My name is Elisabet Barnes. 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 when my father suddenly passed away in 2010. I realised that life is too short to spend 3 hours commuting every day and work long hours in an office. 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 turned ultra running into a career and I have been back to this race three more times and won it twice. 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 a few more soon 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 am passionate about health and wellbeing and 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 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, to be proud of their bodies no matter the shape, and to own their femininity and sexuality. Basically self-love!
My background in Management Consulting, specialising in Change Management, means that I appreciate the pressures of a demanding work schedule and how difficult it can be to balance work and life commitments and training. I hold a MSc in Engineering & Business Management and a Graduate Certificate in Change Management. When living in the UK I was a UK Athletics certified Coach in Running Fitness and I have also trained as a Sports Therapist.