It started on July 1, but there’s no telling when it will actually come to an end. That’s the nature of the worldwide relay race called Earthathon which saw 1,589 runners commence the race as July began.
Conceptualised by 38-year-old runner Dave Spencer, Earthathon is simply about joining one of 10 Earthaton teams around the world and running your everyday mileage, and posting it on Twitter with the hashtag #earthathon. 25,000 miles later, the epic marathon will end.
The most amazing part about Earthathon isn’t that people are actually doing it, it’s that Spencer started this initiative without any support or funding. It was just about realising a big running goal. “I thought, ‘Hey wouldn’t it be cool to run around the world?’” he’s quoted as saying in Runner’s World Newswire.
— Charles Williams (@VikeKing66) July 17, 2015
Spencer ran the first leg of his relay around the world alone, and soon his friends caught up with him. Spencer has now created an automated Google spreadsheet that tallies the distances posted with the hashtag as runners strived to reach the final distance. By the end of the 2014 relay, 145 runners had participated. “We started as one team with the idea being, One Team, One Planet,” he’s further quoted in Runner’s World. “But when I saw that there were 150 people on the team and that our numbers were growing daily, I knew the social element would be lost. That’s when I decided we needed to split into smaller groups.”
— Anna B (@runanninarun) July 17, 2015
This year, each team has a captain and a theme ranging from running for social causes to supportying charities or issues. Another unqiue aspect of Earthathon is that there’s no single winner at the end. All 10 teams have to run the 25,000 miles, and when one team reaches their goal, they can help others make up their short miles. The full course usually takes between five and six months.
Main image: Earthathon runners on Twitter