The 'rainbow runner' battling thousands of miles in Route 66 run

A runner from Fulwood, known locally for sprinting in multicoloured fitness gear and fancy dress, has taken on a new feat - to run the length of the infamous Route 66 by the end of the year.

By James Holt
Friday, 22nd January 2021, 3:46 pm

Samantha Edwards, 34, is part of the Red Rose runners club, and has used the lockdown to continue her sprinting.

In December, she made communities smile by running round Avenham and Miller park dressed as a snowman and a Christmas tree.

Now she is embarking on a new challenge - to run 2,278 miles, the same distance as the American Route 66, over the next 12 months. Throughout January, she has currently ran 126 miles.

Colourful runner Samantha runs each day to clock up miles as part of her new challenge

It is part of a range of virtual challenges introduced by End to End, giving fitness enthusiasts the opportunity to run, cycle or walk the same distance as popular global routes.

Samantha said: "In lockdown, my running club stopped so I knew I wanted to keep going and challenging myself. I first signed up to a virtual challenge where I ran the length of the UK, from Land's End to John O'Groats.

"About 10 of us from the club have now decided to get on board with this new challenge, where we will run the full length of the Route 66. I want to do this as fast as I can because the original challenge is for two years, but I want to do it in just one year.

"I am running every single day this month, usually in the mornings, and then will start taking rest days in February to make sure I can run the furthest distance possible. Working in a nursery, I am always full of energy even after I get home, so I normally take virtual online dance classes too.

Samantha is running in her usual rainbow outfits to defeat the length of Route 66

"I am known locally as the rainbow because everyone knows that I wear bright coloured outfits. If I turn up running in fancy dress now no one bats an eyelid anymore because they know that's just me.

"I hope it puts a smile on peoples faces and makes them laugh when they see me in my outfits. I like making people happy and raising their spirits."

Samantha needs to be running approximately 45 miles a week around the streets of Fulwood to complete the difficult feat by the end of December this year.

When she was previously placed on furlough from her job during the second lockdown, she confessed that she was running up to 80 miles every week in her spare time.

Through taking part in the End to End challenge, she has been receiving digital postcards congratulating her on the various distance milestones, along with an interactive map and a medal when she completes the challenge.

And she is hoping to set up a new crowdfunding page to raise money for St Catherine's Hospice in Preston.

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