Is it possible to run 1 million kms in 6 months?
It’s a challenge that is being put to the Australian running community to collectively run or walk a distance of 1,000,000 km before the end of the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
A distance further than Earth to the moon and back.
A love of running brought together two unlikely friends, Eloise Wellings, an Australian Olympic middle distance runner, and Julius Achon, Ugandan Olympian and former child soldier. The Love Mercy Foundation was born in 2010 when these two athletes united to make a difference to the communities in Northern Uganda where Julius grew up, and the lives of people living there.
Eloise met soldier Julius while recovering from a stress fracture before the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Eloise was moved by his story of triumph over adversity, and while she didn’t recover in time for the Beijing Olympics, she felt that her troubles were put in perspective by Julius’ life. Eloise did go on to compete in the London Olympics, and at the Rio Olympics where she placed 10th in the 10,000m and 9th in the 5000m track events.
Running is an important aspect of the Foundation.
Eloise is encouraging people to get outdoors and exercise, but this time not just for themselves. Every time someone covers a distance, they aren’t just improving their own life, they’re improving the life of families living in poverty in Northern Uganda.
Each time the group reaches a milestone in kilometres, sponsors release a balloon of funds that get sent straight to the Foundation’s projects in Uganda. So far the group, that uses Strava to log its miles, has over 300 members and is nearing the 50,000km mark. “ I do think its possible to reach our goal. Every kilometre that someone donates will get us one step closer… and together we can achieve something incredible” says Wellings.
If the group collectively run or walk 1,000,000 km they can potentially raise upwards of $50,000 from generous business sponsors and change the lives of thousands of people, which is an exciting prospect.
Join the group: