More than 4,000 runners joined the 2019 running challenge that is not only bigger and more ambitious than in the previous two years but will also raise more awareness of safe water issues in China and around the world.
David Kohler, president and CEO of Kohler Company, was joined by Larry Yuen, president Kitchen & Bath Group, Cedric Ong, president Kitchen & Bath, Kohler China, Jonathan Su from World Vision, and Jieqiong Wu from Hangzhou Xinlian Industrial Co. Ltd. to inaugurate the Run for Clarity 2019 on the banks of the Qiantang River.
Along with the Kohler management representatives and guests, members of the Manchester United women’s team and soccer legend Andrew Cole introduced the first-ever Manchester United five-kilometer run that the former striker and third highest goal scorer in the Premier League to-date and his female teammates tackled with numerous enthusiastic runners.
The need for Safe Water for All is dire. The ‘We Run Hangzhou’ event is the start of the five-months global running challenge ‘Run for Clarity’ from June 1 to October 31, 2019, where 12,000 runners and walkers worldwide will accumulate a total of 200,000 kilometers – or in other words five times the circumference of the earth. For every kilometer ran or walked, Kohler Company will donate one dollar towards stewardship projects and activities related to ‘Safe Water for All’.
In China, associates and their families from 13 factories have pledged that they will join runs in various locations and help to raise awareness about safe water. Accessing clean and safe water is a big challenge in rural and mountainous areas in the country and often a harsh burden especially for women and children.
On Saturday, June 1, everyone was in good spirits and up for even more than the challenge to run five kilometers. Nearing the end of their tour at the 200-meter mark, Andrew Cole, Casey Stoney, Mollie Green, Millie Turner, and Siobhan Chamberlain handed participants who were divided into two teams each a cup of water to carry across the finish line. The fastest runner from each team took on a five-gallon bottle.
The five gallons of water is on average the amount of water that people who do not have ready access to clean water have to carry to their homes to provide for families. Carrying the water cups was symbolic of the hardship that so many endure every day. At the ‘We Run Hangzhou’ event, the team that accumulated the most water was rewarded with some cool prizes.
The atmosphere at the Urban Balcony in Qianjiang New City in Hangzhou was enthusiastic and playful. Everyone had lots of fun, especially the winners who were awarded their medals by the sports celebrities.
And no one went home empty-handed – equipped with a sense of achievement, t-Shirts, medals, and running bags – everyone was a winner.
Follow along as the Run for Clarity 2019 goes around the world where communities of supporters will run for easier and safer access to clean water.