Longstanding COVID-19 lockdowns last year prompted thousands of Australians to hit the paths running. A study commissioned by global shoe brand ASICS, comprising of interviews with 14, 000 exercisers globally, found that 36% of people are more active now than they were pre-COVID. Strava, a popular activity recording application, revealed in their 2020 Year in Review that approximately 2 million new users joined in every month of 2020. Every month! I too, am one of the people who amped up their running during the coronavirus lockdowns this year and have been trying to continue this hobby.
If you are passionate about helping to make our world a better place, perhaps The May 50K challenge may be just for you this year. It is essentially an online competition in which users strive to log 50 kilometres of running or walking in the month of May to achieve their fitness goals and challenge themselves. Athletes can join teams and create individual pages online to hold themselves accountable.
All money raised from sponsorships for this event is directed towards funding for multiple sclerosis (MS) research in Australia. Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating illness that currently has no cure; it is caused by the immune system attacking the body and disrupting nerve signals, resulting in a host of side effects that reduce quality of life, from muscle spasms to decreased memory function. Approximately 1 in 3 sufferers of MS completely lose their ability to walk, which can have many detrimental flow-on effects.
Fortunately, athletes who take part in this month-long challenge can contribute to striving for a MS-free future, where all people will have the privilege to exercise to their full capabilities and to run their hearts out. Until then, in order to plod one step closer to the finishing line, please set up a profile and register on The May 50K website (https://www.themay50k.org/). All for run, and run for all!