This man is running 900 miles barefoot to help save the environment
We are in an environmental crisis. The planet is heating up, the Amazon is literally on fire, and it often feels like there’s nothing you can do in the face of such large-scale catastrophe.
But one man is being proactive and taking on an incredible challenge in order to raise vital funds for environmental charities and raise awareness about ongoing problems.
Starting on the 1st September, Tony Riddle will run the length of the United Kingdom from Land’s End to John o‘Groats – almost 900 miles – without any shoes on.
No trainers, no sandals, not even any socks.
Covering approximately 30 miles per day for 30 days, the natural lifestyle coach aims to raise £25,000 for five sustainability-focused organisations including Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion, Rainforest Alliance, Surfers Against Sewage, Care International, and Client Earth.
He hopes that his challenge will provide a platform to highlight the importance of connecting with our environment, and to demonstrate the incredible possibilities of human physicality.
There’s also a deeper meaning behind his decision to run barefoot.
Tony’s feet were once a source of excruciating pain. He was born with under-developed lower limbs and was bound by cast for the first 12 weeks of his life and then braced for the next two years.
It was a long road to recovery, but now his feet have now been transformed into super strong foundations that are able to carry him across the entirety of the country.
‘We are so disconnected from and void of nature, how can we ever relate to our environmental issues and fully commit to sustainability?’ asks Tony.
‘If we can’t connect or relate to nature, what chance do we have of saving it, and ourselves?
‘As a father to three children, soon to be four; I feel the urgency for a change in our current disconnected behaviours. We need to do more to communicate the problem that arises from our disconnection from the natural world.
‘This is why I have chosen to support these organisations who, between them, protect our oceans, lands and animal – including human – species.’
And if running 30 miles every day wasn’t enough of a challenge, Tony will also be hosting talks, debates and interviews every day with experts and collecting rubbish along his route.
Anyone from the public is encouraged to join Tony on his run, to help him pick up rubbish, or to engage with one of his talks.
He’s aiming to finish his challenge on the 30th September. He might not have any toenails left by then, but it will be worth it to prove that individuals do have the power to make a difference.