Thu 1 Feb 2024 • Nick Kershaw
Empowering Strides: Unveiling the World’s Most Powerful Races in 2024
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We aren't looking to create the toughest, longest, highest, most brutal - we are here to create the most powerful races in the world.
In the world of endurance and transformation, we at Impact Marathon Series have always sought to tread a path less ordinary. As we embark on our 2024 journey, we re-embrace our ethos that transcends the ordinary definitions of endurance events. We're not aiming to create the 'most gruelling' or 'toughest' challenges; we are about the 'most powerful' experiences.
The World’s Most Powerful Races' is not just our goal for 2024; it’s a declaration of our commitment to creating events that are powerful in their impact, their stories, and their ability to inspire change in our communities, and in our runners. In every country we touch, from the peaks of Nepal to the ancient landscapes of Jordan and beyond, our races are more than a test of physical stamina – they are catalysts for personal transformation and community empowerment. There is no doubt, the race at the end of your Impact Week will push you, challenge you, and it will be tough - but that is not why you’ll be running, and that is not what you’ll remember, and that is not why you’ll register for another Impact event.
The Power in Communities
Our marathons are interwoven with the lives and stories of local communities. This is the reason we started, and in the tough days, it is genuinely the reason that keeps us going. The races we build are centred on community impact - our projects, our partners, and our social narrative is what makes an Impact Marathon powerful. We have now passed over $1.5million in fundraising for immense organisations, community leaders, social enterprises over our 8 year history. Impact Marathon projects change lives. It is that simple.
You can feel the power of the projects throughout the week, into the race day, it's in the collective efforts where community members lead and drive projects, it’s in the energy of children cheering and running, it’s in the handcrafted medals we pride ourselves on and hospitality that reflects the importance of the race in a community. Here, the power lies in unity, in shared goals, and in the profound understanding that every step taken is a step towards a greater good. These races aren't just about individual achievement; they're about collective empowerment and the enduring bonds formed when diverse cultures come together for a common cause.
If you want to dive a little deeper into this topic, you have to check out the Impact Stories podcast focused on the insanely powerful work of Greening The Desert project in Western Jordan. It's a must listen!
The Power of Travel
Travel, in the context of our marathons, is an escape from the ordinary. Firstly, travel is a powerful antidote to many of the challenges we face as a society - it broadens us, challenges us, inspires us, rewards us - but it also presents us with a new way of seeing the world, and an appreciation of the interconnectivity of humanity. We do view our role as an event organiser as a tick-box exercise in tourism; to make travel powerful, regenerative, and justifiable today we need to create an immersive journey into the heart and soul of a place. We need to create an immensely positive impact in the community, and in the lives of our Impact Runners.
The power of travel through our events is in its ability to open eyes, change perspectives, and bridge worlds. It’s about experiencing the raw beauty of untouched trails, the warmth of communities, and the thrill of exploring new horizons. This is travel that challenges, inspires, and transforms – a journey that takes you beyond the conventional paths and into the realms of extraordinary experiences.
The Power of Unity
Through the combination of those first to elements, we are able to craft a unity within the Impact Runners that is pretty unfathomable at the start of the Impact Week. There’s an undeniable power in the group of individuals who gather at our starting lines. And when we say ‘start line’ we mean that first night, where conversations are gently awkward and cover the classic bases of running small talk. By the end of the second day, these conversations have a depth you’ll not find at any other running event. From seasoned athletes to first-time runners, each person brings their unique story, their hopes, and their dreams, and the combination of intense impact projects, and space to be yourself, inspires connection.
Together, every single group of Impact Runners has formed a tapestry of diversity and unity. The camaraderie experienced here is unparalleled – forged in the shared trials of the projects, and the collective celebration of achievement. This unity is our most powerful strength, our heartbeat, and the one thing you’ll find at every single race: the courses, the projects, the locations may change, but the unity of the Impact Runners is consistent.
Recently, we went deep on this exact topic on our Impact Stories Podcast - we compared the two entirely different atmospheres at two of our 2023 finish lines, and shared the behind the scenes that led up to each moment.
The Power Within You
Finally, the most profound power is the change you feel within yourself. Our events are designed to be transformative, not just in the physical sense, but in the deep, personal shifts that occur. This is not achieved through breakout sessions, and vision boards. This is not planned out with ‘transformation hours’ baked into the schedule - no, this just happens because of everything you have read above. We, as a team, deeply care about each Impact Runner - we spot the times to bring introverts to the fore, and let them be - we notice the extravert who brings the group together but then needs quiet time. We evolve the week to match the energy of the group, and take the time to understand each individual who is on this journey with us.
Runners usually arrive seeking a challenge but leave with so much more – a renewed sense of purpose, a deeper connection to the world, and an understanding of their own potential. This inner power is perhaps the most lasting impact of our races. It's the power to overcome, to persevere, and to carry the lessons learned on the trails into every aspect of life.
Your 2024 Race Calendar
In 2024, you may already have your running goals laid out, or you may be feeling a bit lost. You may just run because it gives you space to think, or you may run to tick off a list of times you want to achieve in each distance. Whatever is motivating you this year, we want you to know, you’re welcome at an Impact Marathon. If you have never come across a race like us before, we understand, we are pretty unique, no other organisation is set up to create a race series solely focused on social impact! For that reason, we expect you to want to run those races that claim to be the toughest, hardest, most gruelling, and we expect you to love them. We expect you’ll want to run a Marathon Major, or an ultramarathon. We expect you want to get a PB at some point this year. All we have ever asked is, once a year, maybe once every other year you press pause on those personal goals that are popularised across the running community, and press play on a run that will change the lives of an entire community, truly impact your own ambitions, and will almost certainly be the most powerful race of your life.