Wa­ter ac­tivist forced to aban­don marathons

Kenora Daily Miner and News - - WORLD NEWS - CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA The As­so­ci­ated Press

JOHANNESBURG — In­jury has forced an Aus­tralian ac­tivist to stop her ef­fort to com­plete 100 marathons in 100 days as a way to high­light the im­por­tance of con­serv­ing wa­ter.

Mina Guli, 48, had run and walked 62 marathons on sev­eral con­ti­nents, but in South Africa she was di­ag­nosed with mul­ti­ple stress frac­tures in her right fe­mur.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive said Mon­day that Guli will now fo­cus on re­cov­ery, though she will con­tinue her #Run­ningDry cam­paign to raise aware­ness about global wa­ter short­ages. That will in­clude meet­ing peo­ple who are strug­gling with­out enough wa­ter and draw­ing at­ten­tion to in­no­va­tors try­ing to come up with so­lu­tions to wa­ter scarcity.

Some sup­port­ers in sev­eral coun­tries are show­ing sol­i­dar­ity with her cause by run­ning long dis­tances.

Guli, whose last marathon was on Fri­day, tweeted that it was tak­ing 12 hours to com­plete the daily dis­tance. She also said doc­tors ad­vised her she would never be able to run again if she con­tin­ued.

“I need a break, or I’m go­ing to break,” said Guli, who founded Thirst, a non­profit group fo­cused on teach­ing youth in China about sus­tain­able con­sump­tion of wa­ter.

Lewis Pugh, a long-dis­tance swim­mer and ocean ad­vo­cate, met Guli at a Cape Town hos­pi­tal and urged her to quit her 100-marathon at­tempt but con­tinue to fo­cus on her ac­tivism.

“She had cov­ered 62 marathons. But each day she was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ex­treme pain in her legs. She tried shuf­fling. Fi­nally, she was walk­ing with sticks,” Pugh tweeted.

“I never want to tell any­body it’s OK to give up,” an in­jured Guli said in an in­ter­view on Dec. 30, be­fore quit­ting the daily marathons.

On Mon­day, Guli tweeted pho­tos of her in a swim­ming pool. She said she was do­ing “in­ten­sive re­hab” so she can fin­ish her #Run­ningDry cam­paign — slated to end Feb. 11 — “on my feet.”

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