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Clean Air Vert Challenge

Time to run up for healthier air! Join us in racking up vert and raising money for organizations working to improve air quality.

Forest Woodward

In 2012, Jared Campbell decided to run up and down Salt Lake City’s Grandeur Peak for 24 hours, to raise money for air quality advocacy work. The following year, a few friends joined in. The next year: even more. After 11 years, Campbell’s solo project has morphed into Running Up For Air: a worldwide movement with dozens of races, hundreds of runners and tens of thousands of dollars raised around the globe. This is a story about how running builds community that can jump-start change far beyond the trails.

In the face of declining air quality, a community of runners rises up.

Running Up For Air is technically a race. But anyone will tell you it has an impact far beyond what that simple word implies.


Together we are raising funds to support environmental groups who are campaigning for better air quality across Europe.

Most asked questions
What is Running Up For Air?

Running Up For Air is an endurance challenge, calling on runners to gain elevation while raising funds for the fight against air pollution. Since 2022, we’re partnering with Strava to take this challenge to the trails across Europe. Over hills, on a ski slope, through the mountains, or up the stairs. It all counts. Together, we’re raising awareness and funds to support 9 environmental groups who are campaigning for better air quality.

Is there a fee to take part?

There is no fee to take part, but we highly encourage donations to environmental groups campaigning for clean air across Europe. All money raised through Running Up For Air will go straight to the 9 environmental groups we support.

How can I donate to environmental groups?

We want to raise as much money as possible for the 9 environmental groups we’re supporting, and every Euro will help NGOs advocating for stronger air pollution measures across Europe. Visit this page to learn more about the issue and donate to the organisations.

Do I need to run in order to fundraise?

No! We encourage everyone to participate with their feet—even if it’s just a few miles.

But you can still get involved without running, by donating to our supported NGOs here

How long and how far is the event?

For 2024, you can take part in Running Up For Air in person at one or our local chapter events on June 1st or on Strava, with any run that you track between 1 and 9 June. Wherever you choose to run, the aim is to accumulate as much elevation as possible, within your time. Any run with 100 meters and above of elevation will qualify.

Where does it take place?

You can participate from anywhere within Europe. Any Strava run tracked between 1 and 9 June, with 305 meters (1000 Feet) and above of elevation, will qualify.

What time does it start?

Wherever you are, the event takes place from 1 to 9 June. Want to run with a group? Local chapters will meet on June 1st across Europe at different times and locations. You can find all chapters here.

Can I take part with a team?

You must sign up individually to take part, but we encourage you to run the challenge alongside your local trail running community. Look for your local RUFA Chapter here.

Is it safe to run for several hours or days?

We can’t offer medical advice about what your body is, and is not, capable of. For guidance, please speak to your doctor. Whatever length you are running, remember to listen to your body and prepare wisely. This includes ensuring you have access to plenty of fluid along your route, enough food, suitable clothing, a light source and a fully charged mobile phone.

What should I wear?

Please check your local weather forecast and dress for the conditions, with warm layers. Even on a sunny midsummer day, the higher you climb, the colder it will feel.

What should I pack in my kit?

Trail running often takes you to places with changeable weather. We recommend you bring the following kit with you:

  • Appropriate footwear for loose or rough terrain
  • One litre of water (minimum)
  • Enough food / nutrition to sustain you
  • First aid kit
  • Head torch with spare battery
  • Lightweight, warm layers
  • Emergency bivvy sack or blanket
  • Waterproof pants and jacket
  • Gloves
  • Hat or neck warmer
  • Fully charged mobile phone
  • Map of your intended route
  • Compass
Will I get a prize?

Your prize is satisfaction—not only that you’ve completed a difficult challenge, but have done so to raise funds and awareness in support of the fight for clean air. Everyone who completes a qualifying Running Up For Air run will receive a digital Strava challenge badge, too.

Is there a minimum age to take part?

Yes, you should be 18 or over on the day of your run in order to participate.

Is it a competition?

While this event is certainly not a race, you can view the elevation leaderboard on Strava, which will be updated throughout the challenge period (1-9 June 2024).

How can I share my pictures?

When posting images to social media, please use #RUFA plus tag in @patagoniaeurope on Instagram and (as long as your profile is open) we'll be sharing select images throughout the challenge period.

How do I record my run between 1 and 9 June?

After you’ve signed up, simply complete your Strava activity between 1 and 9 June. It will then be automatically synced with the challenge and you’ll receive your challenge badge.

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