Having embarked on her Top to Bottom Challenge on August 20, Vicky Willan has completed more than three-quarters of her 1,100 mile challenge. With a proposed finished date set for October 10, the athlete is confident she will complete her journey despite a series of unexpected setbacks so far.
With over 850 miles under her belt, Vicky has had to divert her route on several occasions to deal with treacherous terrain, adding extra distance to an already mammoth challenge. A series of en-route physio visits to cure an injured achilles, plus an unfortunate incident involving an incinerated laptop, however, has done little to abate the Mancunian's determination.
Speaking to scottishrunningguide.com as she passed through Snowdonia in Northern Wales, Vicky said she was feeling both physically and mentally strong, commenting: "After the initial setbacks in which I suffered from excruciating blisters and an injured achilles, I feel I have been on good form. My body is not really hurting at all at the moment."
On the recent escapade concerning the laptop, which was set on flames after being accidentally placed on a cooker, the athlete had to pick herself up to continue with the challenge. Vicky told scottishrunningguide.com, "Although it may seem silly, the fact I lost a lot of photographs and speaking diaries of the journey so far was emotionally really draining."
With her sister's support vehicle providing navigational assistance, Vicky is currently running at a rate of around 5 hours per day. A mixture of diverse surroundings and people's generosity, she claims, has been a source of motivation: "Everyday you come across stunning landscapes. I have met with nothing but support from friends, family, colleagues, and complete strangers."
If Vicky completes her Top to Bottom Challenge, she will finish at the south coast of England in Poole on October 10. The proposed finish date is significant as it is the same day of the World Mental Health Day, with Vicky fundraising for the Mental Health Foundation. You can follow up-to-date progress on Vicky's blog, alternatively, you can sponsor the runner at her fundraising website.