Denmead runner takes on epic 10 mile challenge each day in February to raise hundreds for NHS Charities Together
COLD weather has not been able to stop a Denmead fundraiser on a mission to run 280 miles in one month for the NHS.
Despite snow flurries and low temperatures, Jess Shotton has been running 10 miles each day so far this month in support of our health service.
Jess, 29, enjoys running but this is the biggest physical challenge she has taken on.
She said: ‘I was inspired by hearing what other people were doing during this ridiculous time we’re in.
‘Running has got me through the first two lockdowns. I thought this is a way I can use something I enjoy doing to help and push myself at the same time.’
Jess, who has been living abroad for more than six years, came back from Canada for a family Christmas in 2019 and has not been able to return due to the pandemic.
Her experience of private healthcare in other countries has been a contrast to the NHS.
Jess said: ‘We’re so lucky to have the NHS because if I twisted my ankle running, it’s a bit of a bummer but I know I’m going to be taken care of.
‘The virus has really brought to the forefront of everyone’s minds how lucky we are to have the NHS and how precious it is.
‘They’re under so much pressure at the moment. They’re just regular people but they’re doing such amazing things.
‘That’s why I really wanted to push myself because these people are doing superhuman work.’
The lowest point of the challenge so far came five miles into a midweek run, when Jess realised her tracker was not recording.
Wanting to get a proper record of her efforts, Jess continued to run an entire 10 miles so completed roughly 15 in total.
She said: ‘That was the longest I have ever run in my life. That was the lowest point so far when I saw it hadn’t been recording. I had a moment and my heart just sank.’
Apart from the low moment, Jess has been feeling really positive and has seen great support from family and friends.
Jess said: ‘I feel quite humble, people are going through so much at the moment and if me struggling through this run is the hardest thing I’m going to do today then I’m doing alright.’
She has nearly raised her £500 target, with plenty of 10-mile runs ahead of her.
Jess said: ‘People are extraordinary, especially at a time when money is tight for a lot of people, they are still giving and that is ridiculously incredible!’
Visit justgiving.com/fundraising/280milefebruarychallenge to donate and follow Jess’ daily Strava updates.