Posted on December 10 2014
Newnham: Can you tell us a little about your background?
Hughes: I was never really into sport in school; I just started running one day when I was about 17. I probably couldn't even run half a mile but I automatically fell in love with running. I started doing other sports and joined a gym. Within a year I became a fitness instructor and started to study sports therapy. I love running because you can so it for all different reasons... to compete against yourself, to have time out on your own, to run as a group or just because it makes you feel good.
Newnham: Tell us about your record-breaking 53:53 challenge where you ran a whopping 53 marathons in 53 days this summer. What inspired you to embark on such a journey?
Hughes: I decided to run 53 marathons after I got the idea from Dean Karnazes - an American ultra marathon runner who did 50 marathons in 50 states on 50 consecutive days. I decided it would be good to do a similar thing in the UK so I decided to do 53 marathons in 53 of the major UK cities, over 53 consecutive days. I did this with two main aims: 1. To inspire young children and adults to get healthy and active by displaying the fun and importance of keeping fit and 2. To raise a lot of money for an amazing cause. I ran for a local charity called the Isabelle Lottie foundation which supports and raises awareness for children with brain tumours (local girl Isabelle was diagnosed with a tumour at two). It's a small local charity so I really wanted to help its raise their profile and raise a lot of money for the foundation which we did.
Newnham: What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Hughes: My biggest challenge was running whilst I was sick for three days towards the end of it all. I was being sick and getting stomach cramps but I never doubted that I would finish; I just knew it was going to be a lot more difficult.
Newnham: It's an incredible achievement. What are you most proud of?
Hughes: I'm really proud of myself for inspiring so many people around the UK. I never thought 53:53 would get the recognition it did and I'm so proud and thankful for all the support and kind messages I that received and am still receiving now. It's been amazing.
To help Amy reach her goal of raising £53,000 (she's at an incredible £38,000), please donate here.