Before her 30th birthday, the inspirational US-born Liz Warner plans to run 30 of the world’s toughest marathons while raising money for charities as part of her Run to Reach fundraising campaign, and Cape Town is next on the list.

Liz Warner (28) has set out on a wild journey to tackle and defeat the most challenging long-distance running routes in 30 different countries, across seven continents, in support of 20 charities, before she turns the big three-O.

From running alongside an active volcano in Antigua, Guatemala, to battling the sweltering heat in the Sahara Desert Marathon, Warner is taking on the world and all of its challenging landscapes.

“Many have asked why and how I came up with this slightly mental idea in the first place. I guess I was at a point of transition and deep reflection in my life at the end of last year (one could call it a very mild existential crisis.) All I knew was that…whatever I was going to do next, had to check off the following three life objectives, it would have to positively impact the world outside my own personal bubble, inspire others to show them that, in their power as one individual, they too have the capacity to change the lives of others and involve my two loves in life: running marathons and travelling the world,” says Warner.

Warner has already conquered 13 marathons, including Tokyo Marathon Japan, Seoul International Marathon, Singapore OSIM Sundown Marathon, Bagan Temple Marathon Myanmar, and the Sahara Marathon.

Next on the list is Cape Town’s very own Two Oceans Marathon, taking place this April 20.

It was from her passion for cultures around the world and bringing about change to inspire others that birthed Run to Reach.

“So, how did I go about choosing all of the different marathons? Each marathon I’ve signed up for is more or less off-the-beaten path. Think running in the Sahara Desert in Western Algeria or across ice sheets in Antarctica. I also felt a moral duty to sign up for marathons in areas that were experiencing some sort of social, political, or economic issues, such as in Sierra Leone, Palestine, or Kurdistan Iraq. Each of these marathons demonstrate how running can be a powerful, unifying act of peace and movement. And by connecting with a number of local people in each place I hope tell also tell a different story of these countries. Paint them in a more beautiful way by showing the rest of the world a small piece of their vibrant cultures,” says Warner.

Beyond the challenges ahead of Warner, one of the biggest focuses of her campaign is the cause.

“I made it my highest priority to work with organisations that I felt a strong connection to, who demonstrated a substantial amount of transparency, and were also keen to support me as much as possible during my campaign,” says Warner.

Ahead of each marathon, an awareness campaign surrounding each cause is arranged outlining the nature of the issue, and how locals can directly offer assistance. Each campaign comes with a donation link.

You can support this cause and help Warner in her amazing journey to improve the conditions of communities around the world by donating to her initiative here. 

You can follow her journey on Instagram @runtoreach.

Pictures: Facebook

Article written by

Aimee Pace

Aimee is an avid gamer, enthusiastic yogi and animal lover. Addicted to anime, coffee and plant-based meals. Current favourite pastimes include, sewing and learning Japanese.