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Posted: December 30, 2018:  

Athletics: "Runnersí Forest" Charity Project established by the Athens Marathon seeks support among the German and International Running Community

The Hellenic Athletics Federation SEGAS - organizers of the Athens Marathon - which established its charity project "Runnersí Forest" at the end of October to support the reconstruction of areas devastated by fire in and around the town of Mati, has announced the extension of the project until the end of February. The projects seeks support from the international running community and German Road Races (GRR) is among those who help.

Runners passing burnt-down areas during the Athens Marathon. The Authentic in November, Credit: Victah Sailer / AMA

The marathon course goes through the small town of Mati, where around 100 people lost their lives as fire swept through the area in summer. SEGAS have launched a project called the "Runnersí Forest" to support the regeneration of the region. The aim is to raise funds for trees to be planted for about four kilometres between 12 and 16 kilometres along the course.

The "Runnersí Forest" project has been launched through Act4Greece, a crowdfunding online platform, and will be running until 28 February 2019. Individuals or other entities may make any donation they wish either directly through the programís online platform at ACT4Greece.gr or through the page referred to "Runnersí Forest" (Runner's Forest or by making a deposit or money transfer through internet, phone or mobile banking to the actionís bank account at NBG (National Bank of Greece, - GR6801100800000008000709710 / BIC: ETHNGRAA).

"The Hellenic Athletics Federation could not stand idly by in the face of widespread disaster wreakedby the wildfires of last summer in Eastern Attica that have caused such damage and loss of life along this section of the Authentic Marathon Course. The initiative to launch the "Runnersí Forest" fundraising campaign aims not only at raising awareness among the world running community and individual runners around the world to contribute to the reforestation and rebirth of the burnt parts of the original marathon course, but also at motivating the general public to an act of pure support and love, engaging everyone for our vision of a better future on the basis of solidarity, as well as creating conditions for future generations to live in a better world in showing compassion and hope, such as the ĎRunnersí Forestí," said Kostas Panagopoulos, President of the Hellenic Athletics Federation.

For Horst Milde, President of German Road Races, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) during Athens Marathonís race week and has acted as an adviser to the race for more than a decade, this cause is especially close to his heart: "There were deeply moving moments during the 35th Athens Marathon on November 11. Before the start all participants stood for a minuteís silence. Many wore green headbands in memory of the catastrophe and to highlight the charity project. They went on to run through this charred landscape where homes and trees once stood. Unfortunately the "Runnersí Forest" fundraising project hasnít quite caught the public attention as it should," said Horst Milde.

Horst Milde, founder of the Berlin Marathon, added: "GRR calls on the German and worldwide running community to show solidarity with Greece and its people who have given the world the Marathon and support this fundraising project. This is the least we can do. Itís important to show solidarity and compassion. The scars from the fire along the course and the surrounding area will be visible for years to come and be deeply felt by those affected. Please help by your donations make the "Runnersí Forest" a great success so that hope can bloom again."

While the next edition of the Athens Marathon. The Authentic will take place on November 10, 2019, SEGAS also organizes a major half marathon in spring. This event will take place on March 17. Information about entry procedures will soon be available on the website at: AthensAuthenticMarathon.org.

More information about the "Runnersí Forest" project is available here: ACT4Greece.gr.


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