As April represents Earth Day month, the Earth Day Virtual Challenge is hosting its third annual free event to see how many times all of its participants as a collective can run, walk or bike the distance of the equator — 24,901 miles — for the entire month.
Founder of the challenge, AJ Peterson, says the challenge started as an awareness campaign in 2017 as a way to get people active outdoors and to ultimately get people to start thinking about being more conservative with the earth while giving back to various charities and causes.
Last year, the Earth Day Virtual Challenge went around the equator twice with more than 51,000 miles logged.
“We wanted to put together a challenge where people could work together to reach an ultimate goal,” Peterson said. “The good thing about a virtual challenge is you’re not limited to a certain location; we’ve had people all the way from Australia and Indonesia join the challenge.”
The Virtual Earth Day Challenge has a results page where participants can log their miles daily or weekly. It also has active Facebook and Strava groups where participants can share the miles they’ve completed along with pictures and hashtags to keep others motivated throughout the challenge.
Megan Adkins is participating in the challenge from Loveland, Colorado and was instantly intrigued when she saw a Facebook ad promoting the free challenge. So far, she has run 28 miles but is committed to 60 miles for the entire month.
“Being a part of a community of people has encouraged me to keep at it,” Adkins said. “This challenge is for anyone at any level of fitness, someone could have committed to walking or running any number of miles that they felt comfortable doing to contribute to the group’s goal.”
Louise Bruce is also participating in the challenge as an experienced runner from the United Kingdom. She owns her own Facebook group called “30 Day Challenges” and decided to join this one after one of her members posted the link.
“I pledged to run 120 miles and so far, I’ve run 71 miles since the first day of April,” Bruce said. “I am all in with anything that challenges people.”
To join the challenge, visit their website at https://www.thevirtualrunchallenge.com/virtual-race-event/earth-day-24901-mile-challenge/.