This specific runner’s blisters will jolt you

If you’re probably reading this seated in your own home in front of your computer, or on your cellphone on the train on the way to work. But your ancestors, even as recently as 100 years ago, probably didn’t spend so much time sitting on their backsides.

We’re often told our sedentary lifestyles can be a problem, and obviously it’s important to exercise, but in Julie Nisbet’s case, taking it to the extreme had particularly painful consequences.

For the mother of two from England, running is her biggest passion. The 34-year-old had already completed a total of 11 marathons when she decided to embark on an even bigger challenge — an ultramarathon. As the name indicates, finishing the race would be something of a Herculean task.

Julie and the other runners had to cover the distance between the cities of Carlisle and Newcastle, a 69-mile run from the west coast of the UK to the east coast. Race day was incredibly sunny, and although Julie applied sunscreen at the start, she didn’t re-apply more later.

After 21 hours, she crossed the finishing line. Once home, she bandaged her sunburned legs, but noticed the next day that pus-filled blisters were starting to form on her calves.

She rushed to the hospital and had the blisters drained, but now has to have her legs bandaged for days until they heal. “I’ve lost 4lbs. Once the next lot of orange pus has been drained from my legs I’ll probably lose another 4lbs,” explained Julie.

“The joy I’ve felt at completing this ultra is now being overlooked by the agony I’m in with the burns (…) I was wearing suncream at the start of the race but hadn’t reapplied — sweat and water had pretty much got rid of what I had on the backs of my legs,” she added.

Fortunately she is recovering and will soon be able to remove the bandages and try to return to normal.

In summer when the temperatures are high, it’s never a good idea to think that the sun will not affect us. Extreme cases like Julie’s should remind us all that we need to protect our skin.

But Julie is staying positive. As she says, “This isn’t the end of the world. They’re only scars. I’m sure I’ll live to run another day.” But remember: always take the necessary precautions so you don’t end up regretting doing physical activity in the sun. It’s not worth it!