Posts

Man Running

Runners Coordinate to Support Australian Wildfire Relief Efforts

The historic and massive wildfires currently devastating Australia have inspired people around the world to raise money in order to aid in the relief efforts, as the resources necessary to combat the fires are overwhelming. The global running community is among those who are trying to help, as thousands of runners will participate in a virtual race taking place on January 18th and January 19th, with 100% of proceeds going towards relief efforts in Australia. The event, which anyone around the world with the Strava smartphone app can participate in, will consist of a 5k race and a half-marathon race, and the effort has already raised $345,000 with the event still more than a week away.

Embed from Getty Images

The idea was born when Samantha Gash, a 35-year-old endurance athlete from Australia, was watching the destruction unfold on TV and felt compelled to help in any way she could. Though she contemplated simply donating to existing organizations, she ultimately decided her efforts would be more successful if she tapped into the fundraising potential of the running community. In order to participate in the virtual event, people must enter in advance on the organization’s website and contribute a minimum of $50. Because of the large number of runners expected to participate in the event, Gash is working directly with Strava, an app that bills itself as a social network for runners, to ensure that the races go off without a hitch.

Embed from Getty Images

Thanks to the internet and the vast network of runners around the world wanting to pitch in to help Australia, the website reached dozens of countries, including the United States, New Zealand, and Germany within 48 hours of its launch. The organizers have already exceeded their wildest fundraising expectations, as their original goal was to raise just $20,000. Of course, you don’t have to be a runner to participate, as you can donate directly to relief efforts through the organization’s website even if you don’t plan to participate in the race.