credit – Olly Bowman

Running Up For Air, the iconic endurance challenge in which participants run laps up and down a mountain for 3, 6, 12 or 24 hours, is coming back to Europe for one day, in 2021. 

Wherever you run vert – over hills, through the mountains or even up and down the stairs – you can take part, on your own or with a team, connected to runners across Europe through a virtual hub. 

Hosted by Patagonia, 24 Hours of RUFA will be a Europe-wide endurance challenge on 31 July 2021. Participants will run to raise awareness of air pollution and the event will connect runners from across the continent to raise funds for 18 environmental groups fighting for clean air.  

Today, across Europe, we are all breathing in toxic air. It damages our health and the environment around us. As trail runners we feel this and for communities living in busy cities, exposure to air pollution is a critical issue. 

So whether you are logging your vert on alpine trails, or lapping the hill in your local park, every vertical metre counts.

A full 24-hour grind or a relaxed three hours at a comfy pace, pack the gels or the beers, grab some friends and join runners across Europe for one uplifting day – experienced your way. 

credit – Phil Young

Running Up For Air was created to raise money in support of the fight for improved air quality for those who live along the Wasatch Front, Utah. The first European edition took place in Chamonix, France, in May 2019. 

Patagonia ambassador Clare Gallagher comments: “Running in Chamonix,I learned fromlocalsaboutthecloud ofair pollutionthathangs over thevalleyon smoggier days. I could feel how similar Chamonix air pollution is tothat ofSalt Lake City. Nomatter where we live, taking a day to run, think and do something about air pollution is worthwhile.” 

Patagonia ambassador Martin Johnson comments: “As a trail runner and ultra-runner,there are few things I love more than running in nature and experiencing the joy of breathing in fresh air. However, the reality of being a father of two, living and working in London, means opportunities to escape to the countryside, the mountains and the clean air they offer are often limited. As a result, I spend more time than I’d choose clocking-up daily miles running through the streets of the capital- and some of the poorest quality air in Europe – in training and on my way to and from work.”  

There is a 20 EUR fee to take part, which goes directly to 18 environmental groups fighting for clean air. Participants can take part individually or join and create teams with their friends and trail crews and are encouraged to fundraise and for, and awareness of, the issue of air pollution around Europe, ahead of the event. Each person can choose to take part wherever they run vert, between 6AM CEST, 31 July and 6AM CEST, 1 August.