Couch to 300K – mates who started running together in lockdown take on 192 mile run across UK

2 August 2021

Two mates who started running together in lockdown are taking on a 192 mile run from coast to coast across the UK.

Chris Wilkinson, 27, and Jonty Brown, 30, joined millions of other Brits who challenged themselves to go from sitting on the couch to running 5k last March, as the country was plunged into lockdown and only one session of outdoor exercise was permitted.

But the pals from Harrogate, North Yorks, quickly surpassed their initial goals and have now set themselves a challenge to run 192 miles from Saint Bees, Cumbria, to Robin Hoods Bay, North Yorkshire.

The running buddies who are supporting several charities with donations in support of their run have already caused a wave of inspiration among the running community with several brands sponsoring them to complete the journey.

Jonty said:

When we tell people we’re running 192 miles they normally look at us in shock and awe or ask us if we’re daft.

I think because a lot of people started doing the couch to 5k challenge when lockdown started, they understand how difficult a run of this size will be.

During training we have been battling injuries all the time, we’ve really had to listen to our bodies and we have been getting loads of advice from other runners.

Chris and I are very similar in the sense that when someone tells us we can’t do something it only makes us want to do it more, so whenever we have been faced with doubt that we can do it, it’s only made us more determined.


The pair will set off from the Cumbrian coast on 15 August and take seven days to follow the Wainwright Trail –  covering an average of 28 miles a day before they reach their destination in Robin Hoods bay on 21 August.

Inspired by Jonty’s own battle with Type 1 diabetes and Chris’ brother’s struggle with tuberous sclerosis, the boys are fundraising for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Tuberous Sclerosis Association and Surfers Against Sewage, whose mission is to keep coastlines clean.

Chris said:

The idea was really borne out of lockdown boredom.

We were sort of twiddling our thumbs and we’ve always been the energetic types so we don’t cope well with nothing on the agenda.

We both like keeping fit and active so we decided like many others in the UK to take up running together.

We’re very fortunate to live so close to the Yorkshire Dales and so many other beautiful parts of the countryside so it was really an admiration for Britain’s wild spaces that inspired us to set ourselves a challenge to see as much of it as we could.

So far the pair have raised over £4000 towards their £20,000 goal and have already agreed sponsorship from running gear retailer Up&Running and organic wholefood nutritionists, Human Food.

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