‘Amazing’ Annie: "I don’t need public transport – I’ve got two legs!”

“No pain, no gain, that's my motto!” grins Annie Anthony Mays.

By Nik Farah
Monday, 04 March, 2019, 09:49
Annie May Anthony's 300th ParkRun

“I’ve always been a do-er and can't sit still for long. If I do, I just get tired and fall asleep so I prefer to keep moving.”

And that isn’t a problem for the 61-year-old Sheffield woman, whose incredibly weekly activity is the subject of a new film on Youtube, entitled ‘Amazing Annie.’ The seven-minute film has now been shortlisted for the BMC TV Women in Adventure film competition 2019, and will be shown - alongside the other 11 shortlisted films – at the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival at the city’s Showroom Cinema on Saturday March 23-24.

Annie Anthony Mays runs every single day

“I’ve always been active,” says Annie, whose incredible weekly activity includes climbing, cycling, swimming, gardening, and hours of running.

"I run everywhere,” she says simply.

“I love running because it’s free, except for the cost of a decent pair of running shoes, and I get to explore different areas of the city which is really liberating.

“Since giving up work full time as a careers adviser, I can run anywhere, anytime, and I consider myself really lucky to have access to this city and all it's different areas. Plus I definitely sleep better after my adventurous activities”

Annie Anthony Mays gets active on the Femmes walk

Annie decided to make the video, detailing her active life, after meeting with Lynn Robinson, the new – and first female – director of the British Mountaineering Council.

“She encouraged me to tell my story, in the hopes of encouraging more people to get active.”

Annie’s week begins with a Monday morning run, before she cycles to Ponds Forge for her swimming lesson. After that she cycles to her art workshop, and home, then runs to do some volunteering, taking on whatever gardening, painting, or moving and handling needs doing.

On Tuesday she runs or cycles back to the art studio where she spends the day getting creative.

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“My father was an artist and sculptor so I learned a lot from him and tend to draw lots of art figures in my work. I love to incorporate movement into my art too!

“If I have enough energy left after a day of art, I go for a run with a group of women friends.”

On Wednesday Annie catches up with some reading, before running or cycling to her choir rehearsal. On Thursday she joins another running group, before running or cycling to Showroom Cinema for the over 55's film club.

“A sea of grey hair enjoying coffee, cake and cinema for a couple of hours,” she laughs.

On Friday Annie goes climbing, and explains she enjoys the feel of creating art with her body as she climbs.

“It’s like I'm taking a brush and painting the wall as I go up - giggling, wiggling and jiggling the whole time. I’m often getting told off for acting like a big kid, but I do love having fun.”

On Saturday Annie cycles or runs to Endcliffe Park for the ParkRun.

“With all the running I do, it’s a bit of a warm-up for me, but I love taking part and enjoying everyone’s company. I did my 300th run at the weeknd!

“After that I tend to spend the weekend working on my allottment, doing art and gardening. Once  a month I go walking in the Peak District with some friends, or head out into Derbyshire for a bike ride with my husband. My husband and I love keeping active together, we’re like thunder and lightning when we get going!

“There’s quite simply no stopping me - or my energy levels!”

Visit www.thebmc.co.uk/waf to watch all 11 film entries ahead of the WAF Screening and Panel session on March 23. The winning film will be screened at the Kendal Mountain Festival.