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Simon Donato PhD, (born July 10, 1976) is a Canadian geologist, entrepreneur, television host, world-renowned explorer, and ultra-endurance athlete. He is best known for hosting the television series, Boundless, and is the founder of both Adventure Science and Stoked Oats.
A life-time athlete, Simon grew up ski racing (and coaching), studying Kenpo Karate, playing soccer, football, and baseball, before falling in love with mountain biking and adventure racing. Since then, Simon has become an accomplished ultra-endurance athlete, having competed in numerous adventure races and ultra marathons.
After completing an undergraduate degree in anthropology and biology, he obtained an MSc in paleontology at Western University. He received his PhD in geology from McMaster University 2008 during which time he founded and ran the Canadian Adventure Racing Association, which is still in existence today, and provides insurance, safety, and environmental guidelines to Canadian race directors.
In 2008, he also founded Adventure Science, a company that combined his passion for field-based research with ultra-endurance athletics as a way of giving back, and making a difference. The first project was a search for then missing pilot, Steve Fossett. Since 2008, Adventure Science has conducted eight projects, ranging from studying the relationship between ultra-running and muscle damage, to searching for undiscovered archaeological ruins in the Middle East, to searching for missing people and airplanes.
After graduation Simon began work as a geologist for Imperial Oil (ExxonMobil) in Calgary, AB, and spent over four years working on a wide variety of projects from the Athabasca oil sands to the Beaufort Sea. While still working for Imperial Oil, Simon co-founded Stoked Oats Ltd. with Brad Slessor and Shaun Stevens of Calgary (April 2011). They started the company to fill the need for a healthy, gluten-free oatmeal option in grocery stores that was sugar, salt, and preservative free, but still delivered a high amount of nutrients and protein per serving. Stoked Oats hit the market in June 2012.
In July 2012, with Josh and Jordan Eady of Eady Bros Productions, and HLP + Partners, Simon launched a new television series called Boundless. The idea for the series grew from his documentary “Go Death Racer”. During the shooting for Boundless, he, and long-time friend Paul Trebilcock, traveled the globe for 126 days competing in 8 grueling ultra-endurance races, ranging from stand-up paddle boarding, to running across the Sahara desert. He is currently filming season 3.
2012: 1st place and set a course record in the Iron-Legs 50 miler and relay (2-man team); 2nd place in the 250 km Sahara Race; 1st place in the Fire and Ice Ultra marathon in Iceland; 6th place in the Ancient Khmer Path Ultra stage race, 230 km; 12th place in the 6 Hours of Frog Hollow MTB Enduro bike race.
2011: 1st place in the K-100 relay (coed); 1st place in the Wild Hare 50 miler; 2nd place in the Iron-Legs 50 miler.
2010: 43rd (first ultra) in the Copper Canyon 50 miler; 2nd in men's and 4th overall in the Canadian Death Race; 1st place in the Cactus Rose 50 miler; 3rd place in the 25 km Rocky Racoon race.
Western Alumni Gazette, Issue Spring 2013. Available at SSPN http://www.alumnigazette.ca/issues/spring-2013/know-no-bounds.html