10 Marathons in 10 days for Project RED – S
Third year Biomedical Science student and triathlete Josie Cox recently completed the 10 – in – 10 challenge to fundraise for a cause close to her heart.
Last summer, Josie found herself struggling with an eating disorder, which had a massive impact on her mental and physical health. As someone who enjoys having goals to work towards and being proactive, she found it extremely difficult and overwhelming watching fellow UoB triathletes competing while having to take a step back to prioritise her recovery.
Following several months of intense therapy and physical health check ups, Josie began to improve and eventually overcame her eating disorder. Through sharing her own struggles and experience, Josie hopes to help others who may be going through something similar, and encourages people to reach out for help- something that took her a long time to do herself.
WHAT IS RED – S?
RED – S (Relative energy deficiency in sport) is a syndrome that many haven’t come across before, and something that Josie wants to raise awareness around through her fundraising as something she faced. It refers to athletes suffering from energy shortage, becoming unable to keep up with the demands of sport and exercise on top of daily bodily functions.
Although it’s not often spoken about, RED-S is a rapidly growing problem in sport and health consequences can be serious if the problem isn’t addressed early.
Preparing for the 10 – in – 10 challenge
Josie’s preparation involved a lot of low intensity running to get several hours on her feet as well as some back to back marathons to practice running on tired legs after having completed a long run the day before. Other than that, she was stepping into the unknown and was relying on mental stamina! She found it interesting how her body and mindset adapted throughout the challenge.
Ready set, go!
After the first few days, Josie was in a lot of muscular discomfort but no major pain. By the fourth marathon she was experiencing some pain in her right knee, having a sports massage to help ease the discomfort slightly to make it manageable. After day 5 or 6 she picked up a foot injury which was probably the most painful, but by this point she found her body starting to get into the routine of getting up early and running.
Mentally, she found the 7th marathon in Derby the most challenging, after completing over half of the challenge, yet still being a way away from the finish line.
Josie also faced physical obstacles including sheep fields and jumping over fences! Nevertheless, she thoroughly enjoyed the fun and challenging experience and has had a positive impact on athletes and individuals who may be struggling with disordered eating.
Raising money for RED-S
Josie has already exceeded her fundraising target of £1,000, and is extremely grateful for all the support from her friends and family. Donations directly funds RED-S Charities work of increasing awareness, prevention and recovery from RED-S.
If you feel inspired by Josie’s story and the mission of the RED-S charity, you can donate to Josie’s just giving page!
Interested in learning more about how to get involved in our Triathlon club? Check out the dedicated webpage below.