Ultrarunner comes through Alamosa


ALAMOSA — Marvellous Mimi Anderson, 55-year-old granny and mother of three, from Edinburgh, Scotland arrived in Alamosa to a warm reception by the townsfolk on September 23rd en route to her bid to break the Guinness World Record by running coast-to-coast across America.

Mimi Anderson, the Queen of UK Ultrarunners, started her odyssey on the steps of LA City Hall on September 7th, and is well underway with this 2,850-mile challenge, having crossed California in under four days. Running up to 60 miles each day, Mimi will cross 12 states in total, attempting to smash the current female world record of 68 days and reach New York City Hall in just 53 – or fewer!

She crossed the border of Colorado from New Mexico on September 22nd and has run more than 1,000 miles so far! Her reception in Alamosa was organized by fellow ultra-runner Jeff Owsley, director of Colorado SBDC, who accompanied Mimi into town.

This epic adventure is Mimi’s biggest challenge to date, but she already has a stack of records and accolades under her belt. She’s run across the Sahara Desert, the Arctic and even set a world record running from Land’s End to John O’Groats, but crossing America has been a burning ambition since she took up running in her 30’s.

The run has taken two years to plan and the entire trip will be monitored by her dedicated entourage, including fellow ultrarunner Jenny Davis who will accompany her for the entire trip as her head of crew. As well as Jenny, Mimi has a small crew of dedicated supporters (also ultrarunners) to run with her, track her progress and make sure she’s fed and watered. Mimi’s crew is responsible for every aspect of her well-being and keeping her running like a well-oiled machine.

For the first three weeks, Team Mimi is made up of Scottish born Jan Strachan, as well as Becky and Paul George, and Fiona Phillips a physiotherapist from Somerset, England whose massaging and acupuncture skills will be in great demand for the whole team as they make their way across America.

Mimi says, “I haven’t always been a runner. I started running when my youngest was 36. I never liked the shape of my legs and somebody told me that the quickest way to get thinner thighs was to take up running so that’s how I ended up on the treadmill at 36.

“I’m a much stronger person than I was before, and it’s given me back the confidence which somewhere along the line I lost. What I’d really love is for other people to join me.”

Also helping her to achieve her ambitions is BAFTA-winning Glasgow-based production company Scrumptious Productions whose founder Carol Cooke will be with Mimi at every step, filming the documentary “Mimi & Me for 53” to bring Mimi’s incredible story to the screen.

Mimi & Me for 53 is also a social media campaign accompanying documentary to inspire people of all ages – especially young women – to take up physical activity for 53 days and beyond to support the project and improve their physical and mental health.

Cooke, whose company’s mission is to “change the world, one film at a time”, says:

“Within minutes of meeting Mimi I knew I had to make this film. I was so inspired and could see how much her story and this latest challenge could inspire audiences of all ages and fitness abilities into action and into exercise. However, I didn’t want to take the traditional approach, film the entire process, hibernate for six months and frantically edit and release the film. I knew that to achieve maximum impact that this had to be done in real time.

“So that’s what we’re doing with the #MimiAndMeFor53 campaign. We’re not only creating a documentary to watch and be inspired by Mimi.  We’re creating a real-time, real-life experience for people to take part in and, fingers crossed, enjoy the life changing benefits of!  It’s a whole new way of approaching film funding and production and, to be honest, it’s all pretty nerve-wracking but thankfully, just like Mimi we’re up for the challenge!”

Anyone interested in following Mimi and joining the campaign can find it on www.mimiandmefor53.co.uk as well as liking it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

This highly original and inventive creative campaign will raise funds not only for the film but also for Mimi’s chosen charity, Free to Run, which uses running and outdoor adventure to empower and educate women and girls who have been affected by conflict.

Mimi hopes to reach New York City Hall before October 29.

Captions: Scottish ultrarunner Mimi Anderson covers her face after being overwhelmed by the show of support during a brief stop in her endurance run as local runner Jeff Owsley, right, watches with the welcoming party on Saturday outside of the Colorado Welcome Center on Saturday. Anderson started her cross-country journey in Los Angeles on Sept. 7 and has been running up to 60 miles a day.

Jeff Owsley, left, accompanies Scottish ultrarunner Mimi Anderson down Sixth Street as she heads to Blanca for the night on Saturday. Anderson hopes to reach New York City Hall by Oct. 29, setting a new Guinness World Record. Courier photos by Jefferson Geiger