01 May, 2020

A run for everyone – a starting signal for all of Switzerland

1 million kilometres in 48 hours: After restrictions against the spreading of the coronavirus have been eased, people in Switzerland will be running together again. Things may just be a bit different for the time being. The OneMillionRun (30 and 31 May) will therefore be unlike any other sports event, both in its setup and its scope.

Special times call for special initiatives: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all major events are banned in Switzerland until at least the end of August. On 30 and 31 May, there will be a large sports event all the same. Everything about it will just be different. After some of the measures to fight the current emergency situation have been lifted, we can all breathe a bit more freely again and start over with renewed enthusiasm.

Sports plays an important role in this new start. And therefore, the starting gun will go off for a novel sports event on 30 May: Everyone can participate in the OneMillionRun and contribute to its success. The goal: one million kilometres in 48 hours. In order to achieve this ambitious objective, every participant will be needed – walkers and hikers, people in cities and up in the mountains, European champions, sports fans, and occasional joggers.

This is how it will work: If you would like to get moving and send a message to the entire country, all you have to do is register online (www.onemillionrun.ch) and run as many kilometres as you possibly can or want to. Run out of doors and remember to observe the regulations put out by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). Record your run using a mobile app. And do not forget to share it with your fans (selfies).

The digital setup will allow participants to be part of a decentralised popular sports event and make them feel connected in times of “social distancing”. Each participant will run for himself or herself and yet for a joint cause: one million kilometres. The effect of the experience will no doubt go far beyond the 48 hours of the event itself.

Considering the importance of sport for our society, health, and economy, the OneMillionRun will both be a milestone and send a signal – a starting signal – to get the entire country moving again, step by step. The event will create a moment for the history books of sports. With the help of sponsors, partner, and donors, the project will raise significant funds for young athletes. They are the future of the country’s sports, and they need our solidarity in this crisis.

Initiators of the unique and innovative event include the international athletics meeting Weltklasse Zürich, the sports IT service provider Datasport, iRewind who specialise in the production of personalised instant videos, and the Schweizer Sporthilfe foundation. In addition, many Swiss sports stars – Mujinga Kambundji, Nicola Spirig, Viktor Röthlin, Mathias Flückiger, or Virginie Faivre, to name but a few – will support the OneMillionRun.

OneMillionRun initiators’ comments

Christoph Joho, Weltklasse Zürich Co-Meeting Director:

“As promoters of an international major event and of the largest initiative for young talents, the UBS Kids Cup, we have a social responsibility. We would like support the OneMillionRun actively and contribute our organisational know-how and our network.”

Steve Schenach, Manager of the Schweizer Sporthilfe foundation:

“No sports event – no professional athletes. We hope that many people will participate in the OneMillionRun. Innovative projects and generous sponsors are essential when it comes to supporting the best young athletes on their road to the top and to ensure Swiss success stories in the future.”

Sebastian Coe, World Athletics Chairman:

“We have seen our athletes and our fans share workouts and motivate each other to keep fit during the weeks of lockdown.  I know that for millions of people around the world going for a run or a walk has been a lifeline during this time, so I love the concept of countries ‘running out of lockdown together’.  This is a creative and innovative idea from our Zurich Diamond League friends that keeps people connected with athletics and enables them to take part, together, in something they all enjoy.  I hope all of Switzerland takes part.”