Carla Molinaro set out to run the women’s FKT on Britain’s legendary LEJOG (which spans the length of the country) for her 36th birthday, and she successfully covered the distance in 12 days, 30 minutes and 14 seconds. The route travels from Land’s End (the extreme southern point of mainland England) to John O’Groats (the northern end of mainland Scotland) and covers just over 1,400K, with significant elevation gain. LEJOG is one of the most prestigious and competitive British routes.
The FKT has two names, depending on which direction runners choose to go. LEJOG, which is what Molinaro completed, goes from south to north, whereas the JOGLE (not to be confused with joggling) is its reverse, running from north to south. Molinaro eclipsed the record perviously held by Sharon Gayter by over 10 hours by averaging 12- to 16-hour days and covering roughly 120K in those stretches. That’s 120K every day for 12 days straight. She joked on Instagram that next year she’s going to the spa for her birthday instead of attempting one of the most difficult FKTs.
Molinaro updated her Instagram account everyday with how far she travelled, what she ate and how she was feeling. On Day 10, she ran into some trouble when her left leg started giving her problems. She shared on Instagram, “Just when I thought my legs couldn’t get any more sore, the tendon in my left leg imploded. It feels like someone is playing the banjo on my tendon whilst sticking a red hot poking iron into my shin! Still, I’m a few more steps closer to John O’Groats!”
What she ate to fuel 12 consecutive 120K days:
Oats with coconut and berries
Chicken and salad sandwich
Protein yoghurt & fruit
Cottage pie with tenderstem broccoli (this is British for shepherd’s pie)
While her goal was to run the route in under 12 days, coming up 30 minutes shy is impressively close. After finishing in terrible weather, she said, “That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, but battling the brutal winds and rain for 24 hours and trying to stay awake all night made finishing this morning bloody worth it. Thanks to everyone who made this happen.”
Molinaro’s run is one more inspiring performance to add to the list of notable women’s FKTs that have been run during the pandemic. Others include Beth Pascall’s Bob Graham Round record and Sabrina Verjee’s Wainwright peaks record.