Thousands of runners will participate in the Israeli leg of what has been defined as the largest non-step relay run in the world, which is aimed at highlighting climate change. Titled ‘Running out of Time’, the relay run will began in Glasgow, Scotland where the United Nations COP26 Climate Conference had been held last year in November. It would come to an end 7,200 kilometers or 4,475 miles, 38 days later in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, which will host the COP27 Conference this year, starting from November 7th till November 18th. The relay has been divided into stages of 10 kilometers, or 6.2 miles each.
It will see cyclists, runners and sailors work together round the clock for passing a baton that contains a climate message for the decision-makers at the conference from the young people. The message in question will be sealed inside the baton on September 30th when the run starts. EcoOcean, the marine protection organization, is organizing the event in Israel with the Society for the Protection of Nature. On November 1st, the baton will be passed to Israel by Cypriot sailors at Rosh Hanikra, which is on the northern Mediterranean tip in Israel. This is the first marine protected area in Israel.
On November 4th, Israel will pass the baton to Jordanian runners. The Israeli leg of the relay run is about 520 kilometers long and is divided into 52 sections. It will move along the coast to Eilat, leading to a crossover into Aqaba, Jordan before the baton is passed to the Egyptians. A number of existing trails will be used in the route, such as the Mediterranean Sea Trail and the north to the south national trail. EcoOcean’s Executive Director, Arik Rosenbaum said that since Israel is the last country before Sharm el-Sheikh, they had room to go a bit crazy and do interesting and fun things.
They are organizing different activities for all of the 52 stations that will pass the baton. Some of these activities would be focused on the impact of climate change, such as oil pollution, rising sea levels, and protecting creatures like sea lions, sharks and dolphins. The other activities will be focused on highlighting initiatives and organizations aimed at protecting biodiversity and coping with climate change. An excellent example is Sea Turtle Rescue Center. Schools all over Israel will pass a separate baton and the Education Ministry is also designing a special education program for the entire system, starting from kindergarten and going till the 12th grade.
Originally from Los Angeles, Rosenblum is also talking to Hazon, the US environment organization, about a US relay that also coincides with the one taking place in Glasgow. Rosenblum added that some sections of the run will only be for experienced runners, such as the Negev Desert, where temperatures can still be high in November. They will not be allowed to hand out plastic water bottles and runners will be required to carry the water in certain areas. 18 countries will participate in the run and it will cross glaciers, mountain ranges, deserts and seas.