Come October, Australians and New Zealanders will band together for a good cause — running together in the name of climate action for the Great Barrier Reef. Dubbed run4reef, the running event will simultaneously take place in 21 cities across the two countries with a staggering 100,000 runners set to participate. Runners from both sides of the Tasman will be connected through large format digital screens handily located at all the running events along with livestreaming, thus helping runners feel part of a global mission. The competition will obviously be tough since you won’t only compete with local runners but runners from across the continent. However, at the heart of the race is a common mission — to shed light on the urgency of protecting the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system with an exceptionally unique variety of marine species and habitat. Over time, coastal pollution, tourism, coral bleaching and climate change have rendered the reef in an incredibly vulnerable state. It’s decaying health has been a major cause of concern with a report by UN Environment Programme predicting that 70 to 90 percent of coral reefs could completely disappear by 2050. Needless to say, quick and urgent action is the need of the hour.
“We’ve better understood the significant threats to the health of the Great Barrier Reef and have seen a major increase in the number of global citizens looking to make a change before it’s too late. The Great Barrier Reef truly is the barometer of climate change and we must act now,” run4reef Race Director and Olympian Steve Moneghetti said.
What to expect at the event
Run4reef registrations will raise funds to support a number of important causes and majority of the funds generated will go towards conservation initiatives like WWF-New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
Wellington and Auckland will be two of the inaugural cities along with Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide among others.
“Our marine environment is without international borders. Fixing our struggling ocean will require all of us working together. WWF-New Zealand is proud to partner with run4reef to champion collaborative conservation,” Livia Esterhazy, WWF-New Zealand CEO said about the two countries coming together for the event.
Participating cities include:
- Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand and
- Central Coast
- Gold Coast
- Moreton Bay
- Thursday Island and
- Townsville in Australia
This first-of-its-kind event takes place this October and you can register to participate here. Mark your calendar — it’s all happening on October 16 and runners of all abilities across 1km, 5km and 10km can join in.
Read all about run4reef here.