On Sunday morning, over 40,000 people will line up in Blackheath to begin the gruelling 26.2-mile route of the London Marathon. The annual event is known for attracting runners in quirky costumes - over the years, we've seen people pounding the pavements dressed as Teletubbies, Wombles, and even a kind of human loo roll. With expected temperatures of up to 24C on marathon day, frankly they're all a lot braver than I am.
But two women will be running this year's marathon in just their underwear to make an important point about body image. Writing on their fundraising page, journalist Bryony Gordon and model Jada Sezer say they're taking on the course in just bras and knickers "to prove that curvy girls can".
The aim, they add, is to show "that exercise is for everyone" and "that you don’t have to be an athlete or a clean eating obsessive to get out there and shake your ass".
Appearing on ITV's Good Morning Britain yesterday, Gordon and Sezer told viewers that they struck up a friendship after meeting at a wellness weekend. When Sezer expressed surprise that Gordon had already run the London Marathon, Gordon asked her to run this year's event with her.
Gordon and Sezer then explained that they decided to run the marathon in just their underwear to dispel the false assumption that slimmer equals fitter, and to show the reality of what most healthy women's bodies look like.
"Elite athletes run in little crop-tops and tiny little shorts, why can't we?" Sezer noted.
"I thought running was something other people did," Gordon added. "I really thought that if I went out and ran, people were going to laugh at me. Of course, no one cares. It's really empowering to learn what you can do with your own body."
Very best of luck to both of them tomorrow, and indeed to everyone running the marathon. Let's hope the temperatures are a little cooler than expected.
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