Exciting adventure ahead with the Barefoot Challenge

Today’s guest post is by Nadine Horn.

Nadine Horn

By the end of April I will embark on an exciting challenge; I will ‘barefoot’ run the length of Great Britain – exploring the country on a self-plotted route created by using OS getamap. My journey will take me across the 10 largest National Parks, starting in the South-East with the South Downs Way and finishing at the tip of Scotland with the Cairngorms. The distance: a 1000 miles.

Ordnance Survey, as one of the official partners, will make sure that I stay on track with my route by providing me with an iPhone that is equipped with the amazing OS MapFinder app. Also, updates of the journey and more details will be released on the blog here. So stay tuned.

Who am I and what’s the story behind it?

I  am one of those people with a rare allergy to walls and comfortable beds. My passion: traveling, exploring, learning and meeting people from all walks of life. My career: extreme endurance athlete/adventurer/author/barefoot coach.

In 2011 I cycled 4000 km around whole Spain learning fluent Spanish on the way (Mission Spain). It took me 29 days from the idea to the moment sitting on the air-plane off to Spain to start the quest. Last year, I finished my 1140 km solo-triathlon across three countries: cycling across Switzerland, swimming the Danube for over 200 km and traversing Austria (Three Border Triathlon).

Why am I doing, what I am doing?

Nadine’s planned route

There are many good reasons including my passion for learning directly from the country and the people living in it, but there is one in particular:

Living up to the potential we have been given by being human, challenging ideas of what we can do and what not and that there is no failure but simply room for improvement. Getting rid of bad habits that are of no use; exploring and learning something new.

Exactly for this reason I have transitioned to becoming a barefoot-runner. The last leg of my Three Border Triathlon Adventure involved running across Austria. The aim was to run 320 km. After 260 km my mind was prepared to keep going but for some reason my feet got injured…was the reason the wrong type of shoes? I was intrigued by what went wrong…

Shortly after, while giving a talk at the Outdoor Expo in Germany, I came across the Vivobarefoot Trainings Clinic and was intrigued by their slogan ‘running is a skill, injury free running’. Two months later I was a fully qualified Vivobarefoot certified coach, helping people to learn the skill of running naturally… and this led to my next adventure – to ‘barefoot’ run the country!

Once it’s not the shoe interfering with your running, it’s all about your technique – something you can influence and improve. So there is an exciting journey ahead.

The aim

The journey will take seven weeks; I will be crossing England, Wales and Scotland and will team up with local running groups, endurance athletes, fell- and barefoot runners and local communities with the aim to highlight the benefits of (barefoot) running, being active and inspire others to discover that the next adventure is on their door-step; including how mapping makes a difference to your journey. The challenge will be document to share the beauty and variety of the Britain with followers and I will also be raising awareness of and money for EOCA as ambassador.

We are right in the middle of the preparation phase, in the next blog entry we will talk about the planning process of the project and how OS getamap introduced me into the world of planning with pleasure. So keep checking here for the latest news.

In the meantime you can find my team on Twitter @TeamNadine2013, check out my site www.nadinehorn.com or find us on Facebook. We are also still looking for a support-vehicle partner – for more detail, read here.

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