who are you guys?
We are Matt Hill and Stephanie Tait, runners who asked ourselves, “how could we give back to something much larger than us—our planet?” I, Matt, have been the voice behind some of the best cartoon characters to making kids laugh for the past 20 years. My passion for running started when I was younger and got to witness Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope, and personally went on to complete seven Ironman!
Steph was a small business coach, specializing in entrepreneurs achieving success, through standing for something larger than just themselves and their business dreams and just launched the Yoga School of Business. After surviving the tsunami in 2004 and our lives colliding in 2006, we began asking these same questions as we ran along each day, sharing our dreams. Blame Al Gore for his question in An Inconvenient Truth that got us thinking—what was the one thing we were now going to change in our daily lives?
Secondly, blame me for having the answer during a plane ride. “We need to do long runs and it needs to stand in service of our youngest generation, to inspire and empower them to grow up ‘lean and green’ ".
what is run for one planet and what inspired you to start it?
The actual Run for One Planet was conceived in Burnaby Lake Park. On Sunday, Dec. 9th 2006, we took our love of running, each other, people and our planet’s health and co-founded Run for One Planet: an 11,000 mile run across Canada and around the perimeter of America to inspire environmental action, one small step at a time.
In 369 tour days, we ran 420 marathons as a collective dynamic running duo, spoke to over 30,000 kids in more than 200 presentations and rose over $120,000 for our R41P Legacy Fund for Kids initiative.
Matt and Steph after one of their morning runs!
what are some tips you have for others to get involved?
Our core mission is to inspire people through the action of running, to make small daily changes in their habits towards our planet’s health. We created a list of “Top 10 Action Steps”, asking people to choose one action, commit to it and when that one action becomes your normal daily habit, you choose another until you’re doing all 10 as a daily part of living. Now multiply that over the number of people in North America and you see the collective power in making these small single changes. Here’s our list for your readers: http://www.runforoneplanet.com/actionchallenge.php
anything else you want to share?
We reached our goal on May 8th, 2009 as we crossed the Lions Gate Bridge under full police motorcycle escort! Two and a half years of running became reality. As we changed the “miles ran” to 11,000 in Stanley Park with a crowd of family, friends and our supporters, we knew we’d made it home! We smiled in the knowing that in the end, we had accomplished our dream and unlaced our 30th pair of destroyed Asics, completing our odyssey, by opening the EPIC Expo and giving our first post-tour presentation. When the numbers were added up it looked like this:
- 11,000 miles logged
- 420 marathons collectively ran
- 30,000 kids presented to
- 30 pairs of Asics destroyed
- 3 million calories consumed collectively, and
- $120,000 (and growing) raised, for our Legacy for Kids initiative.
Join us in Vancouver on May 8th at Kits Beach for a 3 km run and a celebration of our one year anniversary! Check out the Facebook invite here: Run For One Planet Day
It all begins with the first step. So we ask you, what’s your marathon a day? And where could your small steps take you?