MDUK CEO is taking on the toughest physical challenge of her career

Published Date
Kate Cleaver

Our CEO, Catherine Woodhead, is embarking on a huge challenge of walking the distance between Land’s End and John O’Groats (LeJog), in an effort to raise money for people living with muscle-wasting conditions.

Catherine wakes up before 6am to walk around Chelmsford most days, to clock up the miles for LEJOG 2021, before starting work and often breakfast!  Since the start of this year, she has already completed an astonishing 200 miles of the 874-mile long virtual challenge.

You can follow Catherine’s progress on Twitter here, as she often posts videos of her early morning, currently bitterly cold walks. She’s also set up a JustGiving page, where you can join her in fundraising to support essential research and services for those living with a muscle-wasting condition.

To clock up miles as part of LeJog, Catherine will be walking the Royal Parks Half Marathon on 11 April. And even after her LeJog challenge is completed, she plans to walk a further 26.2 miles on the same day as the official London Marathon in October.

There are parallels for Catherine between leading a charity and the physical demands of this challenge.

She said:

These are the biggest physical things I have asked of myself in over 20 years in the charity sector, requiring a lot of training. Walking – rather than jogging – helps me manage my pace in life. The past year demanded so much of everyone working in the sector to ensure charities coped and responded to the needs of our community. It’s been important for me to remember that working through the effects of the pandemic is a marathon – not a race. It’s been tricky to maintain a manageable pace and I remind myself of this when I get the urge to jog more.

Catherine said that taking part in LeJog provides her with an opportunity to appreciate the efforts of her MDUK colleagues and the support from those with muscle-wasting conditions.

I’m so proud of the team and how they have adapted to these ongoing challenges. We must remember our incredible community who have been there with us, all the way through this. The resilience of individuals and families living with muscle-wasting conditions, the families who are managing a new diagnosis, the researchers finding ways to continue with their commitment to find new treatments, and clinicians supporting families on clinical trials, have been extraordinary.

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