James Cracknell OBE is an inspiring sportsman, athlete and adventurer. Since retiring from competitive rowing in 2006, James has continued to be a household name, carrying out dangerous and gruelling challenges for the BBC and Discovery. He has also used his passion for adventure and fitness to front successful campaigns to get the nation moving. And, has provided commentary for several high-profile sporting events.
“He has two Olympic gold medals and six World Championship titles”
James has completed several demanding challenges since his retirement that have been documented both on screen and in his written accounts. From late 2005 to the beginning of 2006, James and his friend, Ben Fogle, completed The Race Across the Atlantic, where they placed first. The experience was documented in the BBC show Through Hell and High Water, and the pair wrote a book about the race, titled The Crossing: Conquering the Atlantic in the World’s Toughest Rowing Race.
“Placed first in what is considered to be the Toughest Row in the World”
Only two years later in 2008, James paired up with Ben Fogle again, this time alongside Dr Ed Coats, to take part in the gruelling Amundsen Omega3 South Pole Race, which they successfully completed. This adventure was also broadcast on the BBC in 5 1 hour, prime-time Sunday night programmes, and was called On Thin Ice. Again, James wrote about this experience in his book, Race to the Pole. In 2010 he completed the Marathon des Sables, which consists of the completing the equivalent of six marathons in six days. He then went on to complete the Yukon Arctic Ultra, cycling over 430 miles in the race across the frozen Alaskan countryside.
“He became the highest placed Briton ever in the 25-year history of the race, finishing 12th”
In 2010, James attempted to cross America by cycling, running, rowing and swimming from LA to New York in record time. It was during this trip that James suffered a near fatal accident after being struck from behind by a truck while cycling through Arizona. After a difficult six-month recovery period, James went to the Canadian Yukon, completing The Coldest Race on Earth. These stunning adventures transmitted as Unstoppable: The James Cracknell Trilogy on Discovery.
Following this, James’s fronted a series for Discovery; World’s Toughest Expeditions in 2012. A year later in 2013, James paired up with Ben Fogle yet again for the BBC documentary Ben & James Versus the Arabian Desert.
“He pushed himself to the limit of endurance by attempting to complete the 4 greatest adventures of our time”
Alongside this, James also starred in ITV’s new sports-science programme Eternal Glory, in which he competed against other former athletes and sports stars, showcasing his outstanding mental and physical dedication by making the final of the competition. Additionally, James is the BBC’s commentator for Rowing, and was heavily involved in the coverage for the Rio Olympics in 2016.
James has held ambassadorial roles for brands across a wide range of industries. In 2016, he partnered with American Express. Drawing on the brand’s 100 years of travel experience, the campaign will uncover the travel adventures and destinations that can be enjoyed by every generation; inspiring consumers with the exciting and adventurous travel opportunities that families can enjoy. He has also had partnerships with JML as the ambassador for Nutriblitzer and Awesome Gym, worked on the Dove Men + Care Father’s Day campaign and faced campaigns for Karrimor and Biosynergy.
“nations most fearless, inspiring and adventurous sportsmen”
The same year, James was announced as the long-term ambassador for Renault. He supported Renault-featured events throughout the UK, including Men’s Health magazine’s Survival of the Fittest races. In one of the first showings of this partnership, James filmed several daring idents with the Renault Kadjar around Snowdonia National Park, Wales, which aired on the Discovery Channel. He also has announced a long-term partnership with the Great West Run, the long-running and popular half-marathon staged annually in the heart of Exeter and the surrounding countryside.
James is a keen marathon runner, completing many marathons for chosen charities including the London Marathon in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In 2017 he broke his marathon PB, running an impressive 2:43:12
“an entertaining and motivational keynote speaker, drawing on his different experiences throughout his varied career and personal life.”
James is leading the Policy Exchange’s work on obesity and physical activity and has been heavily involved in their report calling for sugary drinks to be taxed as part of a series of measures to combat rising levels of obesity. Following this, James appeared in The Secret Plan to Save Fat Britain: Channel 4 Dispatches.
He is currently studying for a Masters in Philosophy from Cambridge University & is politically active, striving for greater awareness in childhood obesity and healthy living.
In 2019 James made history when he became the oldest competitor in the Boat Race, winning alongside his Cambridge teammates.