With our Climate Marathon virtual challenge just round the corner (4 October), we’re pleased to say that we will be announcing some pretty big names in the world of long distance running (and walking) who will join us for the month-long 26 mile per week challenge. We’ll feature each person separately on this page and on social media, so do follow us for more updates. And be sure to sign up yourself to help us celebrate the work around the world currently addressing the challenges posed by climate change.

Runner Profile: Nigel Topping

Nigel Topping is the UK’s High-Level Climate Action Champion, appointed by the UK Prime Minister in January 2020. Nigel works alongside the Chilean High-Level Climate Action Champion, Gonzalo Muñoz. The role of the high-level champions is to strengthen collaboration and drive action from businesses, investors, organisations, cities, and regions on climate change, and coordinate this work with governments and parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Nigel was most recently CEO of We Mean Business, a coalition of businesses working to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy. Prior to that he was Executive Director of the Carbon Disclosure Project, following an 18 year career in the private sector, having worked across the world in emerging markets and manufacturing. Nigel is an alumnus of Schumacher College’s Holistic Science Programme and a recent Trustee of Dartington Trust.

“the #ClimateMarathon is a great way to remind everyone of the urgency of action on climate change – and [I hope] a good way of using a stretch target to drive surprisingly positive results!!” – Nigel Topping

Runner Profile: Samantha Lynn LeBlanc

Samantha Lynn LeBlanc is a competitive trail and ultrarunner in New England in the U.S. who spends most of her time running with my dog, Lili, in the mountains. Samantha has many first place and podium finishes in trail and ultramarathon races in North America, and she was the 4th place female finisher in the Idaho Mountain Trail Ultra in 2019! Samantha also holds many FKT (Fastest Know Time) records across New England.  

Runner Profile: Emma Roca

Emma is an elite ultrarunner and multisport athlete from Catalonia; she has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, is a professional firefighter, an entrepreneur, and a mother of 3 children.

She has devoted much of her life to understanding connections between health and sport; she is principal investigator of the SUMMIT Sport Data Lab® project, where she has completed her doctoral thesis in the study of Health in Ultra Marathons and their limits (www.projectesummit.com). Emma has been competing (and often winning!) in races internationally for more than 20 years in disciplines as varied as ultrarunning, ski mountaineering, mountain biking, Ironman triathlon, and multisport adventure racing.

“All the work I’ve done so far is to serve both sedentary, active, or extremely active sport — always in the most healthy way possible. Because what really kills us is a sedentary lifestyle! We do sports, but with common sense!” – Emma Roca

Walker Profile: Satish Kumar

Satish Kumar has been an impassioned activist, teacher, writer, editor, and inspiration for many people around the world for more than half a century.

Having left home to join itinerant Jain monks at the age of 9, Satish soon found that through his own activism he could make a meaningful change in the world. With that in mind, in 1962, he set off out on an 8,000-mile peace pilgrimage from New Delhi to Moscow, Paris, London, and Washington D.C. — then the nuclear capitals of the world. He is the founder of Schumacher College, where he continues to inspire hundreds of students every year.

“To love the Earth we need to touch the Earth, touch the Earth with our feet and thank the Earth for being the source of our life and joy. It is wonderful to have Climate Marathon in October to highlight our connection and utter dependence on our precious and glorious mother Earth. It is my pleasure to be a part of this Climate Marathon.” – Satish Kumar

Runner Profile: Lucy Bartholomew

We are really honuored to be able to say that Australian Ultra Trail Runner Lucy Bartholomew joining us as an ambassador of the Climate Marathon next month to help celebrate and support the work around COP26 and climate change action.

Lucy is a professional ultra runner from Victoria, Australia. She has been running and competing in races since she was 15. Since then, Lucy has won ultra trail races all over the world — including in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, China, Europe, and the U.S. She also has many top-3 finishes under her belt — including being the third female finisher at the 2017 Western States 100 Endurance Run. Lucy’s passion for running, training, and movement is inspirational – and she loves to share delicious plant-based food recipes and ideas! 

“At the end of this time in my life I don’t believe I will remember the wins and the loses but more the people I have met, the messages I have received that say “you have inspired me”, “you’re a great role model”. For me, if sharing my journey and staying true to myself gets one person out of bed in the morning and challenges themselves then every step has been worth it. ” – Lucy Bartholomew


Runner Profile: Lizzy Hawker

First up, we are very pleased to share that ultrarunner Lizzy Hawker is joining the Climate Marathon next month to help celebrate and support the work around COP26 and climate change action.

Lizzy is a runner, writer, race director, adventurer, and passionate environmental advocate. She has been a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year; she has won the world-renowned Ultra Trail of Mont Blanc race an unprecedented 5 times; she has held the world distance record for running over 24 hours; and many other championships and records, including a run of just over 63 hours from Everest Basecamp to Kathmandu in 2013. In 2017, Lizzy completed the highest independent route across Nepal – nearly 1000 km, solo, in 35 days. Lizzy spends her time between Nepal and the Alps.

“I hope to try to encourage people to realise the value of challenging ourselves both physically and mentally, the wonder of the world we live in, the richness of our environment and our responsibility to share it. This is my dream.” – Lizzy Hawker


More announcements to follow very soon. In the mean time, why not head over to our event page and book yourself in for the challenge. 26 miles per week sounds like a lot, but when you break it down it’s less than four miles per day!

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