Why These Two Women Ran the London Marathon In Their Underwear
They're proving that anybody can run a marathon—because a "runner's body" comes in every size and shape.
On Sunday, journalist Bryony Gordon and plus-size model Jada Sezer met at the starting line of the London Marathon wearing nothing but their underwear. Their goal? To show that anyone, regardless of shape or size could run a marathon if they put their mind to it.
"[We are running] to prove that you don't have to be an athlete to run a marathon (though it certainly helps). To prove that a runner's body comes in all shapes and sizes. To prove that exercise is for everyone, small, big, tall, short, size 8, size 18. To prove that if we can do it, anyone can!" Bryony wrote on Instagram when the duo first announced the news in March. (Related: Iskra Lawrence Strips Down On the NYC Subway In the Name of Body Positivity)
On top of promoting some serious body positivity, Bryony and Jada also raised money for Heads Together, a campaign spearheaded by Britain's royal family that works to promote conversations about mental health. Prince Harry recently opened up about the importance of going to therapy, and it brought Prince William and Lady Gaga together over FaceTime to talk about the fear and taboo surrounding mental illness and what can be done to eliminate the stigma surrounding it. (Related: 9 Celebrities Who Are Vocal About Mental Health Issues)
Despite it being the hottest London Marathon in history, Jada and Bryony made it to the end, fulfilling their goal and inspiring thousands of people in the process. In the end, the moments of low energy and self-doubt were drowned out by the incredible highs of the experience. "[There was a] voice in my head repeating "this body will never get to the end." Yet somehow we kept moving," she wrote on Instagram. "Letting off confetti poppers and screaming support [were] the mental fuel needed to drown out the self-talk."
At the end of the day, despite "chaffing patches and achy muscles," and some negative responses, going the distance was totally worth it and had a positive impact on her relationship with her body, Jade wrote in an Instagram post from the race. If you're ever doubting your abilities, these women are serious proof that you don't need to be a certain size to love your body-or to run 26 miles-and that the only person who can hold you back from achieving your goals is you.
Jada says it best: "Why do we wait for that fad diet to end before our lives begin? Or for peoples approval to start trusting in ourselves. Stop waiting. START living!...Maybe even start running...Maybe in your underwear?"