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Runner Imo Boddy sets new UK’s Three Peaks Challenge record

Written by Fiona

May 23 2024

Endurance runner Imogen Boddy, 24, has set an impressive new record this week when she completed a route from sea level to sea level via the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon – and also in between.

It took Imo, a personal trainer from Yorkshire, in 6 days, 5 hours and 43 minutes to run 600km with a total ascent of 10,000m to complete the UK’s Three Peaks Challenge. She broke a 45-year-old female record set by Ann Sayer by 18 hours.

After touching the sea at Caernarfon on May 21, Imo said of her record-breaking feat: “It hasn’t really sunk in, nor have the amount of highs and the lows, but touching the water in Wales was an incomparable feeling and, once recovered, I can’t wait to get back to it and see what I can achieve next.”

In 1979, Ann covered a similar route in 7 days and 31 minutes. The men’s record, which still stands, was set in 1980 by Arthur Eddleston in 5 days 23 hours 37 minutes.

Imo was supported for the 3 Peaks Challenge by her parents and ultra runner and coach Chris Taylor, who handled logistics and safety.

Imo, left, with coach Chris by her side. Credit: Tommy Leeming
Imo sets new female record for UK’s Three Peaks Challenge. Credit: Tommy Leeming

Imo’s 3 peaks world record

Starting at the sea at Fort William, in the Scottish Highlands, Imo ran to Ben Nevis, ascended and descended the UK’s tallest mountain with a summit of 1345m, then headed to Scafell Pike in England on foot.

Having scaled England’s tallest peak at 978m , she continued on foot to Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), in Wales, where she climbed the 1085m mountain, before pushing on to the sea at Caernarfon.

She faced unexpected warm weather and tough terrain during the long-distance journey.

Imo after touching the sea in Wales at the end of the challenge. Credit: Tommy Leeming

Chris explained the background to the previous records. He said: “Prior to discovering the records set by Ann Sayer and Arthur Eddleston, the known FKTs for the UK’s three highest peaks on foot were from trail head to trail head. That is, from the base of Ben Nevis to the base of Snowdon.

“Then, when Ann’s record came to light, Imo was keen to beat the time of seven days and this she has done with plenty of time to spare. There is an extra 30km on foot to start at sea level in Scotland and to finish at sea level in Wales.

“While taking part in the challenge someone got in touch to tell us about Arthur’s record in 1980. He was faster although not by a lot of time.

“We are immensely proud of what Imo has accomplished. Her record Three Peaks Challenge is testament to her hard work, dedication and the spirit of adventure. The achievement is not just a personal victory for Imo, but an inspiration to young athletes, too.”

Imo was raising funds and awareness for the charity, Inspiring Girls International.

Imo with her parents. Credit: Tommy Leeming

Imo’s JOGLE record

Imo is no stranger to endurance running records. In 2022, Imo become the youngest known female to run the length of Britain aged 22. She ran 1340km over 22 days from John o’Groats to Land’s End.

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