Run the World 6th Anniversary Blog

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2019 was another extraordinary year for Run the World during which I had the honour and pleasure of meeting, running with, and talking to thousands of people all over the world.

Highlights included :

  • I’ve now run in 183 countries (and 27 UK cities and London boroughs)
  • With over 7 000 people
  • And given Run the World school talks to over 6 400 people
  • Total funds raised to date for Cancer Research reached £50 200 / $ 64 759
  • The Run the World Foundation made its first donations to programmes focused on motivating and supporting people to adopt active, healthy lifestyles
  • Planning started for the UK leg of Run the World in London on July 4th PLEASE JOIN US – WE ARE HOPING TO WELCOME REPRESENTATIVES FROM AS MANY COUNTRIES AS POSSIBLE!!!

There’s more detail below but first a reminder of why we do this:

  • We’re looking to raise as much money as we can for Cancer Research. At a time when cancer rates are rising across the world, this has never been more important.
  • And we’re promoting the importance of an active, healthy lifestyle and the mental and physical health benefits it brings – including a decreased risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression and dementia. (It also, as I always tell my school audiences, helps with academic performance!)

Runs & Runners

I have now run in 183 countries, and with more than 7 000 people, and was on target to complete all 206 countries by the 2020 Olympic/ Paralympics. Unfortunately my daughter fell seriously ill in December 2019 and I’ve had to cancel all my running trips for the foreseeable future. I won’t now be able to keep to my original schedule but I will visit and run in the remaining 23 countries as soon as I can!

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I also started my London Borough Challenge to complete a 10 km run in every London borough (plus the City of London) – which has allowed me to run with a number of the groups who make up London’s extraordinary social running scene


Finally, during the year a new ‘tradition’ also emerged of a post run group plank…

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The UK Leg of Run the World

The UK run will take place on Hampstead Heath in London on July 4th 2020. We will start at 17.30 in Highgate, London (tbc) and there will be 5km run and walking options as well as the 10 km run. The run will be followed a garden party fundraiser for Cancer Research.

It would be fantastic if you or your contacts could join us – and please wear the colours of any country with which you have an affiliation by birth, residence, family or affection. We’re hoping that as many countries as possible will be represented on the day!


Total fundraising now stands at almost £50,000/$65,000 and I hope to exceed £60,000/$80,000 by the finish. Thank you, as always, to everyone who has donated – it is enormously appreciated by both myself and Cancer Research!


In addition to the running and fundraising, I now do school and adult Run the World talks. These combine stories of my (mis)adventures around the world with Run the World’s second objective : promoting active, healthy lifestyles. Please do contact me if you know an audience who might be interested. (Quotes and references about previous school talks can be seen here.)

In addition to talks all around the world

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I’ve now also talked at wide range of schools across London

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The Run the World Foundation

Inspired by my experiences around the world, I recently set up the Run the World Foundation to support programmes, people, charities and companies that motivate and support people to adopt active, healthy lifestyles. To date the Foundation has made grants to the Noela Lyonga Foundation – who created the Youths Who Run the World project in the Cameroon

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– and to the Panathlon Foundation – who offer fantastic sporting and leadership opportunities to students with disabilities in the UK.

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I am currently in discussion with a number of other parties across the world – please do get in touch if you’re involved with or aware of a project I should be supporting.

Staying in Touch

Please, please do like / follow Run the World on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter because it’s a great way to stay in touch and because, however silly it may sound, it makes all the travel and running that little bit easier if you think people care!

Thank you, dear readers, for all your support to date and please don’t hesitate to get in touch – about any of the above – or just to say hello! (Run the World can be contacted by commenting on this blog or via social media as above.)


About Run the World

I'm running 10 km in every country in the world - a total of 205 countries - by the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I'm doing the Run the World challenge to promote the benefits of sport and physical activity and to raise money for cancer research following the death of my mother from cancer. If you'd like to donate to Cancer Research - - then I know they'd be very grateful.
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