Robyn Benincasa is a World Champion Adventure Racer, San Diego City Firefighter, CNN Hero, Guinness World Record Endurance Kayaker, 10x Ironman Triathlete, Founder of the 501c3 Project Athena Foundation — which helps Survivors live an adventurous dream as part of their recovery!

Top Inspirational Keynote Speaker

Through her inspirational keynotes and teambuilding adventures, Robyn has helped Fortune 500 companies including Starbucks, Walmart, Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, Northrup, Siemens, Napster, Nestle, and Hewlett Packard to bring out the world class teambuilder, leader and peak performer in their employees.

Robyn is A CNN Hero Who Gives Back! ❤️

In her spare time, Robyn’s favorite hobby is inspiring people to do insane, life affirming things like run their first triathlon, start their own business, hike the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim, or kayak and ride 100 miles from Key Largo to Key West. This is, after all, who she is and what she does: Robyn inspires people to grab life with one hand, grab their teammates with the other, and create that special magic that allows each of us to become better and stronger together than we would ever be alone. Robyn is the Founder and CEO of the Project Athena Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit that helps survivors live an adventurous dream as part of their recovery. Project Athena provides travel expenses, coaching, equipment, and most importantly, the encouragement and inspiration needed to help these strong, amazing women and men make that life-affirming transition from Survivor to Athlete. Learn More about The Project Athena Foundation and join Robyn for an adventure as a survivor or fundraiser!

“You are never defined by your setback, you’re defined by your comeback!” – Robyn

World Champion Adventure Racer

For the past 20 years, Robyn and her teammates have studied teambuilding, leadership and performance in the most extreme classrooms on Earth:  the jungles of Borneo, the Himalayan peaks of Tibet, the rivers of Fiji, the rainforests of Ecuador, and the epic brush fires of Southern California (just to name a few)! 

It is through these harrowing, life affirming, and often hilarious experiences that Robyn has emerged with her unique perspective on what it takes to succeed against all odds and go the distance in any endeavor.

NBC, ABC, CNN, ESPN, USA Network, The Discovery Channel, the Today Show, Live With Regis, Dateline NBC, Vogue, Sports Illustrated, Harpers Bazaar, Fast Company, Runners World, and Outside Magazine have all featured Robyn and teams’ amazing ability to Adapt, Overcome, and Win as ONE in times of great challenge and change. Robyn was recently the recipient of State Farm’s “Simple Acts of Kindness” award.

20 Year Veteran of the San Diego Fire Department

Robyn is a 20 year veteran of the San Diego Fire Department, and she was a member of America’s FIRST All-Female Fire Crew for several years.

“It was such a wonderful experience to be a part of this team of fun, fearless females!” – Robyn



  • #1 Female Speaker for Meetings Net
  • 10 Highest Rated Inspirational Speakers for Business” (article by Derek Sweeney)
  • Top 5 Teamwork Speakers” (5 years) by
  • Top 10 Speakers Featured by the Harvard Business Review
  • 5 Speakers Who Should Be Featured on 60 Minutes
  • Top 10 New York Times Bestselling Authors Who Can Better Your Company and Your Life
  • CNN Hero for Founding the Project Athena Foundation
  • Runners World Heroes—The Project Athena Foundation
  • State Farm “Acts of Kindness” Award Recipient
  • Self Magazine “Self-Made Woman” Feature


  • Current Record Holder:
    • Guinness World Record (Longest Distance Paddled in a Kayak/Canoe in 24 Hrs., Moving Water, Female)
    • Women’s Course Record Holder, Missouri River 340:  5th fastest solo time in race history)
  • 10x Iron-man Triathlon Finisher (2 Top 5 age group – Kona Hawaii Iron-man World Championship)
  • 2x World Champion Expedition Adventure Racer (EcoChallenge/Raid Gauloises)
  • Top 5 Finisher in over 25 Expedition Length (6-10 days, nonstop), Adventure Races
  • 24 Hour Adventure National Racing Champion
  • National Judo Champion (-72 kilo)
  • 2nd place OVERALL & 1st place Woman 5x, Missouri River 340 (340 Mile nonstop paddling race)

* Member of Americas only All Female Fire Crew