London Marathon: Why two women are running the course in their underwear

'Exercise is for everyone, you can be "overweight" and healthy'

Rachel Hosie
Friday 20 April 2018 14:46 BST
Women running London Marathon in sports underwear to raise awareness of body positivity

Two women are running the London Marathon in their underwear to promote body positivity.

Journalist Bryony Gordon and model Jada Sezer will this Sunday be making their way round the 26.2 mile course in nothing but bras, knickers, socks and trainers.

The idea is to encourage other curvy women to embrace exercise and also raise money for mental health charities.

“We are doing it to prove that exercise is for everyone, that you can be ‘overweight’ and healthy,” Gordon told The Independent.

“Also we just want to show different bodies. If the elites can do it in their sports bra and what is essentially knickers, then why can’t we?!”

Gordon completed the marathon for the first time last year and says doing so transformed her outlook on life.

It wasn’t until she met and became friends with plus-size model Jada Sezer, however, that the idea to run it again - in only underwear - was hatched.

Sezer was amazed that Gordon had run the marathon and decided she wanted to do it too.

“We were keen to show curvier girls the benefits of exercise on body confidence - to prove that you didn’t have to look like a gym bunny or a professional athlete to run,” Gordon explains.

“It was out on a 10 miler that we came up with the idea: what if we ran the marathon in our underwear? To show people that curvy girls could do it - even those classed as clinically ‘obese’ or overweight? And to show, as plainly as possible, that exercise is for everyone, and all bodies look different.”

The pair are running to raise money for Heads Together, the mental health charity set up by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, and are hoping to raise £10,000.

Given how hot it is, Gordon says she hopes everyone else running the marathon will join the pair and strip to their underwear. “The world’s first naked marathon!” she suggested on Good Morning Britain.

Sezer and Gordon did a practice run earlier in the year to get used to running in just their underwear, which Gordon says was “different.”

“I didn’t realise quite how much leggings suck you in,” she says. “But the sensation of my flab jigging jollily up and down actually became quite therapeutic: I was really working my body out.”

She hopes that “if one woman sees us wobbling around on the London Marathon course and having a great time,” they feel inspired to get up and run, even if just for one mile.

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