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A 48-year-old CEO set out to run 100 marathons in 100 days. Photos show her heart-wrenching journey around the world.

Published by Business Insider on Sun, 17 Feb 2019


Mina Guli is the 48-year-old CEO of Thirst, a non-profit initiative that encourages young people to use water more sustainably.To raise awareness about the global water crisis, Guli embarked on a mission to run 100 marathons around the world in 100 days.By day 62, Guli was saddled with a severe injury, but continued to press on with the campaign.At age 48, Mina Guli embarked on a quest to run 100 marathons in 100 days.As the CEO of Thirst, an international non-profit initiative that encourages young people to use water more sustainably, Guli wanted a dramatic way to raise awareness of the global water crisis. By traveling to countries that had endured dangerous water shortages and running a marathon in each place, Guli hoped to call attention to similarities between water-starved communities like Flint, Michigan, and drought-ridden areas like Cape Town, South Africa.She admits, though, that the challenge verged on insaneand doctors advised against it. Her route began with the New York City Marathon on November 4, 2018 and took her through six continents. She woke up at 4:30 a.m. each morning to run 26-plus miles, then spent the rest of the day traveling, touring, and speaking to local residents.Nearly two-thirds of the way into her journey, Guli found herself in a wheelchair at a hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. A crippling injury had reduced her to tears by the end of her 62nd marathon. Her body had given out, and she was carried to the car by her medical team."We knew that something bad was happening," she told Business Insider. "I was in a huge amount of pain all week, truth be told. Me being me, I was ignoring it."Her endurance had reached its limit, and Guli had fractured her femur. If she kept running, doctors said, the bone would break all the way through. Guli decided to stop running but continue traveling to call attention to the water crisis.On February 11, she crossed the finish line at the same place she started in Central Park, this time on crutches. Here's what her journey looked like.SEE ALSO:A major South African city is about to run out of water, and officials say it will be the worst disaster since 9/11Before Guli set off on her 100-marathon quest, doctors told her it was too dangerous.Guli had done back-to-back races as a way to raise awareness about water issues before: In March 2016, she ran 40 marathons in seven weeks across seven continents. About a year later, she ran 40 marathons in 40 days.She has said that running around the world helps her better experience water-starved communities first-hand.Despite this experience, Guli's doctors warned that her age and agility would pose a challenge. She trained for the 100-marathon quest anyway, relying on a mix of daily runs, swimming, and cross-training."I've been advised against a lot of the things Ive done in my life," Guli said. "If we listened to all the excuses, they would become excuses for us, too." Guli experienced what it's like to go without water during a 10-year drought in Australia while she was growing up.She became accustomed to water-conservation measures like taking short showers or shutting off the tap while brushing her teeth."Dinnertime conversations weren't about the economy," she said. "They were about how we were saving water."The experience formed the foundation for her career as CEO of Thirst, a global initiative from the World Economic Forum that educates young consumers about water scarcity.By 2030, the world could see a 40% greater demand for available water than its existing supply.As CEO of Thirst, Guli learned how much water is used in our supply chains. "Look at the levels of water falling in Lake Mead," she said. "That doesn't just affect the people living in California. It affects every single person who goes to a caf in New York and buys almond milk, because the vast majority of almonds are grown in California."See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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