If you Run Wild, they Run Wild: adidas Runtastic Challenges 1 Million to Run for Threatened Wildlife

adidas Runtastic, one of the world’s leading companies in the digital health and fitness space, is partnering with Internet of Elephants, United Nations Environment Programme, and three conservation organizations, to activate the global running community to show support for critical policy change at the upcoming UN General Assembly Biodiversity Summit in September 2020.

Summary

Today, adidas Runtastic, one of the world’s leading companies in the digital health and fitness space, is launching the latest edition of Run Wild, an exciting digital running challenge that lets its users connect with and race against a wild tiger, elephant, or pangolin.

Details

adidas Runtastic is partnering with Internet of Elephants, United Nations Environment Programme, and three conservation organizations, to activate the running community to show support for critical policy change at the upcoming UN General Assembly Biodiversity Summit in September.

How it works

To educate and rally runners around the topics of endangered species and threatened wildlife, adidas Runtastic is launching the second edition of Run Wild, a global, ten-day digital running challenge, on the adidas Running app. Athletes who opt into the Run Wild challenge will track their total distance (running, treadmill, walking, virtual running, and trail running) over 10 days, and each day they will be able to compare their progress to the distances traveled by one of three endangered species.  This year’s campaign challenges runners to race a wild pangolin, tiger, or elephant, based on the animal’s real movement data.

Beginners will love racing Pamoja, the pangolin who stays relatively close to her den in the Maasai Mara in Kenya. Intermediate runners will enjoy the challenge of outpacing Tendrel Zangmo, a tiger from Bhutan, who can cover up to 10km per day. Veteran distance runners will have to step up if they want to outrun Adjany, the elephant. Although she roams the plains of Angola at a relatively slow pace, elephants can be on the move almost 20 hours a day. No matter which animal is chosen in the challenge, runners will get regular updates on distances traveled, and learn more about the daily lives of endangered species.

By taking part in the Run Wild Challenge, athletes use their voice, effort, and activism to represent the interests of all threatened species at the UN General Assembly Biodiversity Summit.

Why it matters

As of 2020, more than 1 million species of plants and animals are threatened with extinction because of human activities. Critical policy changes will only happen if enough people are willing to raise their voices in support. The Run Wild Challenge is an opportunity to engage athletes with wildlife in a positive way, boosting their fitness while allowing them to learn more about the extraordinary lives and abilities of individual wild animals. By focusing on individual animals and real scientific data, we give a more personal face and voice to what we stand to lose if we don’t take action. 

The first Run Wild Challenge in 2019 attracted over 500,000 runners, who raced Uuliin, a snow leopard. For this year’s edition, we aim to double the engagement to one million athletes, to match the one million species that are predicted to go extinct in the near future. 

“At adidas, we know that sport has the power to change lives, and this is an incredible opportunity to combine forces with five important organizations to rally a global community of athletes for a more diverse and sustainable planet,” said Scott Dunlap, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager for adidas Runtastic, “digitally racing against real wild animals is also just a fun and educational experience.”

Who is behind it 

Run Wild forges a coalition between the worlds of business, sports, tech and conservation.

adidas Runtastic leverages its 160+ million registered users, platform, and marketing power; Internet of Elephants co-created the concept and provides engagement expertise and science storytelling, UNEP brings its amplification power, and Space For Giants, the Pangolin Project, and the Bhutan Tiger Center provide their research data and conservation expertise.

We believe unconventional collaborations like ours are needed to bring the urgency of environmental action to the attention of people and policymakers worldwide.


About adidas Runtastic

adidas Runtastic, founded in 2009, is a leader in the digital health and fitness space. It provides optimized tracking solutions for collecting, managing, and analyzing running and training data, as well as curated content. Since 2015, the Austrian company has been part of the adidas family. With its two apps, adidas Running and adidas Training, adidas Runtastic wants to create the best possible running and training experience for more than 166 million registered users. Users are inspired to lead a more conscious and active lifestyle.

About Internet of Elephants

Internet of Elephants was founded in 2017 in Nairobi by National Geographic Fellow Gautam Shah to create fun and meaningful connections between humans and wildlife. With a mission to make animals like Uuliin the snow leopard, Chili the gibbon, and Mtweturia the elephant as famous as Beyoncé, Neymar, and Jon Snow, Internet of Elephants wants to change the way wildlife conservation is supported today.

About the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

The UN Environment Programme is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UNEP works with governments, the private sector, civil society and with other UN entities and international organizations across the world.

About Space For Giants

Space for Giants is an international conservation charity that protects Africa’s remaining natural ecosystems and the mega-fauna they contain, whilst bringing major economic and social value to local communities and national governments. It is headquartered in Kenya, works in nine countries in Africa, and is registered as a charity in the UK and a 501c3 non profit in the US.

About The Pangolin Project

The Pangolin Project is a non-profit conservation organization based in Kenya, dedicated to pangolin conservation research and protection.  We are dedicated to securing a future for African Pangolins in the landscapes where they live.  We do this by supporting protected area managers and communities to better understand the status of pangolin populations in their areas and to develop strategies to protect them.

About The Bhutan Tiger Center

The Bhutan Tiger Center, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Royal Government of Bhutan, serves as a center for research, education, outreach, and policy as a part of the continued commitment of the leadership of Bhutan to being at the forefront of environmental and wildlife conservation. Our mission is to conduct world-class tiger research, to provide education and outreach resources to the people of Bhutan and tiger range countries, and to conserve tigers and their habitat for future generations.

Quotes

At adidas, we know that sport has the power to change lives, and this is an incredible opportunity to combine forces with five important organizations to rally a global community of athletes for a more diverse and sustainable planet. Digitally racing against real wild animals is also just a fun and educational experience.
Scott Dunlap, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager for adidas Runtastic

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