The event is over. The music has stopped. The stadium where 2,500 people were running for the oceans is empty as I enter through the tunnel for a final lap. ​​It felt natural for me to run, and run, and run, even when everyone else had long gone home.

And this is why:

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Read the full transcript of my story below:

I’m reading bedtime stories to my kids and sometimes they want to read books about the origin of our planet, the dinosaurs, and you really realize, life comes from the ocean. Last summer, I went to the seaside. The beaches themselves are so full of trash. What have we done there? The plastic doesn’t come to the oceans by itself. It’s about the rivers collecting the plastic and bringing it to the oceans.

It’s not an explicit decision that we’ve taken, it’s the consequence of many, many acts that we’ve undertaken. And I say to myself: not with me. I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to be part of this. I respect the nature. I respect the oceans, the air, the water that we’re drinking. It’s not just for us. We have generations coming after us.

Whenever I was coming back from the beach, together with my kids, we had these very sturdy beach bags, and we were filling them with whatever we were finding. And in the end, taking photos, look, how much did we take today?

Pile of ocean plastic
Beach cleanups by individuals, families, clubs, companies and local groups not only improve our environment, they are the wake-up call to stop using single-use plastic.

When I heard about Run for the Oceans, I thought this is something that can resonate with the people. Last year, there was this container with documentary material about oceans. If you’re running, it changes yourself. You’re doing it and you get aware of the problem.

It was a very hot day I remember. You don’t know how many people work at adidas until you see them all together in the stadium. That was so cool. I have never seen that. It felt like being in a movie.

Run for the ocean flags at the stadium of the adidas HQ in Herzogenaurach | ocean plastic
June 2018 – thousands of my colleagues got together at our headquarters in Herzogenaurach to Run For The Oceans.
Coach motivating the crowd at the run for the oceans in Herzogenaurach | ocean plastic
The energy we created in the stadium inspired me to not only Run For The Oceans but to be part of a movement to make the changes needed to safeguard our future.
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We all started from the stadium and we had to pass down through the tunnel and there were people up there, looking down at you, cheering you up, go, go, go. You feel like a gladiator. And then the adrenalin starts pumping and you get into to the zone, your pace zone. After the loop, coming back onto the campus, the route was coming to a crossing.

Right – another loop. Left – to the stadium. It was a no-brainer. Another loop and another loop. It felt natural to run and run, until I had the energy in my legs. At the end, I entered the stadium, I did half a loop, I look back and there was nobody. It felt like a moment where I said, “Okay, I’ve done my part. I’m happy to have done my thing.”

We care about it, our consumers care about it, so we have to take action. You don’t have to be a very passionate runner to do it. 3K – anybody can do it. You can even walk. The benchmark is not about how many kilometers I’m going to run. It’s about how many people I’m going to bring with me.

This is a statement. You have to decide whether you are for the environment or you just don’t care. And I’m not really a fanatic tree hugger, but the direction, the vision is clear. I want to save this planet. If everybody helps me as well, we will do it.

3 COMMENTS

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by Kirsten 07.06.2019
OMG - goosebumps every time I watch this. One thing is for sure: I will definitely join the Run for the Oceans to do my part!
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by Stanislav 10.06.2019
Very powerful speech Matteo
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Such a powerful story Matteo, thanks for sharing it!
#runfortheoceans
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