In November, I wrote here about my courageous friend Mina Guli. Mina who set out on a quest to run 100 marathons in 100 consecutive days around the world to draw attention to water scarcity, which the World Economic Forum ranks among the top global societal risks in terms of impact.
Mina’s journey has taken an unexpected but ultimately inspiring turn.
In early January, weeks of running in pain forced Mina to downgrade her speed to walking, now taking nine to twelve hours to finish each marathon instead of four to five. She tried shuffling and using walking poles to help, but her journey had become excruciating.
When she went to the hospital for an MRI, her doctors gave her the devastating news that she has fractured her femur, one of the most painful types of injury.
On January 3, after her 60th consecutive marathon, Mina posted the heartbreaking health update.
Her friends encouraged her to let us run for her and donate the distance to the #runningdry cause. But she didn’t want to give up.
On January 5th, Mina was in tears when she finished walking Marathon 62. She went back to the hospital and discovered that the fracture had spread. Her doctors told her that if she didn’t stop, she’d never walk again.
“How could I even consider giving up, when this journey is all about showing 100% commitment to the global water crisis? I’ll tell you how: by accepting that the purpose of this campaign is bigger than running and bigger than me,” she wrote on her blog.
Her friend and mentor, Lewis Pugh, the distance swimmer and ocean advocate, flew to South Africa to help Mina put the situation in perspective. Was 38 more days of the campaign worth 38 years of possibly being unable to walk? To support her, he pledged to run a portion of the distance for each of the next 38 days.
Mina’s team finished Marathon 62 for her. Our friend Bruno Sánchez-Andrade Nuño, logged an entire marathon in Madrid in support of #runningdry.
And a global community has rallied around the #RunningDry campaign, picking up the baton and donating miles for Mina to ensure a marathon is run every day until she is able to get back on the road. A marathon is 42.2km or 26.2 miles.
The community has been logging roughly 1,000 kilometers each day, and the word is just beginning to spread.
Mina has always inspired me by showing the power of what one person can do. She’s inspired me again by demonstrating the power of passing the baton.
How can you help?
Run or walk as many kilometres or miles as you can.
Take a photo and post it on your social media channel/s. Include the distance and the hashtag #RunningDry so we can track it.
Invite your friends to join the #RunningDry movement.
Share a water fact or tip (choose one from this link) on your social media.
#water #leadership #courage #minaguli #runningdry
This article is part of my new weekly series, “Around My Mind” – a regular walk through the ideas, events, people, and places that kick my synapses into action, sparking sometimes surprising or counter-intuitive connections. To subscribe go to this page and click the blue “Subscribe” button on the top right-hand side.