VIRTUAL CHALLENGE - START ANY TIME AFTER 18TH MARCH
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 this year. 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! New French hoods for Anne Boleyn coming soon.
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
Once you go over the finish-line we'll send you your medal in the post to celebrate your 45 mile journey. This is the first 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.
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
Frequently asked questions
What happens if I want to change the time frame I do the challenge in?
We want you to do what you feel comfortable with so please choose a realistic time frame to complete your challenge in. But we understand that things get in the way. The challenge is actually open all year, and you won't get shut off at any point. So if you fall behind, don't worry! The goal is really just for you!
Why has Secret London Runs teamed up with My Virtual Mission?
To run this event we have teamed up with My Virtual Mission to allow you to 'virtually' see the route that Catherine of Aragon would have taken on her journey of dismissal. Once you have created an account and joined the mission you will be able to sync your activity app e.g Strava or Garmin to the platform so it automatically uploads your activities. You will also be able to see yourself moving along the map, and when you reach key milestones on Catherine's journey this will trigger postcards and podcasts so you can learn more about the history of this Tudor Queen.
45 miles! Can I break it down into smaller chunks?
Yes of course. When you sign up you can choose how long you think you’ll need to complete the distance. There are options to challenge yourself to complete the challenge in 1, 2, 4 or 6 weeks. You can do it all in one go if you want to, although we strongly advise against this if you are not well trained to take on this ultra distance. Most people will break it down into lots of smaller distances and use it to help them keep fit or train for another event. Lots of participants will do a mixture of running and walking.
Does my entry for Anne Boleyn get me entry to all six of the queens?
No. Each event is separate and you will need to sign up to each one individually. The entry fee goes towards our tech fees for My Virtual Mission, your unique medal (it included illustration fee because we got the images created especially) and all the historical research and content. We really couldn't price the event any lower and stay in business. There is an option to sign up and for 5 or 6 queens and get your Finisher's Coin for free.
Do I have to do all six events?
Not at all. You can do one, two or all of them. Entirely up to you. However we have designed the medals so they all interconnect and you’ll get a special Tudor Rose gold coin to commemorate your incredible achievement if you decide to take on all six.
What if I don’t want to sign up for a My Virtual Mission account?
You don’t have to sign up for my virtual mission, and you'll still recieve your medal if you decide not to. However the price of your sign up covers the cost of operating all the cool technology which you’ll benefit from as part of this challenge. Tech like being able to see how far along each queen’s journey you are, comparing how you are doing to other participants, receiving the postcards at key milestones, and access to our podcast. Plus we're using My Virtual Mission for evidence uploads. So really, we think it makes sense to sign up so you don’t miss out on the full challenge experience.
Are these the exact journies of the Queens?
In a word...no! Lots of the roads are different now to the 16th century. And although we know details of all the journies we're following, history often doesn't tell us the exact route taken. The important milestones that we highlight on the route are perfectly true to history and we give you as much information as we can about those places.
Can I walk the whole thing, or section of it?
Yes, you can walk the whole thing. Or you can mix up running and walking. Others might prefer to leave it as a running-only challenge. You set the challenge for what will help to motivate you.
How do I record my activities?
For this mission you can use any app or watch that records distance - or photos of your treadmill screen. The My Virtual Mission platform - who we are partnering up with for this event - allows automatic syncing for the following apps: Apple Health, Strava, Fitbit, Under Armour, Runkeeper and Garmin. But activity from any other apps (or photos from treadmills) can be added manually in a few seconds.