Aloha Earth Friday!
I like to think that triathlon is inspired by the three essential natural elements – water (swimming), air (riding), and earth (running). And naturally there are many similarities in training for ironman and practicing sustainability. Both require commitment, dedication and an awareness that the small steps we take daily affect our overall results and lives. With that in mind I often wondered how I could bring environmental awareness to triathlon and running events. I never came up with a good solution, so when my dearest friend Susie Stephen, a mom-to-be, runner and yogi (who loves to share her passion with the not so-stretched population, me included), who also has a huge heart for important causes, shared with me her 27point2 idea I cherished every aspect of it, and am excited to see this beautiful initiative grow deep roots.
Where does your passion for nature come from?
I think it comes from summer holidays as a kid spent in the country and at the beach with my family in the UK. We were encouraged to go and explore, have respect for nature and wildlife, and to be curious about it. I also used to enjoy watching David Attenborough on the BBC!
What do you love about running?
Wow – tough but great question. Running has opened so many doors for me. But I love it mainly because it’s when I can clear my mind, get some fresh air and be outside, think over life, check in with how I’m feeling and how my fitness is going. I’ve also met many amazing people and made some great friends through the sport.
The idea of 27point2 is that runners can make a difference, by raising awareness of the environment they rely on for training and racing – and by going the extra mile to fundraise and create scholarships for up and coming student athletes.
How did you come up with the 27point2 idea?
I’ve always had a hard time trying to balance my interests in running and the environment. All the way through college I kept looking for ways to bring the two closer together, but they always seemed to follow separate tracks. Of course, you could say that every runner has an interest in the environment simply by wanting to follow a trail through a forest or the countryside, or an urban path through the trees or a park where you can breathe clean air and feel healthy, but to really make a difference, to keep those spaces sacred and maintain the health of all users of the ecosystem, requires a different type of approach. 2016 was a catalyst for me and by the end of the year I realised that to make a difference means focusing on education. The idea of 27point2 is that runners can make a difference, by raising awareness of the environment they rely on for training and racing – and by going the extra mile to fundraise and create scholarships for up and coming student athletes. We are going to need a cohort of imaginative, problem-solving and intelligent young people who can help to find solutions to future ecosystem issues and they are going to need support with the ever-increasing college tuition fees and costs. What better way than to use running for helping the next generation, which will in turn help all of us?
The long term plan is to hold ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly’ running events where people can not only take part in something that has a small ecological foot-print, but also engage with a new environment – whether that’s an organic farm, a native forest, a beach, or a mountain in a wilderness area.
How will 27point2 close the gap between environmental awareness and the running community?
The long term plan is to hold ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly’ running events where people can not only take part in something that has a small ecological foot-print, but also engage with a new environment – whether that’s an organic farm, a native forest, a beach, or a mountain in a wilderness area. Right now we’re starting out small with group runs on Oahu – for example on Saturday April 22nd we’re holding our first run along the Maunawili Ditch Trail. We’re also asking runners to engage with the wider community via social media @27point2 and share photos, ideas and inspiration by using #ecofriendlyrunners and #27point2
Share three simple things that any runner can do to help the world be a better place?
- Carry a re-usable water bottle and/ or mug to limit consumption of single-use plastic drink bottles and coffee cups.
- Consider run-commuting (difficult in humid Hawaii!).
- Buy local fruit & veg from farmers markets.
If you could change one thing in the world what would be?
Umm… I think overall if we all slowed down a little we’d have more energy to make better decisions that would benefit the environment and our communities. I’m totally guilty of rushing around but have often found that if I just stop for a minute and breath everything improves.
Let’s run the extra mile!
We would love to know how do you go the extra mile?
some dreams are worth sharing