Liz Warner is running 30 Marathons in 30 Countries before she turns 30. If she was 20, this would be a cool and epic endeavor. What makes it way more cool and epic is that she decided to start this effort when she was 28, with just a year and a half to make it happen. Liz had already run 7 or 8 marathons in a diverse range of countries and was at a crossroads in her professional and personal lives. She decided to combine her love for running, travel and helping other cultures by creating a fairly short-term and quite ambitious project she calls Run to Reach. Liz has identified 20 local nonprofits in the final 20 countries to raise awareness and funding for as she runs through them.
When I first learned about Liz, I was like “I wonder which marathon in the US she’s doing.” Then I looked at her list, and there isn’t a marathon in the US. This isn’t about doing the big-name races in countries and communities that already have lots of support. This is about showcasing places in the world that are absolutely stunning but need more support, specifically more women’s empowerment programs.
Liz is a beautiful soul who is following her heart to help others. I think you’ll resonate with different parts of her story depending on where you are in your life.
Today we talk about:
- Coffee: Of course coffee – most recently a coffee tour in Guatemala after her marathon
- Growing up a squash player on the east coast
- The draw to see the world: on to Tokyo
- The call to live somewhere crazy, outside her comfort zone, as a coping mechanism to escape her life
- Letting go of toxic family relationships caused by alcoholism and addiction
- Running through the grief of losing her father
- Her first race & how long distance running became her calling
- Funny race stories
- Run to Reach: How the idea to run 30 in 30 before 30 came to be
- Giving back: Why this is so important to Liz’s mission and how she selected her organizations
There’s something about Liz’s voice that’s just so calming and soothing. Like running 26.2 times 30 is no big deal. It’s just something we do to help make the world a better place – and maybe find some personal growth along the way. I don’t know many people under 30 who are setting the world on fire like Liz. When we are lucky to find them, we need to keep them close, because there just may be a moment when we feel the fire inside and realize – “This is it. This is that thing I’ve been needing.”
I have a feeling that some of you may feel a little stirring of excitement right now, as you check out Liz’s list of remaining marathons. How about Zimbabwe, Mongolia, Chile, Cuba, Egypt, Antarctica, the Seychelles. Seriously! I had to google the Seychelles and how to pronounce it. These places sound magical and if you feel called to do one of these marathons – for any reason – you have a partner in Liz, reach out to her! On that note, you can find liz at firstname.lastname@example.org – be sure to check out her website and consider donating to her charities. Everything can be found on runtoreach.com