By Ella Woszczyk, Deputy Editor
Lucca Froud, a 20-year-old student at the University of Bristol, embarked on an impressive journey from London to Paris to complete a staggering 7 marathons in 7 days. The feat did not come without its challenges, with Lucca tackling a broken support bicycle, calf and knee injuries, and a ‘bear’ hallucination.
The Bristol Politics and International Relations student was inspired after a meeting with the CEO of WildFish, an independent UK charity that campaigns for wild fish conservation.
Although a keen footballer, Lucca only started running at the beginning of this year. It was his commitment to fighting climate change that saw him undertake the 200-mile run from Marble Arch to the Arce de Triomphe in the hope of raising £35,000.
Having only 5 weeks to train for the ultramarathon, Lucca set himself weekly running targets and learned to listen to his body intuitively.
He told Epigram: 'If my body was stiff at the start of the run I would start slower and ease into it, then when it felt stronger I would get slightly faster - I think by learning this intuitive method of running and having this feeling of being totally in sync with my body when I was training really set me up well for the real event.'
'If you really believe in something, you should do what you can to help.'
'Climate change is the most significant threat to humans and the natural world. Central to preventing it is our natural waters, our ocean and our rivers. Aside from being incredibly beautiful ecosystems, they’re incredible carbon sinks. So it’s in everyone’s collective interest to protect them.'
Describing the adventure as the 'best and worst thing' he has ever done, the obstacles began on day one after the support bicycle his girlfriend was riding broke, leaving them to push it uphill. After his fifth marathon on Sunday, Lucca endured the run without food or water on account of shops closing.
Late one night and delirious after over 100-miles of running, Lucca thought he saw a bear in the half-light. From nowhere, he found the energy to break into a sprint and complete the final mile of the route.
In conversation with Epigram, Lucca explained: ‘In terms of when I saw the bear, it was definitely more fear than joy. I was already feeling pretty vulnerable being out on a 70km/h forest road at night, so the thought of there being a bear stalking me definitely made me run as fast as I possibly could away from where I thought I saw it.'
To achieve the 26.2 mile-a-day challenge, Lucca ran for around 5 hours each day until finishing in Paris on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
To summarise his experience, Lucca said: 'At times it felt impossible, but we found a way to make it happen.'
'Knowing that you aren’t doing it just for yourself, but for something important and to make your family and your girlfriend’s family proud, makes it easier. The support from friends and family and people online has been amazing too.'
Lucca has already raised £8,000 for WildFish and is hoping to see more donations stream this week. He returned to Bristol on Saturday to resume his studies for the new academic year.
If you want to hear more about Lucca’s inspirational experience and the WildFish cause, you can read his article here An interview with WildFish Community Hero Lucca Froud | Wildfish. To donate to the cause visit Lucca’s JustGiving page.
Do you have aspirations to run a marathon?