Jan Fokke Oosterhof
Age: 47
Profession: adventurer



I am an entrepreneur, adventurer and public speaker. I’ve had the privilege of sharing the stories of my expeditions and the lifehacks I’ve picked up along the way, for many extraordinary businesses and universities. I speak on topics around personal leadership, risk management, passion, motivation and sustainability. Currently I am not represented by a booking agency, so you can book me directly.

In print, I am the author of 8 books. I always write about my adventures. Tips, tricks, lifehacks and lessons learned along the way are real and are all experienced by myself. It’s all about intense experiences during all kinds of adventures and extreme challenges. It’s about living and feeling alive.

Books: Rennen voor je Leven (2019), Hardlopen; met success je grenzen verleggen (2013), Je Navel als Kompas (2006, About the Swiss Alpine Marathon, my first ultrarun), Bestaansverwondering (a collection of blogs, columns and poems), Vierdaagse met Kortsluiting (2013), Mijn lange loop naar het licht (2011, Translator German – Dutch), a contributor to Publieke Pioniers; a collection of essays about innovation in the public sector (2011), and have featured in articles in diverse Dutch magazines, newspapers and on television.

I’m triggered by dreamers who try and to their best to realise their dreams. I’m drawn to the sparks in their eyes. Personally my dreams consist of sports expeditions to the polar regions, deserts and mostly mountains. I have done some extreme physical challenges in my life. I participated in two polar expeditions in Greenland and Iceland, I finished the Marathon des Sables (240k in the desert) and participated in diverse other ultra runs and national championships. I especially love (mountain) trail running and mountain biking.

The experiences during my Greenland expedition (2007) resulted in an 11th place in the top 25 of adventurers of all times, according to the Dutch broadcaster SBS6. My companion and I set out with a plan to spend just under a month on the icecap and with a target of covering 600 kilometers on skis, pulling sledges behind us. But within days of landing on the edge of the Greenland Icecap by helicopter, we were in the middle of a Piteraq, a polar storm with high wids and low temperatures. For four days, high winds kept us in one place, tent-bound and having to dig ourselves out of the snow every one and a half hours. That was followed by three days of white out, which meant that we had no visibility whatsoever and were still stuck. After seven days we had to break down the expedition due to food shortages and we returned to the heli-drop-off point by own means. Some of the expedition footage made the news on Iceland’s TV 1.

I’m driven by a desire to inspire and enable others to leave the couch and become a happier person by realising their dreams and feeling more alive. You only live once – as far as we know – and you should make it an unforgettable life.

Born in 1975, I grew up mostly in Leiden, was educated at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam (business economics) and currently live in Koog aan de Zaan. I am passionate about the great outdoors and spent many weeks in the Alps and the Scottish Highlands.

I am a keen athlete. I was the kid at school that was bullied for years and I discovered running in my teens as a way to blow off steam, and participated in over 1.000 road races and trailruns. I have run several marathons and ultra runs. I ran my fastest marathon in 2006 in Leiden (3:16:09). I participated in the 2018 Marathon des Sables, a 240k multi stage race in the Sahara. My longest non stop run so far has been the Walk of Wisdom, a 140k pilgrimage trail around the city of Nijmegen.

I grew up reading the books of my role models with names like Mike Stroud, Bart Vos, Ronald Naar, sir Ranulph Fiennes, Edmund Hillary and Pen Hadow. I looked up to them and wanted to follow in their footsteps. However I always felt unworthy, not having the skills you need to be able to call yourself an adventurer. I didn’t pursue a career as an adventurer. That all changed when my mother died of cancer when I was 31 years old. It taught me not to become a victim of postphoned happiness. Within a day I ended my outdoor events company and I started my new life as an adventurer.

When I am not on an expedition, I divide my time between writing books and articles for magazines, motivational speaking and giving lectures at universities.

For further information visit www.janfokkeoosterhof.nl / www.greenrunnermovement.nl

Category of adventurers and explorers that defies being categorised, for those who don’t know the meaning of stop, end, rest – these tireless maniacs are a rare breed indeed…

About award winning documentary, international film festival

My projects

Currently I’m undertaking the following projects:

  • Slowly chipping away at my books:
    • Mountain hiking with young children
    • Running away from life
    • From rascal to professional adventurer
    • Insights in sports sponsoring for individual athletes
  • Delivering (online) presentations to corporate clients
  • Founder and ambassador of The Green Runner Movement, convincing people to take ons piece of litter from the trails every time the are in the Great Outdoors.
  • Keeping fit through ultra trail running, road cycling, mountain biking, gravel biking, hill-walking and bootcamping
  • Preparing for the Munro Mission 2023