Whatever you think of barefoot running, endurance athlete Anna McNuff ‘s updates from her #BarefootBritain challenge are entertaining, upbeat, and downright inspiring. McNuff, 34, the daughter of two Olympian rowers, embarked on her journey of 100 marathons through Britain in June, starting in the Shetland Isles, has already run almost 1,000 kilometres, is now in Leeds, and aims to reach London in November.
Fantastic to welcome adventurer @AnnaMcNuff to #Cumbria and @LodgeBreaks today on her #BarefootBritain challenge. She's running the equivalent of 100 marathons (2620 miles!), inspiring and encouraging @Girlguiding units along the way – go Anna! #theplacetobe pic.twitter.com/1UgrVSOMS6
— Cumbria Tourism (@cumbriatourism) August 12, 2019
McNuff’s journey is in support of Girlguiding UK, and the point of it all is not to be fast, but simply to inspire young women to challenge themselves in ways that make them grow. She has been speaking to Girlguiding groups along the way, and in her latest video update, shot in northwestern England, she explains that, having already done some rather ambitious runs in running shoes, she “felt like it was cheating to do it in trainers.” (McNuff ran the length of New Zealand’s two islands with all her gear on her back in 2015. She described it in a 2016 TED-X talk.)
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BLIMEY O’REILLY – the Yorkshire Dales are the gift that keep on giving. 🙌🏻 🧚♀️🌳🌿🌻 Despite the sky trying to empty itself of all possible moisture over the last week, I have somehow dodged thunderstorms ⛈ and found quiet valleys, bright hills and even brighter running 🏃🏼♀️ 🏃♂️ people in their place. . Also. I’m now officially convinced there is a cloud factory in The Yorkshire Dales. ☁️ ⭐️ 🏭 Because they sure do make em fine. Fluffy ones, big ones, small ones. Ones that hide behind fells and others that drift apart on the breeze 🥰 . Mega thanks to Kirkby Stephen cool cats Krystal & Rich, my Kendal hosts Dan & Grace and to Jennie from @thelodgesatartlegarth who put me up in a SWANKY lodge with a hot tub 🛀 . Say whaaat? Say… I know. (Check out my stories for more on that) . The days are still long, the big hills are many, spikey-naughty tarmac is making an unwelcome reappearance every now and then and most days end with me falling asleep in my dinner 🍽 🤤but… after last week’s calf blip, the bod feels back to its usual self. 🙌🏻🏃🏼♀️Something that’s a HUGE relief as I keep on trucking and head for Leeds… . #ReadyForANYTHING @theaa_careers
McNuff communicates with locals in each community she travels through via social media, inviting people to run with her and asking them to put her up for the night. Her feet seem to be holding up well, and though she was waylaid temporarily with a calf injury a few days ago, she is now back to normal and covering between 10 and 30 miles (approximately 15 to 50K) per day.
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⚠️ ! Workplace hazard ! ⚠️ Sorry if you’re eating lunch right now. 😬 I love how my second toe is all like ‘Get me away from that thing!’. It looks like the leaning tower of Toeza. . The result of a long 22 mile day in Northumberland, and some distracted chatting in the final few miles. Just caught Mr Big toe on a bit of rogue pavement. He’s healing up nicely though. What a champ. 💪🏻Onwarrds. . #ReadyForANYTHING @theaa_careers
McNuff has a Canadian connection: In the late fall of 2017 and winter of 2018 she accompanied her partner, British ultrarunner Jamie McDonald, on a cross-Canada tour to promote the book he wrote about his unassisted cross-Canada run in 2014. They travelled in a Dodge Caravan. McDonald set a new 7-day treadmill record (833 kilometres) in Gloucester, UK in May.
You can track McNuff’s progress here.