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It’s always a welcome challenge when you’re taking part in sporting events that aim to be much bigger than what they’re supposed to be, paving roads for awareness and being part of solutions by way of fitness. Those mountain hikes coupled with a clean-up drive, those community walks that seem more like a march to find and fund cures for diabetes, or cancer. Doing something for a cause makes every metre covered worthwhile and every drop of sweat extra special.

Run For The Oceans is one such event to be held this Friday, June 22, at Kite Beach, Dubai. It intends to raise awareness on the threat of marine plastic pollution. Adidas and Parley for the Oceans, an organisation that promotes the beauty and recognises the fragility of the oceans, partner up to bring this cause to Dubai for the second consecutive year.

“Every second breath we take is created by the Oceans. Still, we are killing its life in rapid speed,” says Cyrill Gutsch, Founder of Parley for the Oceans. “We are hosting Run for the Oceans with adidas to step out of our routine, to take a deep breath and to reflect on how important the sea is for every one of us. And to show that millions of little steps can make a huge difference for our movement.”

Aside from Dubai, this campaign is also held in several key cities around the world including LA, New York, Paris, Berlin, London, Barcelona, Milan and Shanghai. It’s easy to get traction as sports and fitness have always drawn massive participation. This is what Adidas is leveraging. Andre Maestrini, General Manager, adidas Sports Business Units, explains: “At adidas, we believe that sport has the power to change lives and the Run For The Oceans movement truly reflects this. We have created a unique global platform that gives everyone the opportunity to impact their lives by joining a collective running movement that fights marine plastic pollution.”

On their part, adidas will match every kilometre run with $1 for the first 1 million kilometres to support the Parley Ocean Plastic Program, zeroing in on the Parley Ocean School initiative. With in-school and water sports activities, the programme educates the next generation about the Earth’s vast waters and teaches them about the impacts of marine plastic pollution.

I remember participating in my first Dubai Terry Fox Run (DTFR) years ago, raising funds for cancer research in the UAE. I felt the energy from the crowd, who did not just come to have a good time but to give their time in solidarity to those whose lives were changed by cancer. A true noble cause powered by fitness. I hope Run For The Oceans is here to stay and will have the same longevity as DTFR because the world could use more of unifying, generous events.

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THE DETAILS

Until June 28, key cities around the world will be hosting a Run For The Oceans, which are open to all. For every 1km run throughout this time by using the Runtastic app and logging your kilometres, $1 will be donated to Parley by Adidas.

The Dubai event location and time: The Run for the Oceans will take place at 5.30am on Friday, June 22 at Park House — Nessnass Beach, Dubai (close to Kite beach).

Registration: Those interested can register for free at: www.mena.adidas.com/adidasrunners/ — it is listed under local events

Distances: Four options to choose from — 1km, 3km, 5km and 10km