An elite runner has broken the women’s record for running from Land’s End to John O’Groats — completing the route in 12 days, 30 minutes and 14 seconds.
Carla Molinaro, 36, from Buckinghamshire, said when the pandemic struck she “could see all the races slowly being cancelled”.
She told the PA news agency: “I personally like to have something to aim for, so I thought I would make my own race.
“I knew it would be hard, I’ve never done anything this hard. I had to put every single thing into it and just focus and get my head down all day, every day. Normally the things I do there’s bits of fun thrown in.
“I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet. It still feels a bit strange. We’ve just driven down from John O’Groats to Edinburgh and it’s taken us hours. I’m like ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe I ran that far.’
“It’s a cool thing.”
The running coach said she had read a book by someone who held the record five years ago which “planted the seed”.
She had to wait 12 weeks for Guinness to verify the record, which is the first world record she has achieved.
Throughout the run, she was taken by surprise by the generosity of people cheering her on.
She said: “I had to run through the night, and this family of four with their two little kids came and stood out on the street at two o’clock in the morning in horizontal wind and rain to cheer me on. Things like that are so cool.”
Every day had a dark patch, which was like a mental wall, she said.
“I couldn’t talk to anyone anymore and I just had to get my head down and run.
“If you want to do something like this you have to have an awesome team around you; there’s absolutely no way I could have done it without the guys that helped me.
“I could have run this on my own, but I wouldn’t have done it in a record time. They were predicting what I would need before I knew what I would need.”