Runner smashes record on 212-mile route by eating stock cubes

Jane McGuire
·2-min read
Photo credit: ANNA RUTHERFORD
Photo credit: ANNA RUTHERFORD
  • Scottish runner Anna Rutherford, 38, has smashed the record for running the 212-mile Southern Upland Way.

  • Rutherford ran the coast-to-coast route from Portpatrick, in the west, to Cockburnspath, in the east, in 62 hours and 34 minutes, beating the previous record by more than 17 hours.

  • She gave birth to her second child just nine months ago.

Scottish ultrarunner Anna Rutherford has said the secret to her record-breaking run was stock cubes. Speaking to BBC Scotland, Rutherford explained that she found it incredibly difficult to eat during her 212-mile challenge: ‘I could have any food I wanted, as there was a van meeting me at points along the way with supplies, but I just couldn't eat.

‘Then my friend Lucy Colquhoun gave me a bag of dry stock cubes and that was unbelievable. I was losing so many electrolytes, so the stock cubes helped me so much, as they are pure salt.’

Rutherford broke the previous record of 79 hours and 46 minutes, set by GB runner Rosie Bell in 2019, by more than 17 hours. The mother of two slept for a total of only 90 minutes during her challenge, was sick twice and had mouth ulcers when she crossed the line.

Rutherford gave birth to her second child, Ella, nine months ago. She trained during her pregnancy and only took two weeks off from running after childbirth. She is currently on maternity leave from her job as a lawyer. ‘I was in tears because I knew it was the longest I would have ever been without my children. I've never had a night away from them and leaving them broke my heart.’

Speaking about the rigours of her ultra, Rutherford said, ‘The hardest bit was knowing how long it was and knowing that it would push me to absolute breaking point.

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‘I knew my legs would hurt but I had no idea how my body would break down. It was awful.

‘I was shaking with cold and exhaustion and just kept thinking – keep moving, crawl if you have to, but just keep moving towards the coast and eventually it will be there, and eventually you will finish.’

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