The reasons for packing a bag and taking to the road are many. Whether you are longing for a change of scenery, a break from work, a change of pace or even a complete life change, we are all on different journeys. I have been privileged to hear many of these life changing stories during my time on the road, however, it was a pleasant surprise when I met Maud Debs and heard about World Wide Runneuze.
An ambitious and inspirational young woman who has literally been running around the world. Not quite comparable to Forest Gump, but with over 2500 kilometres under her belt, Maud has run 20 races in 32 countries An amazing achievement which blows me away every time I consider it. With her goal in mind and her running shoes on, Mauds story is unique and empowering.
How and why did World Wild Runneuze start?
It all started when I was looking to have a regular activity in my life again, so I subscribed to my first running race: a half marathon. It was really challenging as an athletic experience and I managed to run it in 2 hours and 30 minutes. I have been running for three years now, and over this time I have become crazy about it.
Thanks to this first competition I had a strong sense of accomplishment and was very proud of myself. This is how my passion started. I entered myself into other races and began running regularly. I participated in the 10km de l’Equipe, Mud Day, Odysséa and even the Paris marathon! I completed the marathon in 4 hours and 41 minutes.
During this time, I also went trekking which helped me to think about myself and what I really wanted to accomplish in my life. Did running help me to begin my inner reflection? Yes, it definitely did. Running helped me to be in good shape physically and the mentally. I started to wonder, “Am I the only one who thinks about running like that or do other female runners too?”.
In France and in Western countries, we decide to run to perform, to stay young or to be in good shape. According to an Asics study, (one of the biggest sports manufacturers), 54% of Europeans decide to begin to run to stay in good shape. Then 64% of these people continue to run for the same reason.
I wanted to know: “Do female runners from Africa, Asia, Oceania or South America think the same way?” I needed to discover it!
What is the project about, what were you trying to achieve?
I aimed to travel around the world in one trip and run races in different countries, which I have achieved. I started in January 2015 and completed in January this year. I have taken part in marathons and races to run a total of 1000km. This was one of my biggest dreams. I have been and want to meet with more female runners like me to identify why they are running.
I have chosen to study female athletes because they get less attention in the media than men. In fact, 90% of sports media coverage is dedicated to male athletes. I would like to put the lights on female athletes who want to talk about women and their sports.
More specifically, through these interviews, I will gain an understanding of similarities and differences between female runners depending on their countries and be able to make a video about females running.
What is the charity you are supporting with the money you raise?
I am running for an association called La Fondation Motrice. This organisation helps people with Cerebral Palsy and their relatives. It refers to a group of permanent troubles affecting movement and posture development.
At all of the races I have run, I have talked about this foundation to everyone I have met, to raise awareness. The more we talk about it, the more people will know about this illness and we can raise more funds to ensure that research continues. My aim is to raise €10,000 during my trip with people donating 10 euros each kilometre I run.
If you want to support la Fondation Motrice and Mauds goal please donate here: http://www.alvarum.com/worldwildrunneuze
For more information
Watch Mauds Video on You Tube