Wed 27 Dec 2023 • Nick Kershaw
Echoes of Impact: A Reflective Journey Through 2023's Races and Beyond
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Reflecting on a Year of Impactful Journeys and Embracing the Path Ahead"
As the final days of 2023 gently fade into the annals of history, it's time to look back at a year that has been a mosaic of exhilarating races, heartfelt connections, and profound impact. At Impact Marathon, we've journeyed through the volcanic landscapes of Guatemala, the towering peaks of Nepal, the ancient sands of Jordan, and the sugar plantations Ethiopia. Each race, a chapter in our story, contributed to a phenomenal collective achievement: raising just shy of £100,000 for causes close to our hearts.
Guatemala: A Symphony of Culture and Compassion
In Guatemala, we continued to build on our 6 year relationship with SERES - the leaders in leadership. Our focus on enabling the youth to find their voice as leaders has been the core of the race for all these years. We have seen the power of leadership change in this year’s presidential elections. Now, the country is wrestling with the systemic challenges of the current political characters, the democratically recognised will of the people, and the exciting chance that change is going to come. This has not been a smooth few months in the country, and that does not likely to change - but the opportunity for a huge leap forward in democratic progress remains. We believe in the power of great leaders, empowering them to find their voice, and lead action plans. Every step taken on this journey in Guatemala was a step deeper into understanding and embracing a community vibrant with life and stories. The funds raised here are now weaving their way into the community, nurturing growth and celebrating the country's cultural heritage.
Nepal: The Pulse of Progress
Nepal was where each breath was a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Here, amid the awe-inspiring backdrop of the Himalayas, our focus was clear and life-affirming – bringing sustainable water solutions to as many communities as possible. The energy of our participants wasn't just about endurance; it was about enacting change, drop by drop, in communities where every drop counts. We saw 5 water filtrations systems installed into 5 schools during the race week - and the continued fundraising of our Impact Runners means we will see a further 5 systems installed in early 2024. The ripples created cross the villages, spanning the mountains, and touch more communities than ever before. Each child in each school now has access to clean drinking water, meaning their families now have access to clean drinking water. This was a truly special week, one that will live long in the memories of us all, a week to be cherished and built upon. The race in Nepal embodied all that we stand for, and is our true banner race, one that all who believe in the Impact values should join at least once in their lifetime.
Jordan: A Legacy Written on Timeless Sands
Jordan offered us a run through the corridors of time, where history whispered tales of ages past. But it was more than a physical journey; it was a stride towards a greener future. Launching our partnership with the Invictus Games Foundation was a special moment for all involved: we hosted 9 members of the Invictus community as they undertook a challenge that goes Beyond The Games that the organisation is famous for. The stories of their journeys permeated through the week, challenged us, and inspired us. On the first day we visited the home of the Team Jordan to see their facilities and hear their stories - this powerful day united the group in a way none of us could have expected, we are grateful to have had this chance to share a story that we haven’t ever attempted before at an Impact Marathon. We also launched our support for the immense project: Greening The Desert. We saw how collective action can breathe life into barren lands, offering a beacon of hope in the face of environmental challenges.
You can read all about our visit to Petra and the unexpected but truly important narrative that was evident through the stark emptiness we encountered in the usually crowded site.
Ethiopia: Unity in Diversity
Our event in Ethiopia was a vibrant example of unity in diversity. The race carried on a partnership with Compassion UK that has stood the test of time since 2018. After many COVID-based delays, we were finally able to bring our Ethiopian Overseas Challenge to life amongst the sugar plantations of southern Ethiopia. We don’t share so much about our ‘white-label service’ where we bring our skills and values to deliver events under the banner of great charities and organisations. If you’re interested in partnering with us - then just drop a note here.
The long awaited event showcased the power of collaboration, not just within a community but across communities, creating a legacy that transcends borders. The work Compassion does across the world is always truly inspiring - we have lost count of the number of adults that have spotted our Compassion shirts in coffee shops, on buses, walking in town and stopped us to say “I am a Compassion Graduate, the program saved my life, now I do this”. Indeed, in a special moment, on our final night one of the hotel staff where we had stayed the previous few nights let me know that he had been in the Compassion programme and they were the happiest days of his life. The funds raised here always stand as a testament to the power of collective effort and the enduring impact of shared goals.
Gratitude and a Look Ahead
As we stand at the threshold of a new year, our hearts are brimming with gratitude. To our runners, volunteers, partners, and every community that welcomed us – your passion, dedication, and belief in our vision have been the driving force behind our success.
2024 beckons us with the promise of new adventures and challenges. It invites us to continue this incredible journey, to discover new paths, and to make tangible impacts in places that yearn for change. We’re ready to embrace these new opportunities, to forge new connections, and to keep changing the world, one race at a time.
So, as we lace up for 2024, let us carry with us the lessons, the memories, and the spirit of 2023. Together, let's continue to run with purpose, to impact with passion, and to leave a trail of positive change wherever we go. Here’s to another year of running not just for the finish line, but for the horizon that lies beyond.