Ultra-marathon runner Mina Guli set to run three marathons in the Netherlands to draw attention to the global water crisis

The Hague, the Netherlands, 20 September 2022 – This week Australian water advocate, ultra-marathon runner and CEO and founder of Thirst, Mina Guli, will be in the Netherlands as part of the #RUNBLUE campaign, which will see her run 200 marathons in one year ahead of the UN water conference on 22-24 March 2023. 

T he purpose of the R(UN) Blue campaign is to raise awareness of the urgency of the water problem facing the world and drive concrete action on water by governments, companies and organisations.

Marathon 98 is due to take place in Hague on Thursday 22nd September as drinking water company Dunea warns that local water supply and quality in the city will come under threat in the near future. Guli will run her 99th marathon in Amsterdam on 23rd September and her 100th during the City-Pier-City Loop in the Hague on 24th September.

The #RUNBLUE campaign is supported by the Valuing Water Initiative, an initiative by the Kingdom of the Netherlands to show the implementation of the United Nations Valuing Water Principles in order to bring systemic change in the way water is valued in policy, practice, finance and behaviour and to inspire others to do the same.

Commenting on her upcoming visit, Guli says “Running my 100th marathon here in the Netherlands is significant both because the Netherlands is co-hosting the UN 2023 Water Conference and because it has long been a world leader on water. That leadership will be critical in driving global momentum towards the conference and ensuring we deliver more than speeches – we deliver concrete commitments to action on water.

The theme of the conference is ‘Our watershed moment: uniting the world for water’.

“As the first UN Conference on water in almost 50 years, this is a unique opportunity for us to mobilise governments, companies and individuals to take action and make this a true watershed moment in the security of water, the most precious resource on the planet,” said Guli.

According to Program Director for the UN 2023 Water Conference, Nathalie Olijslager-Jaarsma, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UN 2023 Water Conference, co-hosted by the Netherlands and Tajikistan, will be an historic opportunity to draw more attention to water and to put water at the heart of sustainable development.

“It is important to make agreements at an international level, because water does not stop at borders. If the glaciers in Switzerland melt, we will have no water in the Rhine and if the sea level rises, half of the Netherlands will be submerged and our islands will disappear into the sea. There seems to be a lot of water on this earth, but most of it is salty, more and more water is polluted and that cannot be used for consumption. Moreover, water is essential for everything that lives on this planet and therefore also plays a role in other crises such as the climate, the food and migration crisis. This conference is therefore important to wake up everyone to be careful with our water, reuse it more and prepare for climate change.”

Olijslager- Jaarsma emphasizes that the Netherlands and Tajikistan are committed to encouraging as many parties as possible, large and small, in the run-up to and during the conference to make agreements and come up with actions to form part of the Water Action Agenda, and contribute to a sustainable world so that we can continue to produce food, keep our feet dry and ensure water still comes out of the tap. Olijslager- Jaarsma and her colleague Carmen Hagenaars will join Guli during her first run in the Hague.

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