Running Up for Air (RUFA) – Europe 

running for clean air
June 24, 2024
June 24, 2024

Running Up For Air is an endurance challenge, involving running up and down a mountain for 3, 6, 12 or 24 hours. In May 2019, the first European edition took place in Chamonix, France. And on 31st July 2021, we are bringing Running Up For Air to you, wherever you run vert – over hills, through the mountains or even up and down the stairs.

We run to raise awareness of air pollution. 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.

Running Up For Air 2021 connected runners across Europe to raise funds for 18 environmental groups fighting for clean air.

RUFA has partnered up with Patagonia and on June 25, 2023, 126.623 runners in Europe took part in the 24-hr challenge. People could join a local RUFA Chapter of the trail community to help raise funds for environmental groups campaigning for clean air across Europe. 

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 us for one uplifting day – experienced your way.

Air pollution is the world’s largest environmental health threat. Poorer people and those from some racial and ethnic groups are disproportionally harmed by this invisible killer. Children who live near roads with heavy duty vehicle traffic face twice the risk of respiratory problems as those living near less congested streets.

But it doesn’t need to be this way. If we cut air pollution we could prevent 50,000 deaths in Europe, every year. Breathing clean air should be a basic human right.

That is why we are connecting runners across Europe to take part in this endurance challenge and raise awareness of this issue.

Over 390,000 people die prematurely due to air pollution, every year, in Europe. Children, asthmatics, the elderly and those from some racial and ethnic groups are among the worst affected.

As we run, we breathe in and out more deeply. This can mean we are taking in more air pollution particulates than when we’re breathing normally – on an intense session this can be as much as 10 times as many toxic particles.

9 in every 10 people living in European cities are breathing in dangerous air caused by issues such as the burning of fossil fuels and biomass, industrial processes and increasing levels of traffic.

Air pollution doesn’t just damage our health and shorten our lives, it harms the ecosystems around us too. In Europe, most agricultural crops are exposed to ozone levels that exceed what the EU deems safe for vegetation protection.

Date for 2024 is an estimation and needs to be confirmed!

Running Up for Air (RUFA) – Europe

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