CAB - 7 Oct 2020 - 10 Oct 2020 - Advice

Community / Running barefoot to encourage girls to reach the impossible

Anna McNuff running in Norwick with some members of the local community. All photos: Desley Ritch

AN ENDURANCE athlete and global adventurer has started a five month long challenge that will see her running barefoot from Skaw at the north end of Unst to Jersey and then on to London.

Covering 2,620 miles – the distance of 100 marathons – Anna McNuff hopes to inspire thousands of girls and young women to access adventure and play without fear in all the sports that boys take for granted.

An ambassador for Girlguiding, McNuff set off from Skaw at 11am on Sunday and was met by local brownies and rainbows as she reached Norwick beach before continuing to Baltasound.

She said: “Girls want adventure. They want to have exciting experiences without worrying about being treated differently or feeling unsafe because they are girls.

Anna McNuff setting off from Skaw.

Barefoot Britain will show girls that adventure is as much for them as it is for boys.

“I know it’s bonkers. But in short, if I am encouraging young women to challenge themselves… then I have to be pushing myself too.

“So running bare feet is just upping the challenge to the next level.”

McNuff is running barefoot across rugged coastlines, through villages, across moors, over mountains, along beaches, over farmland – and even down a few A-roads.

While making her way through Britain, she will be visiting thousands of girls and young women in Girlguiding along the way to talk to them about adventure and challenge.

On Tuesday she will be met by the 1st Yell Guides, the 1st Yell Brownies and Yell Ranger at Sellafirth before continuing her run south to reach Lerwick on 8 June where she will meet with girls from Whiteness and Weisdale Guides and Brownies.

“All the way through Barefoot Britain, I’ll be talking to girls and young women about taking on adventures and doing things that scare them. I want to show girls that their gender is not a barrier for adventure and to encourage the girls and young women of the UK to be their brilliant selves,” she said.

Depending on how her feet cope with the terrain she encounters, McNuff hopes to cross the finishing line in London on 10 November.

Girlguiding Scotland is the leading charity for girls and young women in Scotland, with around 50,000 young members. More information can be found at

Anna McNuff meeting Bruce Irving at Skaw on Sunday morning who had just completed a three-week long cycle from the Scilly Isles to Unst as Anna set off on her 2,620 mile barefoot run.