Photo Courtesy: Arun Gurung
When did you start impact marathon, and what was the inspiration behind it?
Impact Marathon Series (IMS) is now almost 18 months old, but our race here in Nepal was the curtain-raiser for the series. It has been a long time coming, working with the guys at Trek Nepal Int’l to make things possible. Our main inspiration is grounded in looking for ways to connect people with their ability to make a difference in the world, that each person, as an individual, has the power to be a positive light in their communities, their businesses, their families. We want to inspire people through running, not for a personal best, but for others, alongside others, and breaking down the barriers we put in place throughout our lives.
What is the main motive of IMS?
Empowerment. It starts and finishes with empowerment. It is our goal to ensure that every single person that comes into contact with IMS feels stronger, happier, and more confident because of our goals. We love running, but really, we are a platform for communities, charities, and social enterprises to discuss, promote, and increase awareness for the amazing work they are doing.
What is your cause behind running this marathon in Nepal?
We work directly with tackling the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Each of our races takes on three Global Goals, decided upon by the community, and each runner picks one Global Goal that their fundraising/race fee will support. From Burns Violence Survivors to Clean Up Nepal to Street Child—we wanted to be a platform for these organizations to raise not only funds, but awareness also.
Why did you choose marathon and not other ways to address causes in IMS?
It’s a beautiful thing, a marathon. It is really the ultimate distance, and running is such a wonderful leveler—rich, poor, old, young, man, woman—it just doesn’t matter, you can run with each other, for each other. It’s such a simple activity, and whatever the distance you run, you get through a moment in the race where you have to dig deep, draw on strength you never knew you had.
How effective has it been? Have you been successful in achieving your targets?
We managed to hit our £75k fundraising target during race-week itself, which was a fantastic achievement. We saw a real increase in funds raised after people had experienced our Impact Day, where they visited the organizations we were supporting. Once you see, feel, and understand your impact, then you feel emotionally linked to these people fighting to tackle the Global Goals.
What are your future plans regarding IMS?
We are just three months away from our first race in Colombia. We are also ready to receive runners in Malawi and Guatemala. It’s been a remarkable journey so far, and we have loved every single second of this race in Nepal. We will be back next year in Nepal for the 2017 edition of the race, and every year thereafter, to keep on harnessing the power of running to change the world.