Dion Leonard's lifestyle was killing him. Weighing 250 pounds; Leonard’s uncontrollable eating habits, heavy smoking and excessive drinking to hide the demons from his abusive and turbulent childhood were leading him to an early grave. Whilst climbing the career ladder as a highly successful entrepreneur and corporate senior leader with over 20 years experience in sales and marketing with some of the largest FMCG and Wine & Spirits businesses in the industry; Leonard felt his life was missing a deeper purpose. He took up running and found the further he ran, the tougher the challenge, the more he learnt to harness the power to overcome any obstacle in front of him. In his New York Times bestselling memoir, Finding Gobi (Thomas Nelson), Leonard shares his inspiring story of how one act of kindness would change his life forever during a 155 mile ultra-race in the Chinese Gobi Desert.
While competing in a 155-mile race through the Gobi Desert in China, Leonard crossed paths with a lovable pup, who would later earn the name Gobi, going step for step with Leonard over the Tian Shan Mountains and across massive sand dunes, keeping pace with him for 77 miles. As Leonard witnessed the incredible determination and heart of this small animal, he found his own heart undergoing a change as well. Whereas in the past these races were all about winning and being the best, his goal now was to make sure he and Gobi’s friendship continued well after the finish line, and he undertook another difficult journey to bring Gobi home to Scotland. Their unbreakable bond that would become the ultimate challenge and their epic adventure would change both of their lives forever. Finding Gobi is now in development for film production.
With dedication, perseverance and determination it's possible to conquer extraordinary challenges whether that is against the race terrain of a desert or day to day life. Leonard’s drive to succeed in not only ultra running but life in general is unquestionably one of his strengths. He has been invited to speak at inspirational and empowering events around the world ranging from hosting Duke of Edinburgh awards with Prince Edward, Speaking at the President of Slovenia Invite Gala Day, TedX France to corporate events, charity events and after dinner speaking.
Leonard has appeared on television around the world; CNN, Good Morning Britain, CBS, ABC America, ESPN, CCTV, BBC Breakfast and BBC World; Live radio interviews with BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Outlook, Talk Sport UK, NPR America, ABC Radio Australia, Eric Zane Show and many others; Dion has also been interviewed by China Daily, The Times, Washington Post, UK Independent, USA Today, Canadian Post, to name a few.
Praise for Dion Leonard:
"Dion's ability to share his knowledge of controlling the uncontrollable, adapting under pressure, changing mindset and attitude was a great help for our team to use in not just our business but our personal lives.”
"Absolutely stratospherically positive and your motivation and the strength, determination and commitment to succeed under tough circumstances was something our business truly learnt from.”
"Dion's travelled a crazy journey, one of grit, determination and inspiration which not only moved the conference participants but will have impacted and inspired for a long time to come.”
"We laughed and cried with you, and flew back home with lots of inspiration – all of us had a lesson to take away and reflect upon from your life story."