IMOGEN BODDY (R 15-17) TO RUN FROM JOHN O’GROATS TO LAND’S END

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Ultramarathon runner Imogen Boddy has set her sights on another incredible challenge- running the entire length of the island of Great Britain in just 22 days. In doing so, Imogen aims to become the youngest woman to ever complete the JOGLE (John O’Groats to Land’s End) challenge. No stranger to physical and mental challenges, during last year’s lockdown Imogen completed the astonishing feat of running seven marathons in seven days, but in an interview with Stylist Magazine, she says she is planning to go even bigger this year.

“I’ll be running the length of the UK (a distance of over 900 miles) over 22 days. That’s going to mean running around 60km – an ultramarathon – a day,” she explained.

“That may sound like torture but I’ve always loved setting myself meaty mental and physical challenges. Testing your limits and seeing how much you can achieve is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.

And I also want to become the youngest woman to have ever run the length of the UK. At 22, I want to show other young women just how incredible our bodies and minds are. We’re capable of being so much more than we look.”

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Imogen is also receiving sponsorship from fellow Old Sedberghian, Alastair Smith (H 77-82), managing partner at London-based investment company Frostrow Capital (named after Frostrow Fell). Imogen is also fundraising for mental health charity, YOUNG MINDS, where she has set a £10,000 target in support of an important cause close to her heart.

Throughout her time at Sedbergh School, Imogen was renowned for her athletic ability and her physical and mental endurance. As well as being named ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ for two consecutive years, Imogen left her mark on the School through the now legendary endurance challenge which is named after her – The Boddy Challenge. An endurance event, it consists of a 10km swim in Lake Windermere, running the Windermere marathon course and then cycling the 25 miles back to Sedbergh from Windermere. In completing the event whilst at School, Imogen helped raise over £8000 for charity and since its inception in 2017, the now annual event sees a selective group of Year 13 girls take on the challenge and raise money for their chosen charities. Since leaving Sedbergh School in 2017, Imogen has gone on to become a qualified personal trainer and is now based in London. 

Imogen was in Sri Lanka recently where she ran 250km over 5 days in preparation for the challenge, which she is set to undertake in June this year- starting in John O’Groats on the 19th June and finishing in Land’s End on the 10th July.

“My UK-based adventure is going to see me run over all kinds of terrains, beginning at John O’Groats in Scotland and finishing down in Land’s End. It’s not the kind of thing you can do with just a couple of months’ worth of running under your belt; I’ve been training for this since September and spending my spare time racking up around 100km a week,” she said.

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“Many people think a challenge like this is a crazy thing to do but running is such a mental activity. The human body is amazingly resilient and our minds can get us through the toughest situations. That’s why I’m using this opportunity to raise money for the charity Young Minds, which supports young people dealing with mental health problems. With the number of people living with anxiety, depression and eating disorders dramatically increasing across all age groups in recent years, it’s never been more important to support the work that organisations like this do.

Exercise has been a crucial part of my own mental health journey. When I left school, I – like so many other young women – developed an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise. 

Going through that kind of situation can tarnish your relationship with exercise forever, and it was only by focusing on training for performance that I managed to get a hold of my issues. It dawned on me that if I didn’t fuel myself with food, I wouldn’t be able to reach my goals. That realisation allowed me to re-evaluate my relationship with food and exercise, and develop a much better relationship with my body.

Challenges like the one I’m completing this summer allow me to set myself goals that have nothing to do with the way I look, and it’s this mindset that has changed the way I think completely.” Click here to read the original article from Stylist Magazine.

You can support Imogen via her running page devoted to the challenge here or her fundraising page here, and keep up to date with all of her progress via her Instagram – @imoboddy_fitness.

We wish Imogen the best of luck as she prepares for this inspiring and almighty challenge!