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Barefoot athlete will run more than 2000 miles to inspire girls

Girlguiding ambassador Anna McNuff hopes to inspire the next generation of girls.

An adventurer has packed plenty of things for an exciting trip - but trainers aren't one of them.

Anna McNuff has set off from Shetland on a journey to run the distance of 100 marathons - all while barefoot.

The five-month challenge will see the Girlguiding ambassador cover more than 2000 miles throughout Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands, before finishing in London.

Daredevil: Anna McNuff plans to run more than 2000 miles barefoot.
Daredevil: Anna McNuff plans to run more than 2000 miles barefoot. STV

She told STV News: "I thought straight away, 'you can't do a run in bare feet'.

"But then I think I realised; if I think it's bonkers, that's probably actually a good reason to do it, because I have no idea if it is possible.

"But I'm about to find out and week one has been incredibly difficult, but there's still a long way to go to London, and I'm game for the challenge."

Ms McNuff will run barefoot across rugged coastlines, through villages, across moors, along beaches, over farmland and even down a few main roads.

While making her way through Britain, she will also be visiting thousands of girls and young women in Girlguiding in the hope her adventure will inspire the next generation.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Byc31mxne0u/ | instagram

Ms McNuff, who is the daughter of two Olympians, said: "When you take on challenges which are really going to push you - and I mean push you to the edge - it is uncomfortable and it is ugly, and there are all these messy thoughts and emotions.

"But if you just keep going through the messy stuff, you will come out the other side."

Ms McNuff has already cycled 50 US states and run the length of New Zealand, but this is her biggest challenge yet.

She said: "I've been training for about a year and a half now, gradually moving down from trainers to minimal shoes and then into these socks with thick bottoms.

"And then I spent the last six months running barefoot, round the streets of London and everything."

Challenge: Ms McNuff hopes to be home by November.
Challenge: Ms McNuff hopes to be home by November. STV

Sharing her top tips to anyone else thinking about taking up the barefoot challenge, she revealed: "If you put your feet in the bath, they soak and then the skin peels off. So I've got to keep my feet out of the bath.

"And, funnily enough, the best way to train yourself to barefoot run, is to run barefoot."

Depending on how her feet cope with the terrain, Ms McNuff hopes to return to her home in London by November.

She added: "I've no idea what's next, but I definitely will be putting my feet up at the end of it."

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