We live in a reality where, only a few months ago, we were all rushing. We rushed to work, we rushed to drop our kids off at schools, we rushed to buy deals, we rushed to take advantage of time. Some of us also just run for pleasure. Indeed, the runners is a growing phenomenon in recent years.
But, suddenly, this world where everybody rushed has changed. The quarantine established in most countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic implied drastic lifestyle changes. “Home office”, “home school” … and off to run through the hallways, terraces and backyards of our homes.
Within this framework, an initiative called the “First World Virtual Marathon” was born in Rosario (Santa Fe, Argentina) organized by Physical Education professor Leonel Lucci. GeaSpeak joined this proposal as a sponsor.
As a culmination of the experience, we interviewed those who made it possible to find out what their conclusions are.
Thus, the event organizer answered our questions:
Who was this invitation aimed to?
L.L: It was aimed at people over 18 and minors accompanied by their parents/guardians in good health and that wanted to spend a pleasant time with their family.
How did this initiative come about?
L.L: The initiative came about mainly to encourage athletes to reconnect with what they love, sports, and to help them forget for a moment about the current situation of this pandemic that we have to go through. The main goal was to connect us with physical activity throughout the five continents of the world, which allowed us to strengthen ties with people and to create an opportunity to express our solidarity by helping an institution like Fundación HECA in Rosario, Argentina.
Why did you choose to collaborate with Fundación HECA?
L.L: The choice of the institution was not accidental because, in a certain way, it was a chance to give back all the support that HECA gave me during 2019, when I had to undergo a medical treatment.
What were the results of the invitation?
L.L: 149 people participated, 56.5% were men and 43.4% were women, from countries such as South Africa, Italy, Spain, Scotland, New Zealand, Bulgaria, France, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina.
What did this experience mean to you?
L.L: Personally, this experience helped me find something positive in the difficult situation that we are collectively going through. It also showed me that despite the distance we can be close and united and, that with very little, we can accomplish a lot. It was an innovative way to run a race, something that we are not able to enjoy since a while ago.
In addition, Germán Garis, Managing Director of GeaSpeak, chatted with us as the sponsor of the event:
How did the idea of sponsoring a race come up for a translation company?
G.G: We had long wanted to collaborate with some good cause to give back to the community or contribute our bit locally. We thought that the marathon proposal, with its spirit of self-improvement, was aligned with our own values and actions. The beneficiary of this initiative, Fundación HECA, corresponds to a hospital that is deeply integrated with Rosario and other neighboring cities.
What motivated the participation of the members of the company in the initiative?
G.G: In the midst of the pandemics and after months of lethargy, it was really good to exercise and participate in this unprecedented event. The virtual marathon was also an excellent opportunity to forge and strengthen bonds of friendship and share time with the family, even if it is from our backyard!
What values of GeaSpeak coincide with those of the race?
G.G: Self-improvement. GeaSpeak is a play on words in English that means both “the top of the Earth” (Gea’s Peak) and “the Earth that speaks” (Gea Speaks). The peak of the logo represents our values of personal self-improvement, spirituality and fulfillment. These are the values that we manage to achieve when we arrived at the summit of a mountain after a journey with obstacles.
We knew Leo’s personal story, how he had recovered from a serious illness and all the help he had received from many people connected with HECA. We felt in tune with those values.
How important are these types of actions for your company?
G.G: In life, there is a time for everything, and I believe that our company is in a position from where we can contribute back to the community for all we have received from it. The act of giving is gratifying to the soul. Sometimes, small actions can promote big changes.
This first virtual marathon might initiate other virtual sports events, typical of this “new normal”. We will applaud proposals such as this one, which help us go through moments like the one we are in now without forgetting that if we do what we love and if we do it together, we can achieve great things.
(1) Leonel Lucci is a Professor of Physical Education and Physical
Trainer. He currently works as a coach in Leo Lucci Sports Training and as
Coordinator of the physical education division of A.D.I.U.R., Rosario.
(2) Germán Garis is a Public Translator and Bachelor of Translation. He currently serves as Managing Director of GeaSpeak.