It has been half a year since I started living and working as a Digital Nomad. The plan was simple – fly to Bali, get to know other Nomads, learn from them, and start traveling through Asia. Needless to say that those travel plans came out differently as expected.
Back in March 2020, I was in search for people to spend the quarantine together with. One of my new villa mates was Jamin – an athletic young man with the ambitious plan to run a 90km Ultramarathon at the Mont Blanc at the end of June as a personal challenge. Months passed and after several weeks of hard training and disciplined diets, it was quite certain that the Marathon event in France won’t happen. Jamin decided that a pandemic should not be a reason to postpone the run he has prepared for 7 months, and therefore we began to plan an epic route from the north coast of Bali to the south coast, passing volcanoes and crater lakes.
But the beauty of Bali cannot be acknowledged without highlighting the beauty of the local people here. The Balinese welcomed us wholeheartedly, fed us and kept us warm inside and out. But, with a decline in global tourism, they are doing it tough right now. We decided to use the ultramarathon for a fundraiser, with the goal to raise 9.000 AU$.
During the planning of the route, we got connected to the Bali Hope organization, which organizes ultras in Bali every year and donates the money to the Bali Children Foundation. In partnership with them, we set up a campaign website and organized a live stream of the run, which was then moderated by Margaret Barry, the founder and CEO of the Bali Children Foundation.
The mission of the BCF is to pave children the way from education to employment. The organization is active in various fields, such as education, where it delivers English classes, environmental studies, STEM- and computer literacy courses as well as employment preparation for children. Several infrastructure projects in schools and children’s’ homes and scholarships are also in the fields of activity. In events like a pandemic, landslides or volcanic eruptions, the BCF responds with actions like assuring the continuity of the children’s education in tough financial times, and their (and their families) food supply.
In the last weekend of June, game day finally approached. We woke up at 2 am, sat down to discuss the last details and then, Jamin began to run. Months and months of training resulted in a 12 hours and 40 minutes endurance run, with over 30 degrees with the sun out. I was a part of the support crew and was busy with assuring the route, making sure Jamin feels safe, hydrated and fed. I also filmed a lot for the ongoing live stream to let supporters from all over the world motivate Jamin on his challenge.
With the run, Jamin inspired his community and all supporters of what’s possible if someone decides to lean into his full potential. We, as a support crew, set a new level about how an endurance runner can be pampered and taken care of, and together we raised 10.000 AU$ for the Bali Children Foundation.
I would like to thank QualityMinds for contributing to the campaign as well as the individual team colleagues who provided us with emotional and financial support.
You can see a video of the run here: https://www.facebook.com/jamin.heppell/posts/10223430189921843
And if you want to support the Bali Children Foundation, check out their website: https://www.balichildrenfoundation.org/support-us