As any runner can attest, winter running presents a unique set of challenges that go beyond that of the physical. It takes a concerted effort to rise in the morning and trade a warm bed for grey skies and freezing winds lashing at the face. Suddenly, those regimented routines that carried us through summer get sidelined as we hit snooze, burrow deeper into the blankets, and bargain with our fitness in favour of warmth.
But when few things are as captivating as the runner’s high, it simply means that we need greater motivation to get moving and out the door and when it comes to adidas, the Run for the Oceans movement provides a purpose greater than personal fitness goals alone.
Once again returning for its fifth year, adidas and Parley are reuniting for Run for the Oceans, an event that brings sporting communities around the world together in pursuit of a common goal: the protection of our oceans. Such an endeavour has never been more important, with research indicating that the world is now at a tipping point in terms of plastic pollution, with predictions that oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050.
As Katja Schreiber, SVP Sustainability at adidas, explains: “Time is against us in the race to help end plastic waste, so we’re pushing harder and with more focus than ever before. Just like how this is an industry-wide problem, it requires industry-wide solutions, because sustainability is a team sport. By uniting our sporting community for this challenge, we can inspire real action against plastic waste by giving people an experience where their actions and way of being active contributes towards cleaning up the ocean.”
The statistics might be shocking, but if there’s one thing Run for the Oceans has proven over the years, it’s that together as a collective we can enact positive change. Since 2017, the event has united over 8.2 million runners worldwide, running a combined total of more than 81.7 million kilometres. In light of this, new activities have been introduced to the challenge, marking the most inclusive Run for the Oceans yet. Now, people from all parts of the sporting world – be it tennis, wheelchair movement, the football field or cricket pitch – can take part in helping protect oceans from plastic waste.
Between May 23 – June 8, Run For The Oceans encourages individuals to lace up and get active. For every 10 minutes of running recorded via the adidas Runtastic app, Joyrun, Codoon, Yeudongquan or Strava, Parley will clean up the equivalent weight of one plastic bottle from beaches, remote islands, and coastlines before it reaches the ocean (up to a maximum of 250,000kg).
Of course, the sense of responsibility for the future sustainability of our planet is one that is central to adidas’ ethos and design principles, too. Since having first partnered with Parley in 2015, adidas has made more than 50 million pairs of shoes with Parley Ocean Plastic and close to 18 million pairs in 2021 alone, including those made with plastic waste intercepted from beaches and coastal communities, preventing it from polluting the oceans. In their latest collaboration, the Adizero x Parley and Ultraboost 22 x Parley present footwear models with a lower footprint concept, reflecting a milestone in innovation with no compromise on performance.
As Cyrill Gutsch, CEO and founder of Parley suggests, the partnership between adidas and Parley shows just how much can be done when it comes to ending plastic waste. “These products became Symbols of Change, flags that carry an optimistic message. We can end the crisis by cleaning up our planet, by inventing new materials and most importantly, by changing our minds. Today, plastic is still threatening life. But billions of people now know how harmful it is.”
Gutsch adds, “Run for the Oceans is the moment where we turn awareness into action, where we grow our movement even bigger. Where everyone can take a stand. Run with your feet, run your mind! Help us to end this epic battle. Together we can win this impossible mission and end the destruction of our magical blue planet. Join Parley for the Oceans!”
To join the challenge to end plastic waste and contribute to enacting positive change, sign up via the website here.