A TikTok star who ran the entire length of the London Underground has spoken out about the mental strength required to cover 350 miles in just 11 days.
Jonny Davies, 31, who ran the mammoth distance in aid of mental health charity Calm, said “the run wasn’t about me, it wasn’t about breaking any records, it was about the impact that it could have on people.”
Mr Davies ran on of London’s 11 different Tube line each day, alternating between longer and shorter routes, such as following the long Northern line with the shorter Circle line to give his aching body a rest.
“There were a lot of times where I was hurting – my body was really sore – but at no point did I think to give up.
“Running 15 hours a day and doing it again the next day is a big ask for your body, and I knew it was going to be really tough, but as long as you don’t stop, you’ll finish,” he said.
When asked about the mental resilience required to run 350 miles, he said: “My mental strength comes from multiple sources, and I have to tap into a lot of different emotional layers within myself. The strength equates to the traumas and losses I’ve experienced throughout life.
“We all have baggage in our life - things that have happened to us that we can tap into to help us endure challenges and difficulties.
“I had to keep saying to myself: This is tough, and this is hard. But I’ve made a deal with myself. We’re going keep going.”
He also described the range of difficulties that accumulated as he progressed. The run began during the heatwave, in 30 degrees heat. He then had many complications with his shoes, blisters, and overall soreness. Although they were painful, he said the difficulties helped him learn about himself.
Mr Davies documented the whole event on the social media app TikTok to his 170,000 followers and has amassed over 5 million likes on his page. Over 800 people joined him across the 11 days as a result.
“Looking back, the biggest success of the event wasn’t the distance, it was the people I helped and spoke to along the way.
“So many people joined, and it was deeply fulfilling. The run wasn’t about me, it wasn’t about breaking any records, it was about the impact that it could have on people. That for me was special,” he said.
The event has raised over £23,000 for Calm, a cause that Mr Davies said is very close to him.
“There have been a lot of times in my life where really bad and challenging things have happened to me. At the time, I didn’t have the skills or the tools to deal with it.
“Mental health charities, like Calm, are so important. The help and support they provide isn’t someone who just listens to your problems. They help you find and develop the tools within yourself and give you self-belief.
“Often when people don’t have those support networks in their life, they need somewhere to go and feel heard.
“Calm is amazing because they remind you that everything your feeling is completely normal, and they stop you from feeling alienated in the face of adversity.
He ended with a positive message for readers:
“No matter how bad things get, or how bad they feel in your head, when you look back on those things in the future, you realise that they’re actually good things because they’re learning experiences.
“Every terrible thing that happens in your life is something that helps understand and improve who you are.”
Mr Davies’s fundraising page is at justgiving.com/page/jonny-davies-1692194753702