Banbury runner takes on Scandinavian challenge

Sophie Rooney, who ran the 3,000km length of Scandinavia on the Norway to Sweden crossing. NNL-161115-171538001

Sophie Rooney, who ran the 3,000km length of Scandinavia on the Norway to Sweden crossing. NNL-161115-171538001

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Tackling the cold Scandinavian landscape was just one of the challenges that faced a Banbury woman who ran 3,000 miles from one end of the region to the other.

Sophie Rooney, 24, was inspired to take on the run after hearing a talk by barefoot runner Aleks Kashefi, who is currently running the length of Europe.

Miss Rooney started in Nordkapp, on the northern tip of Norway, running alongside Mr Kashefi for 10 days before they went their separate ways.

She said: “I had just finished my masters in geography at the University of Nottingham and was looking for something new to sink my teeth into. The first few days were tough and I wasn’t prepared for how rough the trail would be.

“They say for every tough day you have at least three good ones. Now I am home I try to think of all the tough memories and they are all gone.”

After the first few weeks, Miss Rooney fell ill while in Sweden and was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer and needed an emergency blood transfusion at a hospital in Abisko.

“I have never been ill before or been in hospital so it was awful to say the least,” Miss Rooney said.

After a few days, she continued her run, spending nights in her increasingly cold and damp tent although she was invited into the homes of people she met along the way.

Miss Rooney has raised around £2,500 for three charities The Thomas Theyer Foundation, Mountain Rescue England and Wales and The Stroke Association. She hopes to raise more by completing other challenges.