- Carla Molinaro
- 12:0:30 day(s):hour(s):minute(s)
- United Kingdom (Lands End)
The fastest journey from Land's End to John-O'-Groats on foot (female) is 12 days 30 min and was achieved by Carla Molinaro (UK), from 16-28 July 2020.
Carla has been an ultra runner for 5 years now and as the spread of COVID-19 started all the races she was signed up for stared to get cancelled. Since she didn’t want all the time she’d trained for going to waste, she started to look for another challenge.
“LEJOG had always been on my bucked list and I thought that it would be an incredible record to go for. It would be really hard but a fantastic journey and incredible challenge.”
We asked Carla how she started to plan for the journey: “I started off with 50km and added 5k each week, I ended up with 4 x 50km as well as two speed sessions and 3 yoga sessions. I also went to see the physio a few times to make sure that my body was in correct working order.”
She then listed some of the other challenges she’d taken part in over the past few years, which included The Long Road to Comrades in 2018 from Cape Town to Comrades where ran a total of 900km in 20 days, as well as the Great Ocean Run on the South coast of Australia, running 270 km in 3 days 28 mins 30 sec. She has also completed thea GR20, Tour Mont Blanc, and Haute Route which was a course of 200 km and 15,000 m of climbing. To top it off, she also ran from London to Paris in 4 days!
We then asked Carla about the most memorable moments of her record attempt. She said it was any time her friends came to run alongside her for a while:
“The nicest thing that happened to me was lots of old friends that I hadn't seen for over 10 years from university or the army came to run with me or cheer me on on the side of the road. My once friend Fiona drove for two hours just to give me a cupcake and it was probably the best cupcake I have ever had.”
Even Carla’s family showed up to support her! “It was also lovely to have my mum, dad and brother come to see me during the run, I tried to hold myself together but cried as soon as I saw them. My mum and dad then came back on the last day to see me finish. I couldn't believe they had come that far just to see me touch a pole!”
Though her popularity stretched further still: “Sharon Gayter who broke the record last year also came to see me and run with me for a bit which was incredible. It was lovely to have here there with me. Angela White the oldest lady to complete LEJOG also came to run with me. It was wonderful to have Angela and Sharon there as they both knew exactly what I was going through.”
Though it wasn’t all smooth sailing on the run. Carla said she barely slept throughout the whole run as her muscles were still very sore and fired up from all the running and wouldn’t relax until days after the challenge was completed.
It’s worth noting that Carla wasn’t alone through it all, she had a support team with her, preparing all the food, keeping her evidence organised and providing regular moral support. She also says her friends believed in her, which really boosted her confidence “a few friends said 'if anyone can do this you can' this was a huge compliment”.
And what was her favourite spot? “The Pentlands in Scotland and then the highlands. It was sooo beautiful up there and made running quite easy when you had incredible views to look at. I even saw some snow on one of the hills which was crazy for July!” Carla says she’d make the journey again but this time, in a slower pace “I love seeing places slowly. We are normally in such a rush to get anywhere so to slow it down and take your time to take in your surroundings is really special.”
And finally, what did earning a Guinness World Record title mean to Carla? “It would be absolutely incredible. To have my name as a record holder amongst some great athletes would be really special and an absolute honour.”