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RUNNING AGAINST MARINE PLASTIC POLLUTION

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

written by

A lot of people believe that trees on land provide most of our oxygen. But the truth is that our beloved Oceans are responsible for 70% of Earth’s oxygen production. Short: every second breath we take comes from the Oceans! Still, we are not fully aware of how we are actively and rapidly killing our Oceans with our daily plastic consumption, and this all around the world.

Based on the Brand’s values of Sports and Responsibility, adidas and Parley for the Oceans launched for the second year consecutive Run for the Oceans, a global running movement that uses the power of sports to raise awareness against Marine Plastic Pollution.

 

It all started on the World Oceans Day on 8th of June in Los Angeles, and I was there. Waking up that day, surrounded by over 25 other adidas Runners Captains from all around the world, meant a lot to me. Although all of us came from different cities, from Tokyo till Panama, and all have different roots, we could feel a strong connection the second we met. We were in L.A. to launch the Run For the Oceans movement with the first official run. A day before the event we met with Mike Long (Parley Director of Operations). He told us so many helpful things for the purpose of eliminating plastic from our own lives or at least paying a little more attention to the details surrounding us every day. His young daughter was there too and her enthusiasm and sparkling eyes watching all of us creating something so big together was very much motivating.

During this time in L.A. we also had workshops and activities and got the chance to exchange thoughts and to talk about the challenges we are facing daily. It felt great being able to share my expertise especially with my fellow captains about all I experience with the AR Vienna family. This exchange showed me how far we got with our visions for the adidas Runners within the past 3 ½ years! When I first heard about my role of leading the adidas Runners Vienna I wouldn’t have dared to guess that one day I would be in LA, part of an International Community of Runners gathered to save our Oceans with adidas and Parley. Mind-blowing and inspirationally – I think this two words describe my feeling that best! It also describes perfectly the energy the AR team shared during the first Run For the Oceans run of the year.

But this event was just the beginning of an amazing journey for me and everyone else who felt like being an active part of changing this planet for the better with real actions.  

 

In one week I had the chance to join 3 events in 2 different continents which made that time unforgettable to me. Seeing so many different faces coming together for one cause is powerful and energizing at the same time!

 

L.A. - Berlin - Vienna

 

After L.A. I joined the adidas Runners Berlin team. There I listened to Lena Gercke sharing personal experiences about the topic of plastic pollution. I also got to know Chris Thaller, Head of Creative Projects at Runtastic, who initiated together with adidas the Run for the Oceans movement in the first place. I also simply collected kilometers myself by participating in the event at the RUNBASE Berlin that gathered more than 600 runners!


Then it was the turn of my hometown, Vienna. After of what I have seen going on in the other AR cities in regarding of the Run for the Oceans I wanted to create an experience for us unique of its kind. My goal was set high! Our RUNBASE is on a boat and we have a soccer cage above the pool so we managed to build up a large-scale exhibition about Parley’s Oceans Plastic Program and this for an entire weekend, for everyone, for free. On July 7th, so 48 hours before the official Run For The Oceans activation ends, Christian Redl, an Austrian freediving athlete, started the event with an inspiring speech. He made clear that even when our little country is not directly attached to the oceans we still have the responsibility of getting rid of plastic. Let’s be real, all of our garbage ends up in our oceans sooner or later. After this inspirational moment we all laced up our shoes and went for the run to take part of the movement. The awareness created that morning slapped lots of waves on different press media platforms and made our event go viral on different social channels in Austria. Together we collected 1,1K+ kilometers and I was really proud on each and every one who was there and helped us making that day insanely awesome. It was a success!

 

During the month-long initiative, the adidas runners communities celebrated the Run for the Oceans with more than 20.000 runners in around 200 events in more than 60 cities worldwide besides the weekly running activations everyone could sign up almost daily.
 

All my fellow captains in other cities took part!

Together, runners from across the world covered a total distance of more than 12.4 million kilometers and raised 1million dollar!

 

The money raised during Run For The Oceans will fund the Parley Ocean School initiative, which educates and empowers the next generation of Ocean Guardians through different experiences such as in-school and hands-on water activities. The program introduces youth to the underwater world and gives them the tools and inspiration to protect their future.  

 

We all made the Run for the Oceans a game-changing success and I personally hope that with this loaded energy overall all our minds, faces and hearts this movement is an enormous wake-up call for every human being breathing in the air provided by the Oceans. Why? Because it’s not over yet. We, as a collective, for sure will continue to act to save our Oceans! Join us, every step and action count.

 

Find more Info here: www.adidas.at/parley

 

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