Michelle Atkins

Brathay 10in10 Photography

Having worked for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for over 33 years I understand and value the amazing work of such a charitable organisation as Brathay. After my first visit to Brathay in 2007 I simply fell in love with the place, the staff, surrounding area and the work they do.

In 2007 I struggled round the single marathon and lay on the grass when I finished with two good friends (and 2008/2009 10in10’ers) to recover and I sat in amazement to watch 7 male runners get presented with gifts for running the course 10 times – Wow I thought with mouth ajar!

At the end of 2007 and never run two marathons back-to-back before, I heard they were looking for fools runners to take on the challenge in 2008. I was making a drink at work, when a work colleague laughed at me overhearing my conversation saying I was thinking about running 10 marathons in May 2008. ‘It’s not humanly possible’ they said, ‘especially for a female as it’s never been done before’. I simply smiled, walked away in my usual quite manor and posted the forms out the same day, what had I done?

Well during the 10in10 in May 2008, I learnt so much about the human body, pain, mind and true friendships and I gained a second family (fellow runners, Brathay staff, Physio team & supporters), also though the years gone through the shared pain of injury and loss of family member of whom none of us 10in10’ers would make it to that 10th day without this close bond. I’m simply a small part and in the lucky position to have got the Guinness book of World records for ‘First female in the World to complete 10 marathons in 10 consecutive days’ with and for the ‘Brathay family team’.

I return each year to Brathay to support as much as I possibly can, to try and capture with still photos that ‘moment’ which are sometimes personal to the individual and do not always go public. You can take thousands of photos but you need to capture that split second one that I was told is ‘In the eyes’, I know understand this and spot it in daily life not just in a photo, thank you Martin Campbell you taught me to see things through and behind a camera lens of which I will be forever grateful.

The event and friendships have changed my life and I hope by running, supporting, sponsoring, donating and joining Brathay in the amazing work they do you feel the same as it really does make a difference to so many people’s lives. If you are ever in the lakes drop in for a drink and a walk around, you too cannot help but fall in love with the place.


  • 2001: London Marathon (first Marathon)
  • 2002: New York Marathon
  • 2003: Dublin Marathon
  • 2004: London Marathon
  • 2005: Disney Marathon, USA
  • 2006: Robin Hood Marathon
  • 2007: ASICS Windermere Marathon
  • 2008: Brathay 10in10 (Guinness World Record; ‘First female to complete 10 consecutive marathons’
  • 2009: Brathay 10in10
  • 2010: Brathay 10in10
  • 2011: Palma Marathon
  • 2012: Disney Challenge, USA
  • 2013: Yorkshire Marathon
  • 2014: Enigma Summer Festival Marathons
  • 2015: Washington Marin Corp Marathon
  • 2016: Enigma (my 100th marathon!)