Tuesday, October 9, 2007

AAI Denali Climber Runs Around the World

Heiko (in the white shirt) running in Stade, Germany, with local participants.

Heiko Weiner, who joined AAI for a Denali Expedition in 2006, just ran around the world. Literally.

He participated in a 95-day event called the Blue Planet Run, which began and ended in New York City on June 1, 2007, and covered 15,200 miles, across 16 countries and 3 continents. The team of 20 runners ran for 24 hours each day, with each runner running 10 miles per day. What for, you ask?

To deliver an urgent message about the state of world-wide safe drinking water. One in five people lack this basic human need. The Blue Planet Run Foundation aims to bring awareness to this fact, and the around-the-world running event was their way of doing so.

Heiko completes his 10-mile leg in Limerick, Ireland.

The intention was to create an event that would capture the excitement of people from all walks of life worldwide. The epic nature of the event has appeal to both participants and the audience. The Foundation states that, "The combination of the primal, archetypal elements of water, one of the most basic essentials of life, with running, the fundamental mode of transportation and communication strikes a physiological chord."

The team with Hillary Swank at the kick-off ceremony in NYC.

The Blue Planet Run reached a large, global audience. The event kicked of in New York City on June 1, and, along with the 20 runners, loads of photographers, writers, well-wishers, and two-time Academy Award–winning actress Hillary Swank gathered to celebrate. 95 days later, on September 6, the team of 20 runners crossed the finish line together and were greeted by a large crowd and an ensuing ceremony.

Nice work, Heiko and teammates!

Click for a map of the runner's route and for day-by-day photos and stories from the run.

Donate now to the Blue Planet Run Foundation.

Moscow, Russia.

Being interviewed in Russia, east of Omsk.

Heiko in Darckan, Mongolia.

Heiko during the night shift in the Gobi Desert.

Standing above Lake Baikal, Russia (Siberia).

Hanging out in Retz, Austria.

Running in France.

The team crosses the finish line in New York.

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