Glasgow-based runner Paul Blackler and running newbie Isatou Njai, co-founders of Drink Baotic, have re-launched their 2016 MegaMeterRun challenge to support their ongoing efforts to tackle poverty in rural Gambia.
In 2016 Paul completed a 100 x 10k challenge, one million meters, by 27 November. He didn't stop there and ended the year running 116 times in total (a mix of 10ks and half marathons).
This year 2019 Paul, with the help of Isatou, has issued the Scottish running community with a call to participate in one of three levels of MegaMeterRun test. The new challenges for 2019 are 50 x 5k, 100 x 5k or 100 x 10k. Already runners from across the UK have signed up to take part.
The challenge raises money and awareness for community development projects in rural Gambia, where over 60% of the country's population live below the UN poverty line. It’s a cause close to their heart, as Gambia is Isatou’s home country where the pair first meet in 2008 through Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO).
Through a mix of registration fees, and donations the target is to raise between £5,000 and £10,000 to fund two new community farms, helping female co-operatives and schools to grow vegetables to improve income, health and nutrition. Their projects now have support from Gambia’s Ministers of Education and Agriculture and there is interest in their innovative garden models from the UN World Food Program.
Paul told runABC Scotland: "The MegaMeterRun is an initiative that both supports the Scottish running community and seeks its help. Our challenges are a great way to sustain your training programme over the year and assist you to reach targets, while tying together all of your running for the year.
It's a new experience for Isatou: “I have dabbled with a few 5k runs, but yoga has been more my thing, so I am looking forward to challenging myself with new goals within the comfort of the MegaMeterRun community, and raising funds for a really important cause along the way.”
MegaMeterRun invites you to join them. As well as the challenge and online community, entry also gets you:
- Technical Running T-Shirt
- Free Goody Bag
- Monthly Giveaways
- 2019 Running Community
- Free Run Planner & Rundown charts
- Medal option at completion
There's still time to get involved with MegaMeterRun 2019. Find out more at the MegaMeterRun website or to keep in touch with the action follow @MegaMeterRun across social media.