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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > Oct-17 > FIRST STEPS AND FLYING FEET

FIRST STEPS AND FLYING FEET

IN 2008, MIMI ANDERSON FROM KENT SET A NEW WORLD RECORD AS SHE BECAME THE FASTEST FEMALE TO RUN 840 MILES ACROSS BRITAIN. IT WAS A FAR CRY FROM HER EARLY DAYS, RELUCTANTLY TAKING UP RUNNING WHEN SHE WAS A STAY - AT - HOME MOTHER - OF -THREE, SIMPLY BECAUSE SHE WANTED MORE TONED LEGS …

When I was 36, I could barely run a mile. If you’d have told me then I would be attempting to run 840 miles and set a world record, I’d have thought you were completely mad.

Back then my motivation to run had not been to achieve records or win races, it had simply been because I wanted thinner legs. I was recovering from an eating disorder that had plagued my teens and twenties and, while I’d had treatment to help me battle my demons and overcome my body dysmorphia, I still had a hang-up when it came to my legs. While some people have bad hair days, I had bad leg days. Those were the days when whatever I wore, or whatever angle I looked at them, I didn’t think my legs looked good. They looked fat and ugly and I couldn’t bear them.

I envied anyone who had thin legs. I thought theirs looked beautiful compared to mine, which I believed were big and wobbly, and I wondered how they got them. I found the answer when I was talking to another mother at the school gates one warm day as we were waiting to collect our children. I told her I wished I had better legs so I could get them out in the summer to wear dresses and shorts and feel more attractive. She recommended I try running as she had noticed a change in her own leg shape once she took up jogging.

That’s it then, I thought. The key to getting the lean legs I have always dreamed of is running.

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About Women’s Running

Ready to take your running off-road? Then make sure you pick up a copy of the October issue of Women’s Running – our trail special. If you’re a complete beginner, you’ll find advice for taking those first steps on the trails and, for the more experienced off-road enthusiasts, tips from the pros – find out how to “ascend like a mountain goat and descend like a demon”. With expert guides to finding the right trail shoes for you, exclusive reviews of the latest off-road shoes and top-to-toe kit suggestions for every off-road eventuality, we’ve also got your off-road wardrobe sorted. And if you’re struggling for inspiration to take your running off road, look no further than our interview with cover star Susie Chan, whose passion for trail running has taken her from the desert to the jungle. Prefer to stick to the roads? No problem. Try our sharp sessions for 10K runners – or, if you’re taking on the longer distance, don’t miss our complete race-day guide for serious marathon runners, packed with all the advice you’ll need on making your race day seamless.