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Dion Leonard


Ultra Marathon Runner, World Renowned Speaker, Inspirational Story-Teller

About Dion and Gobi

At the vulnerable age of 13 Dion left behind an unhappy, unstable and destructive family home for the unpredictable life on the streets with nothing and no-one to guide him. Those formative years shaped Dion to become the man he is today, iron willed with an innate ability to survive even the most unlikely and terrifying of situations. After becoming overweight, alcohol dependent and smoking more than a pack of cigarettes a day, Dion looked at himself in the mirror and realized he needed to make a change. Dion turned to running, long distance running known as ‘ultra running’.

Dion is now one of the worlds top ultra runners who has competed and completed in some of the worlds toughest endurance races on the planet. Across landscapes from inhospitable deserts, high altitude mountains to wild jungles Dion has pushed, tested, broken and rebuilt his mental and physical limits in search of the ultra high, to find himself and to become the best he can be.

Dion’s life changed forever when he was running a 155 mile race across the Gobi desert in China when a little stray dog ran 80 miles alongside him. Dion named the dog Gobi and his promise to bring Gobi home went viral, taking the world by storm. Before Dion could bring Gobi home she went missing in China and the story of ‘Finding Gobi’ began. Dion’s amazing true story and incredible journey of Finding Gobi has since become a New York Times Bestseller, Sunday Times Bestseller and International Bestseller, printed in more than 20 languages which has also resulted in an upcoming movie with 20th Century Fox. Dion has also written a Finding Gobi young readers edition and children's picture book.

Dion and Gobi have appeared around the world on media appearances and in the United States on; CNN, Good Morning America, ESPN, CBS, Fox, ABC, BBC and been interviewed by Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today and been featured on NPR.

Dion has been invited to speak at motivational, inspirational and corporate events ranging from hosting Duke of Edinburgh awards with Prince Edward, Ted X, literature festivals, solo theatre events, international and public schools, universities and animal charity ceremonies

Dion’s dedication, perseverance and determination prove it’s possible to conquer extraordinary challenges whether that is against the desert or day to day life. Dion's drive to succeed in not only ultra running but life and business is unquestionably one of his strengths, see how he brings an audience to life and fills them with motivation and self belief.

Videos / Media

reviews for Dion

Your talk was interesting, entertaining, poignant and contained some very relevant messages for the audience around why you do what you do and the repercussions of a single act of kindness.

My daughter loves her signed book (I am afraid she is more impressed with the Gobi pawprint than your autograph) and Alison (one of our research nurses)’s son has already read and taken his book into school for show and tell! The informal feedback we have had around the conference has been amazing: ‘best conference I have been to for years’ ‘one of the best conferences I've attended’ ‘high quality, interesting speakers’. Thanks for being our Keynote Speaker and making the event such a huge success.

Matt Reed, Organiser of EMERGE conference

I wanted to drop a quick email to say on behalf of the ADCH Management Committee a massive THANK YOU for the part you played in making this year’s ADCH Conference the huge success that it was. I delayed mailing as I wanted to be able to feedback the responses from delegates and I am delighted to let you know that it has been overwhelmingly positive, and all the sessions were really well liked. In particular, feedback on your Keynote Speech ‘Finding Gobi’ was quite simply outstanding and there were quite a few wet eyes in the audience that morning! You were, as I knew you would be (and as Fabiola kept telling me), quite brilliant. Delegates were excited and couldn’t wait to hear you deliver your session, and neither you nor Gobi let any of us down. Their only wish was that you could have spoken for longer, but I know another 15 or 30 minutes would still not have been enough. Your story was so moving and they loved that Gobi took pride of place … They felt honoured that you had taken time out to address them and I can honestly say that having you officially open the Conference really set the tone for the two days and made all the difference. You captured the audience and left delegates feeling really inspired, humbled and wanting more. I honestly cannot thank you enough.

Claire Horton, Chairman ADCH conference

I wanted to reach out to you to say wholehearted thank you for the amazing speech you gave the IDEXX International Marketing team last week in Edinburgh. Already when we read the book we knew that we had found an incredible story of profound passion, purposefulness and persistence, and when we listened to you, and saw Gobi roaming around the room making friends with every one of us, all hearts melted. We laughed and cried with you, and flew back home with lots inspiration – all of us had a lesson to take away and reflect upon from your life story. For people with passion for animals and outstanding performance, reading your book and listening to your speech is a must, and we feel privileged to have had the opportunity to spend some time with the two of you.

Laszlo Szilvagyi, Director International Strategic Marketing - IDEXX Global Marketing