Amy Hughes broke a world record earlier this year when she ran 53 marathons in 53 days, pounding 1,388 miles and wearing through five pairs of trainers. Now working with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, she offers this advice for those thinking of hitting the road
- Earlier this year, you broke a world record, running 53 marathons in 53 days which is an incredible achievement. Tell us about the experience and what it felt like when you crossed the final finish line.
It was the hardest yet best experience of my life. Although the challenge was so tiring, both physically and mentally, I never got bored as I was constantly visiting new places and meeting different people. That really is what kept me going – the support from people along the way and the public via socially media was incredible. The whole thing was a bit of a whirlwind of emotion as I had good days, tired days, happy days and sad days but there was never a dull day and there definitely wasn’t a day where I thought I wanted to quit. Passing the finish line was so surreal after being on this incredible journey for 53 days and in a chaotic routine, the thought of not having to wake up the next day having to run a marathon just didn’t seem real. It was so overwhelming having all my family and friends there. But it was also most definitely the best feeling ever!
- You were inspired to undertake your challenge on behalf of The Isabelle Lottie Foundation and now work with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust – how important are kids to your work?
Inspiring and helping not just kids but young people and older people for that matter is so important to me, I don’t think there are enough younger female fitness role models around to show that keeping fit is fun and the importance of being active. Working for the Kelly Holmes Trust is one of the best jobs, seeing the difference you can make to young people’s lives is the best feeling in the world. The difference the trust programmes make to not just fitness levels but to their confidence, communication and mental strength is amazing.
- For anyone who is thinking about running a marathon for the first time, what advice would you offer?
To try and enjoy your journey. A lot of people worry too much about what they should be doing, about getting injured, about times or what they should be eating. I would say just take your time getting to marathon distance, listen to your body when it needs a rest and try to enjoy your training.
- What do you enjoy most about running, and where would your perfect run be?
I love everything about running. I love the way I feel after I have run, I love that you can just grab your trainers and run, I love that you can run with only your thoughts, with a friend or in a group, or competitively if that’s what you enjoy. My perfect run would be with my boyfriend, running along a beach front somewhere. I love the sun!
- What are you up to at the moment and what are your plans for the future?
It is an exciting time actually, I am in the planning phase for next year’s challenge which will hopefully be international but that’s all I can say at the moment, and I have also received some exciting news about a new project in January but unfortunately I can’t say anything about that yet either. I have just started swimming though as I am planning on entering my first triathlon next year.