Before her 30th birthday Liz Warner plans to run 30 of the world’s toughest marathons

America’s Liz Warmer (28) has set out on a wild journey to tackle and defeat the most challenging long-distance running routes in 30 different countries, across seven continents, in support of 20 charities, before she turns the big three-O.

From running alongside an active volcano in Antigua, Guatemala, to battling the sweltering heat in the Sahara Desert Marathon, Warner is taking on the world and all of its challenging landscapes.

“Many have asked why and how I came up with this slightly mental idea in the first place. I guess I was at a point of transition and deep reflection in my life at the end of last year (one could call it a very mild existential crisis.)

“All I knew was that…whatever I was going to do next, had to check off the following three life objectives, it would have to positively impact the world outside my own personal bubble, inspire others to show them that, in their power as one individual, they too have the capacity to change the lives of others and involve my two loves in life: running marathons and travelling the world,” says Warner.

Warner has already conquered 13 marathons, including Tokyo Marathon Japan, Seoul International Marathon, Singapore OSIM Sundown Marathon, Bagan Temple Marathon Myanmar, and the Sahara Marathon.

It was from her passion for cultures around the world and bringing about change to inspire others that birthed Run to Reach.

“So, how did I go about choosing all of the different marathons? Each marathon I’ve signed up for is more or less off-the-beaten path. Think running in the Sahara Desert in Western Algeria or across ice sheets in Antarctica. I also felt a moral duty to sign up for marathons in areas that were experiencing some sort of social, political, or economic issues, such as in Sierra Leone, Palestine, or Kurdistan Iraq.

Each of these marathons demonstrate how running can be a powerful, unifying act of peace and movement. And by connecting with a number of local people in each place I hope tell also tell a different story of these countries. Paint them in a more beautiful way by showing the rest of the world a small piece of their vibrant cultures,” says Warner.

Next on the list is Cape Town’s very own Two Oceans Marathon, taking place this April 20.

posted Sunday April 7th
by Aimee Pace