Duo complete Hadrian's Wall run to help educate children about history

Anna McNuff and Lydia Birch ran the Wall dressed as Romans so they could learn more about it, to share with children through an online lesson

L-R Anna McNuff and Lydia Birch ran Hadrians Wall dressed as Romans
L-R Anna McNuff and Lydia Birch ran Hadrians Wall dressed as Romans

Rome wasn’t built in a day and it took four for these two to run the length of its empire’s famous frontier.

After days of pounding the route of Hadrian’s Wall, self-styled adventurer Anna McNuff, 29, and teacher Lydia Birch, 28, who is originally from Liverpool, reached Wallsend all the more eager to share their experiences with children around the globe.

The pair were running to find out more about the World Heritage Site and its history, with the aim of creating an online lesson to encourage youngsters to step outside and discover the wonders on their doorsteps.

“It all went well – though our blisters were quite bad, with the second day being the worst, and our legs began to seize up towards the end,” said Anna, a TV company marketing manager.

“But it was more than worth it – the middle section of the run particularly was beautiful and we met so many lovely people along the way.”

The pair will present what they have learned through the Skype Classroom service at education.skype.com

The date has not been set yet, but classes will be able to “dial in” to the conference call-style set-up and take part.

“We’ve learned loads, both by reading as we went along, and taking so many pictures – we’ve gained a great appreciation of the scale of it and of the need for conservation,” said Anna.

“Before it was a World Heritage Site, parts of Hadrian’s Wall were under threat and it would have been such a shame to lose it.

“It’s important to restore and maintain what we have because it’s such an important part of our history, and you don’t realise how close we’ve come to destroying it.”

But as well as the historical side of the run, the women have also enjoyed speaking to other visitors to the wall.

“We’ve been featured on the Facebook page of Chester’s Roman Fort with a sword that they lent us to pose for a photograph,” said Anna, from London.

“And lots of people have been commenting along the way, saying things like, ‘You’re 2,000 years late,’ or ‘You look good for being that old.’

“Some people have asked if we were running it in a day, but as we’ve told them: ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’

“They’re all cheesy quotes but at worst they’ve raised a smile from people.”


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