Edinburgh woman creates impressive dog 'Strava art' during training for ultra marathon
Chiara Franzosi created the image using exercise-tracking app Strava as a tribute to her spaniel, Miles.
The route, which adds up to about 60km, is part of her training for an ultra marathon which she plans to run in May this year.
Being the enigmatic runner that she is, Chiara has already taken on running challenges in the past, including a 96 mile race along the West Highland Way. But her new challenge – seven marathons in seven days – will be her biggest one yet.
The 30-year-old, who works as a customer service adviser in the sport and exercise department at Edinburgh University, is taking the opportunity to fundraise for eating disorder charity Beat for which she hopes to raise £7,000 – £1,000 per marathon.
Speaking to Edinburgh Evening News about her challenge Chiara said: “I’ve done a lot of runs around Edinburgh, including one where I did a marathon running up and down the Royal Mile 26 times, but I want to put myself outside of my comfort zone now.”
Chiara, who suffered from an eating disorder at a young age, said she has chosen to support Beat for personal reasons, but also because of the support it continues to offer during lockdown – a time that will have been particularly difficult for those with eating problems or even a trigger for others, she added.
"So many more people suffer from eating disorders than you might think,” she said, “and there are so many different types of eating issues from anorexia to binge eating to overeating to bulimia.
"I think during lockdown this disordered eating is likely to have increased because of the restrictions and stress it’s caused a lot of people.
"It hasn’t made those living with them already any easier either.
"Beat is amazing at raising awareness of different eating disorders and offering advice, and it has a helpline that’s open all year round.”
Chiara plans to do her seven marathons, one after the other over seven days, in and around Edinburgh.
So far, she hopes to run in Midlothian, from North Berwick to Edinburgh, along Water of Leith and complete a couple in The Pentlands.
"Anyone is welcome to join me while I am running,” she added.
"If you wish to do a 10k or half marathon then don’t hesitate to run along with me if you want company.”
Chiara grew up in the north of Italy and moved over to the Capital five years ago.
She lives in central Edinburgh with her partner and dog, Miles, who inspired her to create her Strava artwork.
Miles is only nine months old, but when he is old enough, she plans to take part in canicross events – the sport of cross country running with dogs.
To donate to Chiara’s cause, you can visit her fundraiser page here