VIRTUAL CHALLENGE - START ANY TIME
OPEN UNTIL THE END OF 2024
45 MILES OF FORBIDDEN LOVE
Run or walk 45 miles in the footsteps of a young Anne Boleyn after the discovery of her secret betrothal to Henry Percy. Trot with Anne from court at Greenwich, spend time at Hever Castle in disgrace and discover what happened when she returned to Henry VIII's court.
Every time you complete a walking or running activity, you'll advance along the virtual map unlocking podcasts and postcards from Anne at milestones along the route.
Earn beautiful bling, stay focused and make your miles more fun. Run or walk the 45 miles, choose to complete it in 1, 2, 4 or 6 weeks and sign up today.
GET THE WHOLE SET
Anne Boleyn's 45 Miles of Dismissal is the second in a series of 6 events dedicated to Henry VIII's Wives.
All the medals fit together beautifully to form a set. Do you have what it takes to do them all and earn all 6 plus the Finisher's Coin?
If you haven't completed the first challenge, Catherine of Aragon's 99 Miles of Dismissal, you can take part any time - all of our challenges are open until the end of 2024. The challenges don't need to be completed in order so choose when you want to do it!
UNRAVEL FASCINATING HISTORY AS YOU GO
Anne Boleyn - she's ruthless, feisty and ambitious, according to the history books. Her story usually gets picked up around the time that Henry VIII started to notice her, but what about the less-worldly girl who arrived at the English Court in 1522 and fell in love with a courtier?
In 1523 Anne Boleyn and her lover Henry Percy ignored the expectations from court and became secretly betrothed. When Henry's chief advisor, Cardinal Wolsey found out, the match was forbidden. Percy was sent up north to marry another and Anne was banished to Hever. This journey follows a younger, broken-hearted Anne as she travels to Hever and then accompanies her on her eventual return to court at Eltham Palace.
Complete the challenge in 1, 2, 4 or 6 weeks.
For those who have already signed up
HOW DOES IT WORK?
We've partnered up with My Virtual Mission for this event so your whole journey is managed through their amazing tech platform - available through their website and in an easy-to-use app.
RUN OR WALK
Wherever you are in the world, complete a running or walking activity - whatever distance you like. Measure it using a GPS tracking device or take a photo of your treadmill screen. Lots of people have fancy GPS watches but there are plenty of free apps (e.g. Strava) that you can download on your phone that work just as well.
LOG YOUR ACTIVITY AND MOVE ALONG THE VIRTUAL MAP
Once this activity is logged in the My Virtual Mission app, you'll see your figure move along the virtual map. You can set it to automatically sync to some apps, or manually upload a photo of your GPS evidence in seconds. This journey tracks the movements of Anne Boleyn between about 1522 and 1526 and follows her from court at Greenwich to Hever Castle and then back to court at Eltham Palace.
UNLOCK PODCASTS AND POSTCARDS
When you reach certain places along the map, you'll unlock a postcard or podcast to tell you more about her time there. For example, Hever is about 22 miles along the route. Once you've clocked up 22 miles of activity, you'll unlock a podcast telling you more about Anne's time at Hever. This will appear in the My Virtual Mission app/website and you'll also receive it by email. Along the 45 miles you'll get 3 full-length podcasts and a number of postcards.
SEE YOU ON STREET VIEW
At any time in your journey, you'll be able to check out your virtual surroundings on street view. You might even bump into someone with a matching Tudor hood! We've created Tudor hoods so that you can change your profile pic and channel your inner Anne - just for fun!
SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH OUR AMAZING COMMUNITY
The Secret London Runs Connect Facebook group is full of like-minded walkers and runners. Come join us and share the fun.
EARN YOUR MEDAL
We'll send you your medal in the post to celebrate your 45 mile journey. This is the second of a 6-medal set, each dedicated to a different Tudor queen. Collect them all and earn a beautiful finisher's centrepiece too.
£24.95 or £28.95 with a buff
Motivation and accountability for 45 miles
Unique medals with original illustrations
Unlock loads of history along the route via postcards and podcasts
Access to the "My Virtual Mission" platform for race mapping, tracking and street view, and synced activity uploads.
Choose your timeframe - set a how for how long you want to take to complete the challenge.
Take part anywhere in the world and join our amazing community in the Secret London Runs Connect Facebook group.
Sign up for one queen at a time or get a great deal when you sign up for all your challenges together. The 5 Queen option is for those who have already completed the Catherine of Aragon Challenge.
FOR THE AMAZING FEEDBACK SO FAR
"I am really enjoying Catherine of Aragon and cannot wait for the rest of the queen challenges. I've done quite a few virtual runs now, but this is the first one I've done where I feel like I'm not doing it completely on my own."
"Really enjoying the Catherine of Aragon challenge. The perfect combination of two of my favourite things; history and running. History has so often been written by men, about men, so it’s great to find out more about the women behind Henry VIII and their journeys. Looking forward to discovering lots of fun facts about the other 5 Queens too over the course of the year!"
"The Catherine of Aragon / Six Wives Challenge transcends all virtual runs - as does the stunning medal. From day one I learnt so much as it's a fascinating history lesson on the hoof. A lot of it took place around an area I'd lived in for years, and I had no idea about a fraction of the information which I unlocked en-route via the postcards and podcasts. I can't wait to run with the other 5 wives and the lovely Secret London Runs community of runners."
"The podcasts are amazing!!!"
"I loved the Catherine of Aragon challenge. Learning more about this amazing Queen and what she went through while virtually walking in her shoes was really inspiring and it’s got me looking forward to the next challenge. The podcasts and postcards which accompanied the route were also a delight."
Well, I’m 64, I’m overweight and unfit, and I’ve been out walking every day since the challenge started come sun, rain, wind and snow. I gave myself 8 weeks to complete 99 Miles of Dismissal and it looks as if I may do it in exactly half that time. I am so thrilled! I simply could not, and would not, have been able to achieve this without the support from this lovely group"
SHEILA DONNELAN JONES
1. How fast do I need to be?All fitness levels are welcome. Each tour has a guide pace to keep you in your comfort zone. We operate on a "no one gets left behind basis" which means that we'll always run at the pace of the gentlest person in our lovely group. So please don't be nervous about joining us. But also, don't be afraid of signing up for a merrily medium or festively fast pace and the gentle jingle is often very gentle. There are also walking tours available of the 5k Christmas lights tour.
2. Do you have a bag drop?Unfortunately we do not have a bag drop, especially with the tour starting and ending in different parts of London. Our tours are not races - so we advice packing light and bringing a running backpack for your essentials. If you need to store any items, we recommend using Luggage Hero before you come to your tour.
3. What do I need to bring with me?Your ticket on your phone (we don't need a paper copy), water if you usually run with it. Wear warmer clothes than you usually would for a run of the length of your tour - we will be stopping around the run to for twinkly lights and festive history. Of course, we highly recommend all the Christmas fancy dress.
4. Is the Christmas lights tour suitable for children?Yes - children are welcome, as long as they're accompanied by an adult who takes full responsibility for their safety whilst on the tour. Accompanied children are welcome at all our tours, as long as they're comfortable with the guide pace, but we do have 2 Family Special dates for the 5k Christmas lights tour, so you can bring little ones and know there are plenty of others there too.