Founder: Chris Shirley

After more than a decade of adventures as a Military Police bodyguard and a Royal Marines Commando Officer; at 33 years old - Chris embarked on a year of global discovery to find his new purpose. Leaving a comfortable job in the BBC’s prestigious ‘High Risk operations’ team, he travelled to war, post-conflict and disaster zones to find his new place in the world.

Meeting mountain bikers riding in a city dominated by suicide attacks, skiers racing backcountry powder runs in a remote mountain village paradise and communities affected by devastating natural disasters – he eventually decided to embark on a career helping those in need.


Balancing his passion for humanitarianism with a love for adventure, he has lived and worked in over 55 countries and has a huge interest in endurance and adventure travel. Amongst other events, he has twice completed the UK Ironman triathlon, finished the infamous Devizes-to-Westminster canoe race, a triple marathon, the Marathon des Sables, rowed across the Atlantic Ocean and set a new world record when he finished the 2016 London marathon whilst carrying a 100-lb backpack. 


In early 2017, following a challenging 2 months in Mosul, Iraq working with a charity during the military offensive: he found a new purpose.

Understanding the unique role that sport plays in directing focus and displaying achievement, he realised it could play a much more central role in conflict prevention and peace building. Seeing a gap (or hiatus) in support for mountain bikers and other athletes in Afghanistan - he set up ‘The Hiatus Foundation’ to reduce the barriers to entry for young millenials in conflict zones to engage in sport.

You can follow the story at or on social media:

Twitter: ChrisiShirley and @Hiatus_fdn

Instagram: ChrisiShirley and @TheHiatusFoundation

YouTube: The Hiatus Journey