Twenty-two-year-old breaks JOGLE record

Imo Boddy JOGLE

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Imogen Boddy has become the youngest known female to run the length of Britain.

Aged just 22, she ran 60km (40 miles) a day for 22 days from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

Imogen, from Yorkshire, completed the 1340km challenge, known as 'JOGLE', on Sunday.

She said: “It feels amazing to have finished. Surreal! I don’t think it has sunk in yet.”

She added: “I’ve never done anything so hard in my life and sometimes it felt very overwhelming but I never doubted I would complete it.

“I couldn’t have done it with the support of my family and friends.”

In 2018, the previous record-holder, Megan Al-Ghailani, completed a JOGLE run in 40 days and celebrated her 23rd birthday during the feat.

The youngest known male to run north from Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG) is Tom Hunt, who took 30 days in 2016.

Imo’s JOGLE run is an unofficial world record. She said: “It won’t be an official record because Guinness World Records stated they are not keen to encourage running records for young people.”

An important part of the feat was raising funds for the mental health charity Young Minds. Imo has raised almost £26,000 so far.

Imogen, a personal trainer, said: “I have spent a lot of time during the run reflecting on how important exercise is for mental health. Exercise helps to keep us balanced mentally.

“I also hope I have shown that we are capable of so much more than we think we are.”

Imo started her ultra run at John O’Groats on June 19. She followed the most direct route south, mainly sticking to roads.

She was supported for the full challenge by her parents Laura and Julian in a motorhome. Friends and family members have joined her for sections of the run.

Logistics and cycling safety support has been provided by former Marine and accomplished ultra runner Chris Taylor.

Imogen described many ups and downs during JOGLE. She said: “The first part of every day was so hard mentally. The first 10 days were also very tough physically.

“I had many painful blisters on my feet and then a sore tendon in my right foot and also a sore left knee, probably because I was compensating for the sore foot. At times I couldn’t see the light ahead.

“But then my body seemed adapt a bit. People said this would happen but early on I didn’t believe it would.

“After that it has just been coping with the long days and getting through the 60km. There have been some very hots days, too.”

Imo described the 22 days of daily ultra marathons as “like being in a bubble of running”.

She said: “Everything else has been done for me and I have just needed to run and walk the distance and others have organised my food, recovery treatments and sleep.

“The support from everyone has been incredible.”

Imogen was sponsored on the challenge by London-based investment company Frostrow Capital.

Last year, Imo completed seven marathons in seven days to raise funds for the charity, MIND.

While attending Sedbergh School in Cumbria, she also created The Boddy Challenge, aimed at sixth-form girls. The endurance event consists of a 10km swim in Lake Windermere, running a marathon around Lake Windermere and then cycling 40km back to Sedbergh, all in under 12 hours.

She said: “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.”

Pic: Tom Leeming. Article: Fiona Russell

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