Runner prepares to go 1000km barefoot

Former Commonwealth Games runner to traverse Spain for charity

A former international marathon runner has set herself the challenge of running more than 1,000 kms through the middle of Spain without shoes for charity.

Julia Chi Taylor, age 58, will start her journey on March 23, 2018, on the Northern Coast of Spain in Suances. She plans to finish 52 days later on May 12 at the Southern coast town of Almuñécar.

She is believed to be the first female to ever attempt to run this route, which takes her right through the middle of Spain, without shoes.

The journey is 1,006 kilometres and Julia is planning on averaging 25k per day for five days with a rest day after every five days. She plans to finish the run on her 59th birthday.

Julia who lived for 25 years in Sussex - 12 of them in Eastbourne - is raising money for Friends of Sussex Hospices and Fundación Cudeca – which is a cancer care hospice in Spain. Julia is aiming to raise £10,000 for the two charities. You can donate here

Julia said: "I have always worked deeply in the lives of others, helping them to face themselves in life and death. Therefore it feels natural for me to be raising money to aid the transition of adults and children in their journey from life to death.

“We die how we live and so through living fully we can embrace our death and through accepting that we will die we can live more wholly.”

Julia became a nomad several years ago - a person who travels from place to place and has no permanent home.  She sold all her belongings and carries everything she owns as hand luggage. 

Julia explains: “Becoming a nomad has allowed me to be free and explore the world easily.”

Julia has been running barefoot since she was six when she discovered her love for it. “We come into the world barefoot and we learn to walk barefoot,” she says.

Living completely barefoot except for foot jewellery and Skinners socks, for exceptionally rough ground, Julia has been training and building up her barefoot running in preparation for the run.

Julia was a top marathon runner. Her first international was in 1979 in Spain, a three mile cross-country race; and she continued to run at international level until 1993.

Two of her best results were first place in the Dublin City Marathon in 1985 and seventh overall and third British woman in the 1986 London Marathon in 2:36:31. This latter earned her selection for the Commonwealth Games.

Julia was originally born in Sierra Leone. Giving inspiration to many others through her words and actions, Julia inspires others through her running and example. 

 Julia getting some miles in!

Julia getting some miles in!