What is 27.2?
“Pheidippides met Pan on his run to Athens, and Pan told the runner people had been negligent in their worship and stewardship of the Earth. Runners have a responsibility to the environment.”
Roger Robinson, Runner’s World.
Yes 27.2 is about ‘going the extra mile’ – somewhat cliched you might say, but as a metaphor it’s just trying to make a small statement. It’s not that difficult to go the extra one mile if you’ve already run 26.2 of them, and also – it takes a marathon effort to make a change. I’m sure most marathon runners will attest to that!
In terms of the environment, we’re at the point now where ‘extra miles’ are needed. The systems that support us – clean air, fresh water, healthy soils and oceans – are all under threat from our burgeoning human population. Since runners are especially sensitive to environmental conditions, taking steps to improve the environment together seems logical (pun intended).
Backstory: I started 27.2 as a means of trying to bridge the gap between (what could be seen as) a recreational & indulgent activity and an issue that we cannot ignore – the disregard for an environment that is not un-fickle to the disinterested. I was, and am still concerned by the international political spectre, what is happening to funding for critical projects and cuts to education.
When I came to the US as a student athlete in 2000 it was an opportunity to dive into Environmental Science & Policy and run my heart out at the same time. It was a dream come true for a naive running obsessed kid from England – really. But even then, and ever since, I’ve always had a hard time bringing running and environmental work close together. But I’ve come to realise they do not have to be mutually exclusive. Taking inspiration from recent events and the work of people across the US, the UK and world – I still feel there is huge potential for people to take action and make change happen.
The mission of 27.2 is to bring runners and environmental issues closer together. In the short term our aim is to do that by holding local events and using social media. The long term aim is to fundraise via ‘green running events’ and other means, and create scholarships for student athletes studying environmentally focused issues.
This is just the beginning of what I hope will become a way to do more with the ‘miles’ we all run – figuratively speaking. Going an extra mile is more important now more than ever – for every one. Check out the new blog for reviews of environmentally conscious running products, the Facebook page 27.2 for events and Instagram for ways to get involved – but first things first, go and run, walk, hop, skip or skate a mile and dedicate it to the world we all live in. You’ll feel better, really.