After reading Millican Ambassador, Laura Kennington's, 'There's Magic in Misery' blog, which documents her running the length of Fuerteventura in just 4 days, we were inspired by her impressive determination and resilience. We wanted to discover the journey that led to this unique challenge, considering 9 months before Laura was a complete beginner...
Words: Laura Kennington | Photography: David Altabev
“What kind of idiot goes from a non-runner to 100 mile runner in 9 months?” your own words, for anyone, runner or non-runner, wanting to take up this challenge or something similar, what advice would you give?
Be proactive and address the things that are stopping you. I had a lot of help in tweaking my running technique by teaming up with The Running School in London. Their support was invaluable. Just because you’re not ready now doesn’t mean that can’t change with a bit of effort.
You actually hated running, in-fact it was the only sport you really detested back at the beginning of your career. You persevered, and now combine the new found love for the sport with exploring and travelling to new places. Has running been your biggest challenge so far to crack?
Definitely! Coming from a cycling background, I used to just find running incredibly slow and immensely frustrating. It took me a while to settle and find my running rhythm. Accepting the slower pace and appreciating the simplicity are basic concepts but both were a process for me.
Despite being overwhelmed towards the end of the run and wanting to quit after day 2, you didn’t give up. Your determination kept you moving. Tell us about the feelings you on the run to the ﬁnal ﬁnish.
I genuinely doubted for most of the run that I was capable of finishing within the self-imposed time deadline so the feeling towards the end of the run when I realised that I was actually going to make it was overwhelming. It was a potent mix of disbelief, utter elation and contentment. It’s so powerful to completely surprise yourself and the run reinforced for me that limits are there to be tested. You might fail, but you’ll inevitably learn something valuable along the way and you never know what you’re capable of if you don’t even try.
You discovered that Fuerteventura translates to “great adventure”. What's on the list for your next great running adventure?
My next adventure is actually cycle based! I’ll be taking on the North Coast 500 route in Scotland, fully self-supported.
You are a big believer that adventure and sport are hugely powerful tools for developing our mindset. How do you encourage people to think a little bigger
Just start. Each of us is capable of much, much more than we think. It’s okay to not know all the answers and there are always people willing to help. If things don’t work out, you can always try something else – what have you got to lose? Time is the most precious resource we have – use it well.