A FORMER international marathon runner now living as a nomad is running more than 1,000 kms through the middle of Spain without shoes for charity.

Julia Chi Taylor, 58, will start her journey on March 23, on the Northern Coast of Spain in Suances.

She plans to finish 52 days later on May 12 at the Southern coast town of Almun?e?car.

She is believed to be the first female to ever attempt to run this route, which takes her right through the middle of Spain, without shoes.

The journey is 1,006 kilometres and Julia is planning on averaging 25k per day for five days with a rest day after every five days.

She plans to finish the run on her 59th birthday.

Julia, who lived for 25 years in Sussex - 12 of them in Eastbourne, is raising money for Friends of Sussex Hospices and Fundacio?n Cudeca – which is a cancer care hospice in Spain.

Julia is aiming to raise £10,000 for the two charities.

Julia said: “I have always worked deeply in the lives of others, helping them to face themselves in life and death.

“Therefore it feels natural for me to be raising money to aid the transition of adults and children in their journey from life to death.

“We die how we live and so through living fully we can embrace our death and through accepting that we will die we can live more wholly.”

Julia became a nomad several years ago - a person who travels from place to place and has no permanent home.

She sold all her belongings and carries everything she owns as hand luggage.

Julia said: “Becoming a nomad has allowed me to be free and explore the world easily.”

Julia has been running barefoot since she was six when she discovered her love for it.

“We come into the world barefoot and we learn to walk barefoot,” she said.

Living completely barefoot except for foot jewellery and Skinners socks, for exceptionally rough ground, Julia has been training and building up her barefoot running in preparation for the run.

Friends of Sussex Hospices is a charity run entirely by volunteers.

It raises funds through a variety of activities to support the running costs of the 12 hospice care providers serving the adults and children in Sussex.

FSH aims to complement hospices’ individual fundraising.

It encourages everyone to support their local hospice in the first instance.

FSH is not an umbrella organisation nor is it involved with managing or running the hospices it supports. It works alongside them.