On November 1st 2015, Elise Downing set off to run 5000 miles around the entire coast of Great Britain. The adventure should take 10 months and she is running unsupported, carrying all her kit on her back. The idea of this being an adventure on home turf is really central to the whole project and she is having lots of fun exploring all the parts of the UK that she barely knew existed before. Elise is aiming to raise £25 000 for charities Young Minds and Beyond Food and is encouraging other people to get outside and run with her.
Elise has been running for around 3 years but it was leading a university trek to Everest Base Camp in 2014 that really sparked her love for the outdoors. She started to realise then that she probably wouldn’t be truly happy if she didn’t spend a large portion of her life outdoors with a sunburnt nose and aching legs. Elise returned home from Nepal and started working with a startup in London. She loved her job and was really enjoying settling into London life but had that itch for a bigger challenge. The idea of running around the UK coast came into her head and it was an idea that she just couldn’t shake. She says that it blows her mind every single day how beautiful this country is and it’s incredible to be able to explore it on her own two feet, getting a bit muddy and a bit sweaty in the process.
We interviewed Elise to find out more:
Do you have a life motto or mantra that you live by?
Doing a thing is a whole lot less scary than thinking about doing a thing – so you might as well just do it!
What are you known for?
I seem to have built up quite a reputation for my excessive cake consumption! This is great because people keep bringing me cake but also dangerous as it’s proving difficult to fit in my 5 a day around all of the chocolate brownies.
What would you have chosen as your dream job?
I’m still trying to figure that out but I always think being a window cleaner on skyscrapers would be a pretty awesome job – basically abseiling with cleaning products?
If you won the lottery, what would you do?
I think that I would try to forget about it for the next few months. I’m writing this mid-adventure and I really think that having a limited budget is a positive right now as all the most interesting encounters happen as a result of trying to save money!
If you could be a superhero, who would you be? What special powers?
I don’t know much about superheroes but I would be one who could fly, 100%! You could go anywhere, no airfares or flight delays or stopovers.
What’s your worst joke ever?
Which hand do you stir your tea with? You don’t, you use a spoon!