All miles that were run over summer 2019 by the nearly 200 runners were logged by the in-house myCompany app. Photos of the runs could also be posted to the app and the races of coworkers could be followed. Runners from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, Spain, Denmark, and Norway were therefore spurred on to complete 5,396 runs altogether. The top three runners each managed to run around 621 miles in the three months. For the first time this year, the initiative was also open to families of KPS employees and there was no lack of commitment on their part! A large number of employees took part, with some experienced runners among them, including marathon runners, but also a great many for whom running was not their usual daily activity.
The goal this year was to run 24,901 miles - equivalent to one circumnavigation of the equator. With the final figure standing at 24,165 miles, the KPS runners across seven countries almost reached their target - and did a lot of good in the process. In total, KPS donated 9,724 euros to four charities in Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, and Spain. Munich-based initiative IMMA e.V. which supports young people in crisis, Danish children's cancer charity boerne cancer fonden, Pallapupas hospital clowns from Barcelona, and children’s charity Jigsaw4u, which runs numerous projects in the UK, received 2,431 euros each. The checks were handed over to the charities at their premises by the top runners from the respective countries.
By the way, did you know that the father of all marathon runners is said to be Greek runner Pheidippides? When Greece was attacked by the Persians in 490 BC, Pheidippides jogged 152 miles from Athens to Sparta to seek help against the Persian superpower. Having failed to achieve his objective, he then returned to the beach of Marathon (running another 152 miles) and the Athens army. The marathon race as we know it today dates back to 1908 in England. A 25-mile course was planned that began at Windsor and finished in the newly built Olympic stadium in White City. This was until Her Majesty let it be known that she would like the race to start on the lawn at Windsor Castle. In order to gratify this royal whim, an extra mile had to be added to the beginning of the course. Then an additional 385 yards was appended to the end of the race so that it would finish under the Royal Box. This resulted in an extra mile and a bit for the marathon runners, and led to a tradition that survives to this day where marathon runners shout “God Save the Queen” as they pass Mile 25.