Team GB ultra-runner Carla Molinaro has set a new female record for running the length of Britain.
The 36-year-old elite athlete, who took off from Land's End in Cornwall on July 16th, reached John O’Groat’s in Scotland this morning at 6:09 a.m. She completed the 874-mile distance in 12 days, 30 minutes and 14 seconds, beating the previous record set by Sharon Gayter in 2019.
Molinaro ran between twelve and sixteen hours per day to achieve this goal, covering almost 73 miles each day. She was joined by a crew of supporters, including a doctor, physiotherapist, masseuse and chef. She was also accompanied by other runners along the way, including Gayter herself.
Molinaro documented her experience on social media, regularly updating her Instagram on her progress. She candidly shared the emotional strain of the challenge, revealing on day three that she felt 'beat up by the roads.'
The high mileage also took a physical toil, leaving her with a host of aches and pains. On day nine, she admitted to her followers: 'Even my ears hurt.'
She was faced with her biggest adversity yet when the tendon in her left leg imploded on day ten. 'It feels like someone is playing the banjo on my tendon whilst sticking a red-hot poking iron into my shin!'.
Despite these struggles, Molinaro persevered. Just one day after her 36th birthday, she reached the finish line at John O’Groat’s.
She has decided for next year, she is going to celebrate in a slightly different way: 'If I ever say this is what I’m going to do for a birthday again, someone needs to tell me to go to a spa.'
Talking about the inspiration for the challenge, Molinaro said, 'When lockdown kicked in, I started to run up and down my driveway this made me start to daydream about going on a running adventure. LEJOG (Land’s End to John O’Groats) popped into my head and it stuck there so I started to plan to run the length of the UK and decided to try and break the WorldRecord at the same time. As there are no races anytime soon it seems like the perfect time to combine a mega challenge with an adventure.'
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