A group of eight students are planning to run from London to Rome to raise money for charity. Their trek will include an eight-day continuous relay traversing the English Channel and the Alps, which the team named “The Italian Jog”.
This daring endeavour is aimed at raising funds and awareness for Access Sport, a charity providing quality local sports to children especially in the disadvantaged areas and “looking to harness the proven power of sport to tackle social exclusion, inactivity and obesity in areas where help is most needed”. So far, the team has raised £1375 with the goal of £10,000. The team is being sponsored by companies including DoRunning and Pro-direct Runnning, to supply top quality kit for the journey.
The team of eight will start at the Olympics Park in London and run to the Colosseum in Rome – a 1200 mile trip. The expedition constitutes 46 back-to-back marathons.
Claire Burley, a member of the Italian Jog team and researcher in Oxford University Psychiatry Department, told Cherwell, “I love adventure and being outdoors so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to be a part of this challenge. It’s also for a great cause so that’ll really help motivate us when it gets particularly difficult and our legs have turned to either jelly or lead or are in immense pain.”
The team will run via Switzerland, and will traverse Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain. Matthew Gunn, originator of the challenge, told Cherwell, “Not ones to shy away from a challenge, we’ll be running over some of Europe’s highest passes. And all this will start once we’ve already been on the road for about 5 days, each running 20 miles per day and driving in between.”
He added, “Once we start doing almost a full marathon every day with no proper recovery time and altered sleep patterns our physical condition is bound to deteriorate pretty quickly, which is where our mental toughness really needs to kick in. Racing marathons has never involved running up a rainy alpine pass at 2.30 in the morning!”
The team will be accompanied by two caravans, which will provide beds and food for the participants. Each teammate will run for around three hours per day. In between shifts, the runners will serve as support crews for their teammate on action.
One runner, Matthew Gunn, expressed his optimism to Cherwell: “We are very confident about completing the challenge. We’ve managed to assemble a really strong team who, although varying in their running experience and speed, are all highly motivated, committed and determined to succeeding.”