Runners from around the world have raised more than $300,000 to enter “virtual” races to benefit those fighting and impacted by the devastating Australian wildfires.
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Australian runner and entrepreneur Samantha Gash, like millions around the world, watched the fires burn their deadly path on TV.
“I just felt that I needed to take some type of action,” Dash recently told the Denver Post, “I had this idea, whilst I was actually on a run: I wonder if we could get my running community to take part in a virtual run which potentially would engage people all around Australia and maybe in some parts around the world.”
Her efforts led to the Relief Run being held Jan. 17th to Jan. 19th. How it works: Runners (or walkers) can sign up for a half-marathon or a 5K anywhere in the world for a $50 registration fee paid online, with 100 percent of the fees going to the Australian Red Cross: Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.
In an effort to not exclude anyone who may find the $50 too expensive, the Relief Run is also offering a second option that is available to runners/walkers by reaching out to Dash via the event’s contact page.
Exercise app Strava has partnered with the Relief Run to handle the results of the participants, which so far have come from 45 countries. Dozens of racing clubs in the United States have taken to social media to announce running events and support the Relief Run.
“The take-up in the U.S. has been really positive,” said Gash. “It’s been overwhelmingly beautiful in the face of a lot of adversity.”