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Earthwatch at 50: Rima Chai's story

Rima Chai, AKA ‘Tyre Lady’, started dragging her signature tyre as part of a gruelling training regime for a polar expedition in 2006. When what began as a practical strength builder became a magnet for attention and questions, she decided to use her newfound platform to talk about environmental issues and campaign for change.

 “In my first marathon, a Korean reporter thought I was only going to pull a tyre for one mile! When I told him I was doing it for the whole marathon the response was “You….a girl…. The whole marathon……. IMPOSSIBLE! IMPOSSIBLE!”

But Rima’s been proving detractors wrong ever since, notching up marathon after marathon as she heads for her target of 100 marathons or ultramarathons by 2022.

Rima has also used her platform to campaign for marathons to become more sustainable, and to reduce and take responsibility for their waste. “In 2018, I persuaded the Cheltenham Challenge to go zero waste,” says Rima.

As well as her running, Rima is engaged with Earthwatch’s Naturehood programme, is active in developing an eco-church in her local community and is leading a safer cycling and walking plan for her borough.


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