My name is Elisabet Barnes. I am a coach, endurance runner (2 x winner of the 250km Marathon des Sables in Moroccan Sahara) and entrepreneur. I am passionate about health, well-being, food, and about encouraging women to be confident and love themselves.
I am Swedish, now living in Trysil, Norway and I am happily married to my wonderful husband Sondre Amdahl. Between 2007 and 2019 I lived in the UK and I have also lived a couple of years in Spain.
I had a successful career in Management Consulting in London when my father suddenly passed away in 2010. I realised that life is very fragile and that the future can’t be taken for granted. A seed was planted to make a change in life.
In 2012 I discovered the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara (a 250km long desert race in Morocco) and I knew this was my calling. Over the coming years I set up my own business, took the leap to resign from my job and a comfortable life to step into the unknown. I turned ultra running into a career and I now coach other people who want to follow their dreams.
Sports and outdoor activities have always been important in my family. My grandfather, Alvar Kjellström, was a talented cross-country skier and orienteer and founded the compass manufacturer Silva. My uncle, Jan Kjellström, also a skilled orienteer, helped accelerate the development of orienteering in the UK before a tragic road traffic accident took his life in 1967. There is still a yearly orienteering festival in his memory called the JK Trophy.
Growing up in Sweden I did a lot of cross-country skiing and long distance ice skating from a young age. I also accompanied my dad on countless bird watching outings although I never developed the same love and passion for birds as he had…
From the age of 10 through my teens I found a love for kayaking and I competed at national junior level before turning my interest to music for a few years. I started running in my late teens and did my first Marathon in Stockholm in 2002 and more followed. For a few years I didn’t run much since a demanding work schedule got in the way but in 2011 I ran my first ultra-marathon and many have followed since, in deserts, rain forests and mountains.
I love helping people take up habits that will improve their health, fitness and quality of life. As a running coach I work primarily with people who want to take up stage racing such as the Marathon des Sables but I love supporting runners of all abilities. I am interested in food and nutrition and follow a primarily plant based diet for reasons of health, environment and animal welfare.
I am also passionate about empowering women and helping them feel confident in their own skin, be proud of their bodies no matter the shape, and own their femininity and sexuality.
My background in Management Consulting means that I appreciate the pressures of a demanding work schedule and how difficult it can be to balance work and life commitments with training. I hold a MSc in Engineering & Business Management and a Graduate Certificate in Change Management. Supporting organisations and individuals through change for many years is an experience that my coaching clients can now benefit from. When living in the UK I was a UK Athletics certified Coach in Running Fitness and I have also trained as a Sports Therapist.