Seasoned adventurer, Emma Johnson, from Tunstall, is gearing up for her toughest challenge yet.

On May 31, Emma, alongside her teammate Elliott Norris, will embark on The Trans Balkans race, spanning 1500 km across some of Europe's most remote terrain.

East Anglian Daily Times: Emma Johnson is gearing up for her biggest challenge yetEmma Johnson is gearing up for her biggest challenge yet (Image: Emma Johnson)

Emma's journey into extreme challenges began a decade ago when she cycled from Gibraltar to the UK, raising £15,000 for Against Breast Cancer.

"I’ve known a number of friends and family who have had to deal with breast cancer scares and treatment," she says. 

"When I previously raised money for them, my friend's sister was suffering and we lost her two weeks before I cycled home from Gibraltar. I took her picture with me for the journey."

East Anglian Daily Times: Emma is really going to push herself this timeEmma is really going to push herself this time (Image: Emma Johnson)

Since Gibraltar, Emma, who turns 45 on Monday (May 20), has tackled other endurance cycling challenges and ultra running events with the longest being 64 miles.

However, the Trans Balkans race, during which she hopes to raise more money for Against Breast Cancer, will push her limits like never before.  

East Anglian Daily Times: Emma's routeEmma's route (Image: Emma Johnson)The unsupported race, starting in Slovenia and culminating in Montenegro, crosses rugged landscapes across Croatia and Bosnia.

With an elevation gain of 27,000m and challenges including extreme temperature variations, off-road mountain trails, and even wild animals and landmines, it's hailed as one of the toughest, most remote races on earth. 

Water will be in short supply and riders will have to carry all their own as there are no organised pit stops. 

East Anglian Daily Times: It's the climbIt's the climb (Image: Emma Johnson)

Emma's path to the starting line hasn't been without hurdles.

Her original teammate had to withdraw so she is grateful to Elliott Norris for stepping in at the 11th hour.

She has also been supported by Elmy Cycles in Ipswich who she has previously raced for and now represents as an ambassador.

"Steve at Elmy Cycles has been instrumental, giving me invaluable knowledge and guidance," she says. 

Outside of her adventuring, Woodbridge-born Emma is the entrepreneur behind two start-ups, BidNstay and Nestbedz.

To follow Emma's journey and contribute to her fundraising, visit