Angela, ‘the running Granny’ from South Lakeland is about to set off on a world record breaking attempt to be the oldest female to travel 840 miles on foot from John O’Groats to Lands End.
Angela will set off on 10th September to raise awareness of health and ageing.
“I haven’t always been a runner and, if you’d told me ten years ago I’d be planning to try and run hundreds of miles, I wouldn’t have believed you.
Not only was I very overweight and unfit, but I was overworking in my job, and there was always work to do at home. I had no time to myself, and to be honest, I was very fed up with life. I felt I was on a downhill spiral.
I knew things had to change but I also knew that only I could make those changes, whatever they might be.
But, where to start. I needed to break the cycle of the routine as it was affecting both my physical and my mental health.
Making the decision to invest some time and energy in me, was the hardest step I took.
I have since taken many small steps. Just one at a time. Working on different aspects of me, and my life.
Now, I don’t have any of those ‘before’ and after photos to show you as I avoided letting people take them. What I can do though is share the experience of some of the small steps I have taken – and there have been a lot of them. Some of those steps are now a regular part of my life, and some of them things I try and do as often as I can.”
Angela’s first small step was walking, but she has tried many other things, and shares thoughts about them on her website with the aspiration of empowering others to make their own small steps, or share their stories. You can find out more about Angela’s small steps here.
“It’s not easy, and it takes time and persistence to make changes regularly.
It’s easy to lapse some days, but we are all only human and, as they say, good habits die hard. Once your change is a habit, even if you do lapse then it’s easy to get back on the wagon.
Please remember, though, these steps have taken me ten years. If you think they might be of help you, then taking on just one of these a month would take you two and a half years to complete. Were you to do this, I could pretty much guarantee you’ll be in a healthier and happier place by the time you finished them.”
Angela is also influenced by her professional career as a doctor, and her passion to support others to be healthier in later years is behind her drive to set up a community interest company ‘Going for Old’.
“We will encourage, motivate and inspire people to take small steps to adopt health lifestyle choices to improve their physical and mental health throughout their life. We will share good practice from the community, and encourage commitment to small changes, in an iterative manner.”
So Angela is now about to set off on a huge challenge – she refers to it as a “JOGLE”.
JOGLE means taking a route the length of Great Britain between John O’Groats and Land’s End. There are many means of travelling the distance: some, cycle, either solo or on a tandem, some walk, it’s been done on a skateboard and many other methods have been chosen.
“I plan to ‘run’ my JOGLE attempt, although my run will involve walking, shuffling, probably some limping and hobbling too. How forgiving my poor legs and feet will be I’ve yet to discover but I’m expecting it to hurt….. a lot.
The total distance will be about 840 miles. I’d like to set a new World Record as the Oldest Female to do it.
I’m not some elite athlete who’s been running all their life. In fact, I only ‘dipped my toes in the water’ of ultra-running seven years ago, and I’ve certainly never done anything on this scale.
The reason I’m doing this run is to raise awareness of serious matters concerning health and ageing. There’s a short video here. Everyone in the country, from the top to the bottom is affected – hence my choice of route for my challenge.
I plan to start my run on Tuesday 10th September, 2019 and I will be carrying a tracker which will enable my location to be viewed on a website, so you can follow my progress down the country. You can see my route and follow my progress here: http://live.opentracking.co.uk/trgjogle/
I will cross the Scottish English border at Gretna, and run along the A6 through Cumbria. If you fancy coming to say hello, or even run or walk a bit with me that would be fantastic. Please identify yourself to the support vehicle closest to me before joining me and ensure you where hi-vis.
I will be sharing my journey on social media and would appreciate support and interest as I raise the profile of this issue. Come on this journey with me because it will be of enormous benefit to all of us. We all have the power to make a change today. Small steps lead to big changes.”