Nat Geo Kids Run for the Planet

In an effort to engage children in both fitness and recycling, National Geographic Kids magazine is attempting to break two Guinness World Records titles today and tomorrow.

“Through the magazine’s Run for the Planet program, in coordination with the prestigious Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) Healthy Kids Fun Run, people all over the world will attempt to set the Guinness World Records achievement for the most people to run 100 meters in 24 hours,” National Geographic said in a news release. “Participants will also send in athletic shoes to National Geographic Kids; they will be tied together to break the record for the longest chain of shoes, then recycled into athletic surfaces such as basketball courts and running tracks.”

National Geographic Kids is coordinating with the MCM Healthy Kids Fun Run at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. tomorrow, for the final run of the 24-hour challenge, the news release added. “The 3,600 youngsters scheduled to take part in the Kids Fun Run will contribute to the record as they complete a one-mile run, and all runners will be observed by Guinness World Records representative Mike Janela. Per Guinness World Records rules, runners also will be confirmed by two independent witnesses: healthy lifestyle coach Kathy Pugh, owner of women’s running boot camp EZ8DC; and DeShay Williams, co-owner of personal training studio Definitions (both of Washington, D.C.).”

Healthy and Active Life

“The Kids Run promotes physical fitness and encourages children to lead a healthy and active life. The partnership this year with National Geographic Kids to set a Guinness World Record is a great thrill for Kids Run participants and reinforces how fun running can be,” said Rick Nealis, MCM director.

Runners (or walkers) worldwide can complete their 100 meters any time between 12 noon ET, today, and 12 noon ET tomorrow, October 27. “Although many participants will be contributing athletic shoes during that 24-hour period, shoes can be sent to National Geographic Kids now through November 9. Five thousand participants are needed to set the running record; the current shoe chain record stands at 24,962. Children, families, schools, sports clubs and other groups are encouraged to help set both Guinness World Records titles,” National Geographic said.

Run for the Planet supports first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, which encourages kids and families to get healthy and active. To pledge to participate and get official rules for both record attempts, go to

With the help of Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program, the sneakers will be recycled into Nike Grind — a material used in athletic surfaces such as basketball courts and running tracks — after they have been tied into a chain later this year. If this year’s goal of 12,500 pairs is met, it will be enough to recycle into five basketball courts.

“Kids’ eagerness to run and recycle shows their devotion to fitness, health and conservation at a time when they aren’t getting a lot of credit for it. It is inspiring, and I’m so excited to prominently cover both record attempts in the pages of our magazine,” said Rachel Buchholz, executive editor of National Geographic Kids magazine.

Guinness World Records titles already set by National Geographic Kids are the Longest Line of Footprints (10,932 prints measuring two miles, set in 2004); Largest Collection of Plush Toys (2,304 stuffed animals, set in 2006); Longest Chain of Shoes (10,512 shoes, set in 2008); Most Items of Clothing Collected for Recycling (33,088 items of denim clothing, set in 2009); and Most People Doing Jumping Jacks in 24 Hours (300,265, set in 2011). First lady Michelle Obama participated in the 2011 record-breaking feat, kicking off the attempt with one minute of jumping jacks on the White House lawn as part of her Let’s Move! initiative. The record is featured in the “Guinness World Records 2013 Edition,” on sale now.

12418031_10153900711084116_8462971761216697621_nDavid Braun is director of outreach with the digital and social media team illuminating the National Geographic Society’s explorer, science, and education programs.

He edits National Geographic Voices, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society’s mission and major initiatives. Contributors include grantees and Society partners, as well as universities, foundations, interest groups, and individuals dedicated to a sustainable world. More than 50,000 readers have participated in 10,000 conversations.

Braun also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship

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Changing Planet

Meet the Author
More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn