A big part of running is the place in which we do it. Whether you are a sprinter in a packed stadium, a trail runner cruising through the mountain-side forests, a marathon runner racing through a city or a park runner enjoying the green parts of a town, place makes a difference.
And a big part of any place is the environment. Running is a physical activity and as such, having clear air to breathe is essential. But that is far from guaranteed. In fact it is estimated that 4.2 million people die every year due to exposure to ambient air pollution. And according to the World Health Organisation, 91% of the world’s population lives in places where pollution exceeds WHO recommended levels.
We will be looking into the impact of air pollution on runners in the next edition of Like the Wind – issue #20 out in May.
Before that you can find out more and actively contribute to improving the air we breathe by signing up for the Running Up For Air event in Chamonix on 4 May.
Running Up for Air is a mountain running challenge, which involves running up and down a mountain for 3, 6 or 12 hours. The event aims to raise awareness around the issue of air pollution worldwide, and will be held for the first time in Chamonix, France. In winter months, ascending into the valley often means starting in smoggy, cold, polluted air—caused by our modern day lives and the infamous Mont Blanc Tunnel—and climbing up to surprisingly warmer clean air above. Running Up for Air will bring together the European trail running community, and the event will support Inspire 74, an NGO working towards better air quality in the area of Mont Blanc.
Patagonia Global Sport Activist and record-breaking trail runner, Clare Gallagher will join the challenge in Chamonix. She will also tour around Europe to talk about her obsession with running and how she’s used her career and passion for the sport to bring attention to important environmental issues.
I hope this event motivates people to join the fight for clean air and the broader fight to save our home planet.
Sign up to be part of Running Up For Air in Chamonix: