Barefoot Britain

Running 100 barefoot marathons to encourage young women to reach for the impossible
 
 
 
MY NEXT ADVENTURE

What’s the plan?

In June 2019, I’ll set off to run the distance of 100 marathons (2,620 miles) through Britain – completely barefoot.

Starting in the Shetland Islands and ending five months later in London, I’ll weave my way along rugged coastlines, through small villages, across moors, along beaches, over farmland and even pitter patter down the odd picturesque A-road too. I’ll be passing through some of the country’s biggest cities, and a fair ole wodge of suburbia as well – in the hope that runners (or wannabe runners) will throw on their trainers and join me for a mile or two.

“Who knows whether this is possible. Who knows if this is the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever had. Who knows what will happen to my body and where I will stumble upon my limit”

The Next Generation

 

At the core of the journey is an aim to show the young women of Great Britain that there is more in magic them than they will ever know.

As a proud ambassador for UK Girl Guiding,  working alongside the organisation to visit as many Guiding units on route as possible – speaking to girls of all ages about the joys of adventure and the great outdoors. It’s an exciting time for Girl Guiding in the UK – they’ve recently overhauled their badge program, and are progressive in encouraging young women to carve out a bright future or themselves.

 

 

“Adventures are about a quest for growth. I figure that if I’m going to stand in front of young girls around the UK and encourage them take on challenges that they believe to be just beyond their reach – then I have to be on that journey too.”

Why Barefoot?

 

I’ve had a quiet obsession with minimalist running for a few years now, ever since I read Born to Run and spent time in New Zealand – where many of the kids run around barefoot.

I love nothing more than a barefoot wander in the local park and take great joy in returning home with grubby feet. I also think that (just like every other part of our bodies) feet are amazing.

They are quite the complex machine with over 7,000 nerve endings in each sole and 26 bones in each foot.  As always, this adventure is a huge experiment – I’m looking see if I can coax my feet into doing what they were truly built to do, after a lifetime of being squidged up in shoes.

“Am I terrified? Yes. Am I excited. Yes, that too. Am I wondering if I’ve gone one step too far this time? Absolutely. Which is exactly why I know that this is the right challenge to take on.”

Get Involved

 

This time around, I won’t be carrying my worldly possessions on my back as I run (that was a silly idea). Instead I will be relying on the kindness of strangers to help my gubbins get from one part of the UK to the next.

Here’s some ways that you could help me out if you happen to live near or on the running route:

  • Arrange for me to visit your local Girl Guiding unit
  • Offer to host me for the night
  • Come and run with me on one of the open stages
  • Have me come and talk to your local running club
  • Offer advice on my intended route and the terrain – I can only know so much
  • Tell the world about this adventure! Sharing is caring, after all
  • Follow me like a stalker on social media (this helps spread the love more than you know)

For any of these things, email barefoot@annamcnuff.com and the logistics adventure elf will get back to you right away.

Questions

 

I’d have a lot of questions if I were you too. Here’s some I’ve pre-empted…. 

Will you run a marathon every day?

No I won’t – the overall distance is equivalent to 100 barefoot marathons, but in a bid to inject some realism into the equation – sometimes I’ll run less, and (as the run progresses) sometimes I’ll run more.

Where will you sleep?

Sometimes I’ll have to camp out in the middle of nowhere under the stars with a bivvy bag, but often I’ll be in the homes of the kind people of the UK. I’m hoping to get to know the people of our amazing country as well as I do the landscapes.

How fast will you run?

It’s tough to say… but if we’re going for averages, I’d say each marathon will likely take me 6 hours to complete. On beautiful flat grassland or baby smooth tarmac I could crack out a 4 hour marathon, but if I hit gravel and or am tired (very likely) then it will be far slower. If you want to come and run with me for a few miles, know that the pace will be easy to keep up with (and I also like stopping for tea and cake… jus saying…).

What happens if you step on glass or cut your foot?

I don’t know yet. But I figure that I can only control the controllable. If I get injured or step on a broken Irn Bru bottle in the outskirts of Glasgow (as my Scottish friend asked) – then I will deal with that then.

Are you raising money?

I am terrible at fundraising. Or rather, I feel there are better ways for me to give. I have decided to give back through stories and talks, but I do have a fundraising page here for anyone who would like to donate to Girl Guiding. We’ll use any money donated to send young girls in need on adventures of their very own.

How can local Guides book you to speak?

Check the route map at the top of this page, and if you’re nearby where I’m running then email barefoot@annamcnuff.com

Are you prepared to run 100 barefoot marathons?

I’m not sure anyone is prepared to run 100 barefoot marathons – that would be madness – but I am as ready as I can be. I’ve been running in minimalist trainers for three years now, and over the last year have transitioned to run in just thin socks or totally barefoot. There are still some terrains that are agony (gravel track) but others that are dreamy (the yorkshire dales!!) so it will depend on what I come across as to how I’ll fare.

Do you think it’s possible?

I do. But I won’t know that for certain until I make the finish line in London. I am sure there will be many disasters and mishaps along the way.

What on earth does you mother think?

She thinks I’m bonkers. But then again she’s bonkers too and she raised me to believe in what is possible, rather than focus on what isn’t. Therefore, really – this is all her doing.

“This is about taking my mind and body to places it’s never been before, and sharing with you all that I find out there”

Run With Me

Below is a magical calendar to show when I will be where as I gallivant through the UK. Each open running stage is somewhere between 10 to 30 miles long and you can join me for as much or as little on that stage as you like.
 
If you’ve got any questions about signing up for a certain stage, drop us a line at barefoot@annamcnuff.com

sun02junAll DayRun Stage 1Skaw

mon03junAll DayRun Stage 2Baltasound 

tue04junAll DayRun Stage 3Clivocast 

wed05junAll DayRun Stage 4Mid Yell

thu06junAll DayRun Stage 5Loch of Gouden

fri07junAll DayRun Stage 6Toft

sat08junAll DayRun Stage 7Loch of Bellister

sun09junAll DayNO EVENT

mon10jun12:00 amNO EVENT

tue11jun12:00 amNO EVENT

wed12jun12:00 amNO EVENT

thu13jun12:00 amFerry Crossing

fri14junAll DayRun Stage 8Kirkwall 

sat15junAll DayRun Stage 9Gills bay

sun16junAll DayRun Stage 10Wick

mon17jun12:00 amNO EVENT

tue18jun12:00 amNO EVENT

wed19jun12:00 amNO EVENT

thu20junAll DayRun Stage 11Dornoch

fri21junAll DayRun Stage 12Tain

sat22junAll DayRun Stage 13Evanton

sun23junAll DayNO EVENT

mon24junAll DayRun Stage 14Inverness

tue25junAll DayRun Stage 15Drumnadrochit

wed26junAll DayNO EVENT

thu27junAll DayRun Stage 16Laggan

fri28junAll DayRun Stage 17Kingussie

sat29junAll DayNO EVENT

sun30junAll DayNO EVENT

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