Running miles and miles to save Earth
Published 10:59 am Thursday, November 20, 2008
By GREG KATSKI
Stephanie Tait and Matt Hill are taking their quest for environmental awareness one step at a time on the Run for One Planet tour.
Tait and Hill, environmental enthusiasts from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, are bringing their journey to Washington and Chocowinity next week.
The tour, which spans the length and width of the continental United States, is designed to inspire one million people to commit to at least one new environmentally friendly habit, said Tait and Hill.
The couple plans to raise $1 million along the way, with donations going to grassroots-level ecosystem-enhancement initiatives in communities throughout North America.
Tait and Hill have covered 5,120 miles on their 11,000-mile tour, raising $62,926 so far. More importantly, they have compelled 7,254 people to commit to the tour’s Legacy Action Plan. The personal-commitment plan, which may be reviewed at www.runfortheplanet.com/donate.php, gives participants a chance to claim their devotion to one environmentally friendly habit. Such habits may be as simple as turning out the lights at home when they are not needed or spending less time in the shower, said Tait.
Tait and Hill began their journey May 4 in Vancouver. At the time of their departure, they had eight to 10 school visitations, all in Canada planned during the trip.
Since reaching the United States, the couple has received requests to speak at schools in almost every town or city they visit. Tait estimated the couple have talked to more than 10,000 students of all ages.
The students serve as motivation for her to keeping pressing on, Tait said.
The tour was scheduled to make a stop in Washington and Chocowinity on Nov. 26, but Tait and Hill will not make it to those places until Nov. 28 because of stops at schools.
Tait said the presentations she and her partner give are resonating with people and inspiring them to act. Feedback from those they talk to serves as more motivation for the couple, said Tait.
Tait said she needs all the motivation she can get for the almost-daily 52-mile runs the couple make.
Tait has made plenty of six-mile runs, while Hill is a seven-time Ironman Triathlon competitor. Tait said Hill trained her well for the tour, but she acknowledged “there is a lot of digging deep to know why we’re out here.”
Currently, Tait and Hill are making their way through the Washington, D.C., area. To track their journey so far, visit www.watchmyrace.com.
The couple’s leg that will bring them to the Original Washington will start in Windsor on Nov. 28. Tait and Hill will make their way down U.S. Highway 17, passing through Williamston and Washington to reach Chocowinity, where they will stay overnight.
Tait said the tour serves as a way to environmentally motivate people.
Stephanie Tait and Matt Hill are open to school visits during their time in the area. To request a visit, e-mail Stephanie Tait at firstname.lastname@example.org.