This store requires javascript to be enabled for some features to work correctly.

News & adventure

celebrating running 100km - woman against blue sky

Running for Resilience - 1km at a time, by Victoria Hatch


It’s a fair question to ask: why would I decide to run 100km in 24 hours? Well, there are a few reasons, with the main reason being that I wanted to do some fundraising along with raising some awareness around how mental health is linked to our connection to nature and exercise. There are also many other reasons:

  • I hadn’t tried to run that far before

  • I wanted to explore my local area

  • I love to challenge myself

  • This met my personal threshold to be challenging enough to be able to fundraise

  • I seem to enjoy the type-2 suffering of long runs!

In addition, I’ve been struggling with my own mental health recently, so this run also enabled me to have something to look forward to, a different purpose for the duration of the run, and also gave me an excuse to spend a whole day outside!


It was a Friday, I looked at the weather forecast for the upcoming week and knew I had to make the most of a glorious short window of sun. I thought about my ongoing training until this point and pondered the thought of spending an entire day running.

Since late September I’ve been triathlon training, with the rough plan to take part in a self-made event in May with a friend. This meant that I would hopefully have enough time to recover from a long run over the next two months, and that I had a relatively high baseline fitness. So it was decided.… I would attempt to run 100km the following Tuesday!

As we were still in lockdown, I convinced three friends to accompany me for the three legs of the run, so I would have somebody supporting me the whole time.

girl about to set off to run 100km - victoria hatch

Leg 1:

The first leg of the day was glorious, starting off at 7am from Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park (Lancaster). My good friend Megan and I completed a lovely loop crossing the Forest of Bowland, we were in awe of the weather, it was almost too hot!

For a ‘forest’, there is a distinct lack of trees, so discussions and debates were had over the current use of the Forest of Bowland - dreaming about what the land could provide for biodiversity and for our own uses if it had been managed differently. The track we were following took us down to Caton, from which we followed the river and another track back towards Lancaster: a total of 47km.

woman with walking poles during endurance run - back to camera against blue sky

Leg 2:

It’s worth noting at this point that I had been in significant foot pain from 30km onwards, so with some bandages around my toes, and with a change of shoes I set off on the next loop! My next victim (I mean running partner!) was Tom, who accompanied me on the run down the canal to Glasson Dock and back on the estuary path. The ground was perfect, the soft mud was a dream for my painful feet and by the end of this leg I had added another 22km on to the day, taking me to 69km. I had an online meeting at 9pm, so I took the opportunity to eat a good amount of food and give my feet an air whilst on the call!

Leg 3:

At around 11pm, I turned up at Sam’s doorstep. He had agreed to accompany me the last little bit of the run, hoping by this point I wouldn’t have much left to go. When he found I that I still had 31km left to go, he wasn’t too pleased! Nonetheless, it’s by doing ridiculous adventures like this that you find out just how amazing your friends are. Sam hopped on his bike, and cycled next to me as I re-ran Leg 2 in reverse. I can’t thank Sam enough for staying up with me through the night, even though Lancaster feels relatively safe, I’m still not comfortable running alone in the remote area of the estuary - so his company meant I could continue to run on the mud and not be in too much pain! We finished the loop at 93km and stopped by my house for a change of head torch.  

woman during endurance run with head torch

With just 7km to go, we decided to go for an ‘out and back’ to finish back at the Ashton Memorial, where I had started almost a whole day earlier. Mentally this was probably the hardest part, it felt like we would never make it. In an attempt to get that last bit of psych to finish off the 100km, I put on the Lord of the Rings soundtrack from my phone, pretended I was heading to Mordor - and kept putting one foot in front of another.

This year has been tough, but I’ve kept telling myself that as long as I keep putting one foot in front of another, I’ll get through this. I’ll keep my head above water, as long as I just keep moving forward. The same was true in those final miles. Although it didn’t feel like it, I knew that the darkness would eventually end, I would eventually finish the run, and that soon it would all be okay again.

I found myself back in the park at 6am, with 100km on my watch. It had taken 23 hours of running, walking, and hobbling. To be honest, I was a little disappointed that I hadn’t started hallucinating by the end of the run! Although I was very excited to get into my bed, I still had a bit left in me, so in the future I’m hoping to go a bit further!

Sometimes it’s good to push yourself and to test your boundaries, see what it takes to be out of your comfort zone. Obviously this doesn’t need to be running 100km - it all helps build resilience. On the whole, I’ve found that the more time I spend in nature, the happier I am. And when I overcome challenges, it helps me cope better with life stresses and changes; crucial in this current climate.

Victoria Hatch is a wild swimmer, runner and all-round adventurer. To follow Vic’s latest adventures on her website and Instagram

Feel inspired? If you’d like to fundraise for us you can select us as your charity of choice on JustGiving, if you want any support from us on planning, promotion or just some ideas, drop us a hello.

If you enjoy this blog & want more tales of adventure and our latest events, join our mailing list.