Joe Boardman

The adventure-hungry sixth form pupil, Joe Boardman, took on the mammoth task of running the entire length of the country

One of the youngest people to run from Land’s End to John O’Groats, Joe Boardman took on the 1,112-mile journey on a whim. Within a week of deciding to have a go at the daunting challenge, Joe was off accompanied by his mum in a support vehicle – her trusty red Mini.
Aside from meeting up with mum periodically, numerous friends and family joined Joe for short bursts of running to support him. Roughly 37 miles per day took its toll physically particularly in the first week of the challenge, but beyond that Joe’s body held up and it was more of a mental battle which thankfully he won.


Joe says he’s always looking for an adventure and has been like that from a young age – he once spontaneously ran 30 miles while on a trip to Scotland to get some milk! And indeed, the preparation for Land’s End to John O’Groats was minimal. A friend suggested that Joe would be able to run the mammoth distance and a week later, he was on the road.
Joe says: “It really was an amazing adventure, made all the more exciting by the spontaneity involved. While I did no formal training for this, I run regularly. This was something I started during lockdown with my sister and have kept going since.” Running to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, he has smashed his initial £2,000 target reaching £3,700 at the time of writing.


The weather presented significant challenges – at one point Joe set out for the day in Pitlochry in temperatures of 14 degrees which quickly dropped to -2 degrees. Joe remembers: “I just had to brave it. The hotel we stayed in that night had a lovely manager who let me sit in the boiler room to warm up!” He also faced a lot of rain, flooding and snow storms, but remained determined to finish.
The end of the run wasn’t the instant euphoric high you might imagine. He explains: “My mum was full of joy and I just remember needing a coffee. I couldn’t really respond to people. I think it took a toll on my brain and I just switched off for a couple of days.”
Joe is studying A-Levels in music, drama and English literature at Bromsgrove School and says music played a big part in the journey. Joe remembers running along the Severn Way in the sunshine listening to Charles Trenet’s La Mer which is one of his big highlights. Support from Joe’s school community and beyond has been incredible. He’s featured on BBC Midlands Today and local radio with his inspiring story.


Deep into exam season Joe’s busy revising but not too busy to cook up an even grander adventure – riding on horseback across America from New York to LA. At least he’ll be sat down although people who know horses suggest it will actually be harder.
Joe’s planning to rope in his equestrian-loving cousin but we’re not sure she knows about that yet! Joe’s adventures feed into his true love of storytelling. His big dream is to get into writing for the film industry – it’s all he wants to do, and we would put money on him achieving great things. Bravo Joe!