Jordan Impact Marathon 

wadi desert jordan
November 25, 2024
Aqaba, Jordan
December 2, 2024
Aqaba, Jordan

The Bedouin culture, the Dead Sea, the pop-up Athletes’ Village in the middle of the desert; this will be a full, immersive and completely unique way to experience Jordan and the magic of Wadi Rum.

Jordan is the 2nd most water scarce country in the world. We will be working alongside the Crown Prince Foundation to support projects right at the heart of changing this situation.

After five days working and living in our stunning pop-up Athletes’ Village in the middle of Wadi Rum, it’s time to run them through the sand, through the solitude of the desert, and through the depths of your inner strength.
You can choose from 10km, 21km & 42km distances.

Set in challenging terrain, it’s a sandy, dusty trail race that has enough elevation to keep your legs happy but enough stunning vistas to keep your mind rewarded! Forget about your Personal Best and enjoy every single step of this unique course.

The Athletes’ Village, staffed by the local community, will be your home for the week. You’ll be spending your mornings enjoying yoga as the sun rises over the desert peaks in the exact spot where films from Star Wars to Indiana Jones to Aladdin have all been shot. The centre point of the camp will be our fire with all your fellow Impact Runners, that’s where the magic happens and life-long friendship are forged.

The whole week is a very beautiful way to experience a very beautiful nation and this community. 

The Impact
Jordan is one of the world’s most water scarce countries and with a growing population, due to their open door policy to refugees from neighbouring countries, the challenge gets bigger each day. 
By blending experience and knowledge to find possible changes with exponential impact, we can begin to find relatable, understandable and real ways for Impact Runners to help tackle the biggest water and sanitation problems.

Greening the desert
Stanford University found that water shortages in Jordan are likely to get worse over the coming years. In this study it is clear that without better land use and improved water usage by the end of the century, rainfall in Jordan will decrease by 30 percent, temperatures will increase by six degrees Celsius and the number and duration of droughts will double. 

Extreme heat, dryness and high salinity levels are making the Dead Sea valley, the lowest place on earth, an increasingly hostile environment. When you couple this with overgrazing and inappropriate cultivation practices it quickly leads to increased desertification across the region.

In permaculture, the goal is to use the natural land resources to the maximum, without the need for external water sources or chemicals. By capturing all the water we can, from showers or sinks, and establishing hardy trees and nitrogen-fixing plants that provide the garden with anti-evaporation strategies, we maximise every single drop of water for every family. All waste is reused, and water is always harvested. By implementing techniques like intercropping and using every niche and level to create different layers of plants, permaculture can produce more food using fewer resources. 

Permaculture has become a consistent theme of Impact Marathons, because finding ways to optimise our use of land, means finding solutions to the biggest issue facing the world. It has the power to tackle many Global Goals at once, like No Poverty, Gender Equality, Zero Hunger, Life On Land, Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Clean drinking water
The communities that lie south of the Dead Sea are faced with a number of challenges. With 50% of the community living well below the poverty line, arid conditions for growing food and dangerous drinking water with ten times the sodium of safe drinking water. This has led to vast kidney and liver problems, leading to children under 15 averaging at least one hospitalisation per year. This is truly unacceptable and we will change this through the inaugural Jordan Impact Marathon. It is our highest capital outlay ever, but it has the power to touch 5000 lives instantly…with a knock-on Impact for over 40,000 people across the effected communities.

Once the desalination plant is up and running, the project is then managed year round by members of the community. Those who cannot afford to buy this clean water will be supplied the water for free, this is then subsidised by communities members with greater means – after 6 months, the entire project should be completely self-sustaining. And one small change, the water being drunk, will have exponential health benefits.

Funding the first water desalination filter will allow the foundation to go out and pitch for grants to touch the remaining communities.

Image by Judith Scharnowski

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