She calls it “just a little run”. We call it an “epic-delic humongous marathon run of 32.000km”!
She is Rosie Swale-Pope, a Welsh native that decided to run around the world after her second husband, Clive, 73, died of prostate cancer in 2002. With this run she wanted to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Charity and an orphanage in Kitezh, Russia which provides children with education and care.
Rosie’s aim was to run around the northern hemisphere taking in as much land mass as possible, with no support crew and just minimal supplies and sponsorship. Rosie started from her home town of Tenby in Wales on her 57th birthday, 2 October 2003, where her first footfall is engraved in a flagstone on her front step. Equipped with just a small specially designed cart of food and basic camping equipment, the trip was funded by renting out her cottage. By 5 April 2004, she reached Moscow, Russia, and on 15 September 2005, she reached Magadan in far eastern Russia. After facing extreme conditions in the Alaskan Winter, she reached the road again on 17 April 2006, and in October 2006, she was in Edmonton, Canada. Four years after the departure, on 2 October 2007, she reached New York City.
She ran harnessed to her cart, which was designed for sleeping, shelter and storage. Her son James maintained a website that was followed closely by her supporters and provided regular updates and messages about her progress. Her supporter Geoff Hall organised supplies and equipment to reach her around the world. In the Faroes, she took part in an organised midnight hike to take in the scenery. She also gave cultural talks while on the road, and described how she met a naked man with a gun, how Siberian wolves ran with her for a week, and taking a break to run the Chicago marathon along the way.
Surviving on minimal rations, Rosie fell ill near Lake Baikal in Russia, possibly from a tick bite, and wandered into the path of a bus. She was knocked unconscious and taken in the bus to hospital. In Alaska, she had to cope with temperatures of −60 °F (−51.1 °C) and nearly froze in her sleeping bag at night. She was stuck in a blizzard by the Yukon River and got severe frostbite of her foot. She had no alternative but to call friends in Wales for help, who then called the Alaskan National Guard, who helped her get the frostbite treated, so she could continue on her run.
She left Canada by air from St John’s (Newfoundland) on 24 January 2008, to make a short visit to Greenland before flying to Iceland on 9 February 2008, and continued running to eastern Iceland. While running, she slipped on the ice, breaking several ribs and cracking her hip. She was over a hundred miles (160 km) from the nearest house from where she fell and had to walk two miles (3.2 km), with her injuries, before she was found and got medical attention.
On 18 June 2008, she arrived at Scrabster, in Scotland’s far north, by ferry from Iceland, and ran from Scrabster back home to Tenby. Rosie successfully completed the journey, and despite stress fractures in both legs, which turned the final few miles back to Tenby into a hobble on crutches, she returned to her home on 25 August 2008, at 14:18 local time. A large crowd of Tenby residents and Bank Holiday visitors turned out to witness her return and welcome her home. Her distance travelled was 32,000 kilometres (19,900 mi).
Her entire kickass trip is covered in her book entitled Just a Little Run Around the World: 5 Years, 3 Packs of Wolves and 53 Pairs of Shoes. Rosie Swale Pope
Great reading while resting in between your own runs!
Sources: Wikipedia, rosiearoundtheworld.co.uk