Lancaster woman to run length of Britain to mark retirement from nursing

A former nurse from Lancaster is taking on a 1,000 mile running challenge to mark her retirement.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 3:04 pm
Colette Whelan pictured during a previous run.

Mum-of-three Colette Whelan will be undertaking an end-to-end run from Lizard Point in Cornwall to Cape Wrath in Sutherland, the most north westerly point of Scotland.

Keen marathon runner Colette believes this is a route that has not been done before and will be a distance of roughly 1,000 miles.

Where possible, she will be running on footpaths and trails, minimising her time on the road. She plans to run an average of 25 miles per day with one rest day per week.

Colette Whelan pictured during a previous run.

Starting on April 12, Colette aims to complete the mammoth task by early June.

She said: "I was looking for something to mark the occasion of my retirement from nursing and wanted to take the opportunity to challenge myself.

"I have been doing endurance events for nearly 20 years, usually shuffling along towards the back. I have noticed that during that time, ladies especially, have observed my exploits and in a small way have been inspired by them.

"That's quite powerful and I am harnessing that to inspire me to attempt this challenge. As I do the run, I hope that I can raise awareness for women's participation in sport, giving a positive message that it is ok to exercise regardless of age, ability, shape and size - just do it for yourself!

Colette Whelan pictured after a previous run.

"I have been considering my challenge for roughly a year and it has gradually morphed into a definitive plan. I knew that my preference would be to stick to footpaths, cycle paths, towpaths and country lanes.

"The footpaths I chose are mainly the long distance way marked ones so that in theory I will follow the signposts without needing to refer to a map too often.

"Originally, I wanted to do the challenge self-supported and considered pulling a trailer but, my husband, an avid cyclist, offered to crew for me if he could get some time off work."

The adventure became real with the purchase of a camper van, named Lizzie, which allows Colette's husband to support her with food, shelter and moral support - and also joining her on his bike as he has done previously.

Colette Whelan pictured during a previous run.

Colette added: "I am currently in training and it seems that the only thing that needs to happen is the end of this terrible virus we have been living under."

You can read all about Colette's previous marathon events on her blog here and also keep up to date with her April run.