Running from Land’s End to John O’Groats (or vice versa) is probably the most iconic ultra-distance challenge in the UK. Many runners, walkers and cyclists have attempted the journey; some have even raced it, trying to beat the clock to rack up a fastest known time.
LEJOG (or JOGLE, depending on which direction you run) is 860 miles on the roads, so it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted. You’d think that would be enough of a challenge itself, but not so for Adam Holland, a UK ultrarunner who not only intends to run from John O’Groats to Land’s End, but he’s planning on running right back again!
The first leg
For the first part of the challenge, Adam will be joining a team from Ultra Running Limited. Together, they will be looking to complete the 860-mile (or 1,384K) journey in 17 days, averaging just over 50 miles per day. The epic adventure starts on 22nd March 2019, and the route has been thoroughly planned to ensure there is a hotel and hot shower waiting at the end of every day. Adam says that anyone is welcome to join him for a run on the way down, which is sure to help with motivation through the long days.
It is not an easy challenge, as the Ultra Running Limited website points out: ‘The JOGLE is incredibly demanding and few athletes will have the fitness or resolve to complete the entire’. Runners will have set cut-off times each day, based on a minimum average of 4mph a day.
The runners will also all have tracking devices, so if you want to check in on Adam’s progress over the course of the event, you can do so here: https://www.racedrone.net/event/adam-holland.
There and back again
For Adam, however, the JOGLE is just the warm-up, because he intends to turn around and run back to the start again. This time, however, he is attempting to set a new Guinness World Record and is hoping to complete the challenge in just 9 days. To have a chance of breaking the current record, Adam will be running 10K every hour for 16 hours a day.
Why would anyone choose to put themselves through such a challenge? “The John O’Groats to Land’s End challenge was something I was meant to do in 2018,” explains Adam. “However, my daughter Ottilie was due to be born around the time of the challenge, and I didn’t want to be away for a long period of time. So we decided to postpone the event until 2019. My wife, Katherine, joked about me attempting the record of 9 days on the way back… and that’s how the challenge came about. I personally think it’s going to help me to do the 17 days down as basically a warm-up. Then I will turn around and go for the Guinness World Record!”
But it’s not just about a personal achievement. Adam is also raising money for a cause close to his heart: Kids Run Free, which he has been an ambassador of since October 2018. The charity creates opportunities for children, igniting their passion for sport and encouraging them to be healthier, happier and more confident. “Every child deserves the opportunity to realise their potential through running, no matter their ability or age,” says Adam.
How to support
We’ll certainly be watching Adam’s progress throughout March and April. You can find out more about the challenge, the sponsors and the route on Adam’s own website: http://www.adamholland.uk/jogle-there–back-again.html.
You can also follow his Facebook page, where Adam is running weekly competitions to win some amazing prizes in return for a donation towards his charity fundraising for £1 an entry. So far the prize pot includes race places, sports nutrition, a running watch and tracker, and running kit.
To find out more about the challenge and to donate to Kids Run Free, visit Adam’s fundraising page: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Tango