cry and laugh.

Steve speaks passionately on themes from his sporting experience in a format that allows parallels to be drawn to business. Apart from his content about determination and his race winning formula, Steve’s speaking is embellished with anecdotes from adventure, horror stories, and humour from his travels. Team Adventure Racing in extenuating circumstances has given Steve interesting insights to share on team dynamics.

His life is an adventure. If there's not a mountain to traverse, a river to kayak, swamp to slither through, or bush to negotiate, then he's not altogether satisfied. While no longer a full-time athlete, he still competes in selected events...(even on Television in 'Dancing with the Stars'), and in daring world record attempts, such as crossing the searing Sahara with just wind power in their kites. It started as a race, 2 Kiwis vs 2 Aussies, but terrorists, terrain, land-mines and crashes meant abandoning the race for the simple quest of making it across alive!

He was voted 1991 and 1998 Canterbury Sportsperson of the year. In January 2004 he received a Order of Merit in the new Year's honours list for services to endurance sport.

 (the equivalent of the OAM) 

Steve has written 3 books, (published by Random House);

Lucky Legs; An Autobiographical and entertaining story collection of adventure escapades and racing wisdom, including a section on the science of goal-setting.

Eating dirt; following the retail success of Lucky legs, Eating Dirt is a continuation of the adventure stories with an additional section on the research on Resilience.

The Beginner’s Guide to Adventure Sport in NZ; A “how-to” book covering a range of adventure sports, giving the beginner advice on techniques, skills, equipment, clubs for getting started. A very useful feature are the 18 instructional videos, accessible with QR code reader or the URL address.

The Christchurch Earthquakes were devastating for many but deadly for others. Steve lost his house and land to the destruction, but saw an opportunity. Studying the research on resilience, and supplementing it with his own knowledge and experience, Steve has developed tutorials and seminar material that he’s shared in community seminars and in his conference speaking.

Steve has retired from professional adventure racing, allowing him to travel to share his entertaining stories and speak about motivation, resilience on the world stage.

Presentation Topics:

  • Entertaining after-dinner speaker

  • Learning resilience and optimism

  • Goal-setting and goal-getting

  • Discovering your mission

  • “Winnovation”; Win, (and survive) by keeping one step ahead with innovation.

  • Corporate team-building, with Simulated Adventure racing!