Around the World in 95 Days
By Diana Vilibert
Photo Credit: Safer Futures
20 athletes, 16 countries, 15,200 miles, 95 days.
How far do you walk every day for a glass of water? A few feet to the kitchen? Down the block to the supermarket?
If you were living in Asia or Africa, that distance could be almost four miles. Each day, women in Africa, Afghanistan, India, other parts of Asia, and Central and South America spend hours on foot searching for a safe source of water. And despite their efforts, 6,000 friends, family members, and neighbors will die every 24 hours as a result of an inadequate supply of safe drinking water. Over the span of a year, the death toll climbs to 2.2 million.
The Blue Planet Run Foundation is not taking this statistic sitting down. Created in 2002 by industrialist and philanthropist Jin Zidell, the Blue Planet Run Foundation is on a mission to provide safe drinking water to 200 million people for the rest of their lives by 2027.
And they're making progress, one step at a time. On June 1, 2007, a team of 20 athletes, representing 13 nationalities and ranging in age from 23 to 60, will lace up their sneakers and join the Blue Planet Run Foundation in their efforts to spread the message of the need for safe drinking water. The team will circumnavigate the Earth's Northern Hemisphere, running in 10-mile nonstop shifts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week from June 1, 2007 through September 4, 2007.
This is no jog in the park. The 15,200-mile running route passes through four continents and 16 countries, including Russia, France, England, Ireland, Mongolia, and Japan. Cities along the route will host local events to raise awareness about the lack of safe drinking water, and educate people on how they can make a difference.