Athletics for a Better World, the IAAF’s social responsibility programme, will be teaming up with Running Heroes and UNICEF Heroes Day for a special race on 19 April to raise funds for a worldwide vaccination campaign organised by UNICEF.
The race will be staged over 10km, and the unique aspect of the race is that it can be run anywhere in the world – and at any time – on that day.
Described as the world’s first connected race, participants just need to connect to a GPS watch, or a compatible running app, to take part. By doing so, organisers can then track and record the performances of all the participants.
Runners can also take part as a team but the fact it is a connected race means all team members do not have to be in the same location to run as a collective.
The maximum number of runners on a team is four, and teams can compete head-to-head against other teams.
Olympic pole vault champion and IAAF World Athlete of the Year Renaud Lavillenie is one of the big names supporting this landmark event on 19 April, along with tennis player Alize Cornet, biathlete Martin Fourcade and footballer Rio Mavuba.
Lavillenie, Cornet and Fourcade will be setting challenges for the teams, and Mavuba will be putting together a playlist designed to motivate the participants.
Athletics for a Better World will be sponsoring 1980 participants taking part in the race, and donations will be made directly to UNICEF’s campaign: 'Objective 100%: Vaccinate Each Child'.
Today, one-fifth of children around the globe have not been vaccinated but UNICEF has set a goal that every child in the world will be vaccinated from killer diseases such as polio, diphtheria, measles and tuberculosis by 2017.
Through this campaign, UNICEF will support immunisation campaigns in Haiti, Cameroon, Guinea and Chad.
Runners across the world will be able to register to take part at www.unicefheroesday.com.