LONDON (Reuters) - A new series of one-mile runs in 24 cities around the world to celebrate Global Running Day on June 6 and tagged "Run 24:1" was unveiled by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Monday.
Partnering with sports ministries, city governments, race organisers and member federations around the world, the IAAF initiative incorporates races to be held in cities across 15 time zones that will each start at the same local time to create a 'simultaneous' worldwide celebration of running.
IAAF Run 24:1 will commence at 1700 local time (GMT +12) in Auckland, New Zealand, then cross Oceania to Sydney, enter Asia in Tokyo, move to Europe in Minsk, into Africa in Addis Ababa, and cross the Atlantic to the Americas in Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires before the day's final race in Vancouver on Canada’s west coast.
In all, IAAF Run 24:1 will include stops in 23 countries, uniting tens of thousands of runners around the world.
"Running is accessible to everyone, it is fun, it is competitive," said IAAF President Sebastian Coe.
"It can be social, it can be solitary. It is testing, it is personal but most of all it builds strength, stamina, fitness and health. It is the mother of all sports.
"On Wednesday 6 of June, we want as many people as possible to celebrate Global Running Day – the biggest annual celebration of running.”
Each race will be headed by a designated 'City Captain', a former or current athlete who will lead local efforts to spread awareness of the initiative and to involve their respective running communities.
Celebrating its third year in 2018, Global Running Day is a grassroots initiative where people of all abilities and from all paths of life come together to celebrate their passion for running and inspire others to get moving.
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Pritha Sarkar)