Sara: From Couch to 5K, to 26 miles, with Bunions

Marathon runner Sara Wild refuses to let her bunions get in the way of her life.

She completed the Manchester marathon in 2018, three years after downloading a ‘Couch to 5k’ app.

Sara said: “I’ve had bunions for around four years and they’ve got worse since I started running again, but I can be quite stubborn. I refuse to let them stop me.

“My feet ached after the marathon,” she said. “The balls of my feet were sore, my bunions ached and there was a pain in my toe joints which lasted for about four days.”

The church administrator also covers a mile each day by walking her daughter to school, before she walks to work, ventures into town at lunchtime and returns home on foot in the evening.

“During lockdown my husband and I did quite a few long walks together and my bunions often ached after them too.

“It doesn’t seem like bunions are considered important,” she added. People tend to think they are self-created. My mum has them and all three of her sisters have them. They’re hereditary.

“Regardless of what you do, you will suffer from them. And people don’t like to talk about them. Everyone suffers in silence.”

Sara feels that the plight of bunion sufferers would be eased if high profile women spoke out more about their difficulties with bunions.

She said: “Naomi Campbell, who has spent most of her life squeezing her feet into shoes that aren’t good for her, has probably made hers worse. That’s not something women like her want to highlight.

“People in her position also don’t speak out about them because it’s seen as an ugly thing for women who’ve always been thought of as glamorous and beautiful.”

Because celebrities like the supermodel won’t raise the subject, Sara feels women women with bunions are left with a stigma around their condition.

The 36-year-old from Whitney in Oxfordshire said: “I don't think I have worn shoes which created them. I’m genetically predisposed to them.

“I want my feet to look nice but I don't enjoy putting them on show. On nights out I focus on the fact that my feet will be under the table for most of the evening.

“There is a stigma around bunions but if influential women like Naomi Campbell would talk about them, then other women would be able to talk about theirs too.

“It is only when you broach the subject that you discover so many more people have them than you think.”

Sara Wild

Describing the extent of her own foot condition, she said: “They’re at an early stage. The most noticeable thing is the toes on my left foot are rotating. I’ve become very aware of it.

“The dislocation of the joint and the creation of the bunion was painful. Even before that happened they were painful.

“Once they settle, you still have that contact with the shoe. Wearing high heels has become difficult. I’ve tried certain styles of boots but the bunion joint pushes on them. Shoes have to be comfortable otherwise I would permanently have blisters.

“Since I found Calla I now have a small selection of really nice shoes. They take the comfort element out of the decision making. I don’t look at them and think which one is going to be most comfortable. I think which is going to go with what I’m going to wear.”

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