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In Australia, young Frenchman Alexandre Hennon runs for the planet

Passionate about racing and with a furious desire to undertake to make things happen, Alexandre Hennon runs for the planet, in Australia. Portrait of a 30-year-old young man, runner committed to the environment…but not only.

Sunday September 18, Alexandre Hennon ran his 3rd marathon on Australian soil, in Sydney, after Perth and Adelaide this summer. in Australia for 3 months, the young man decided to “confront a new reality”, and be “socially useful” around “real societal issues” including especially the climate emergency. He creates the Run Impact association.

Alexandre Hennon, a racing enthusiast who dreams of becoming an entrepreneur

Alexandre grew up in Nord-Pas de Calais. After studying business and living in Paris, here he is in a well-established routine of city dweller “metro-work-afterwork-sleep”. After a few years, the young man feels out of step with his convictions, with the feeling that he must act. But how and where? Passionate about running to the point of doing 100 kilometers a week, Alexandre matured an idea during his morning runs “I wondered more and more what I was doing sitting behind my desk. When we run, we reflect and we explore. From January 2022, I started designing a project in my head; With this desire to mix my ecological awareness, my desire to be socially useful and my passion for running. It was then time to run for our planet. He then started with a simple idea: what if each kilometer traveled could finance causes that are dear to him, related to health and the environment? Alexandre decides to take a break from the world of employment to lead an entrepreneurial adventure “I have always been driven by this desire to undertake” he confides. It’s done: On June 22, 2022, he flew to Australia. The country, more than 16,500 km from his home.

The choice of Australia to raise awareness on five themes

The marathon runner did not choose the Australian continent by chance: “From a personal point of view, I wanted to discover something different and alone. I wanted to challenge myself, while strengthening my English. From an entrepreneurial point of view, I want to explore five themes related to sustainable development and the environment. In my view, Australia is the breeding ground for these themes.”

First there is agriculture. Permaculture is a practice born in Australia, organic farms are numerous there and Alexandre Hennon wants to learn and understand these organizations. “Then there is biodiversity. I have planned several missions in this direction, with the kangaroos or within the koala hospital”. Aware that the koala species has recently been classified as endangered, Alexandre wants more than ever to make people around him aware of this dramatic reality: “The idea is to understand why it is necessary to protect today the biodiversity. We are together. Each of us, each living being, represents a link in this chain of life. If we destabilize it, we will run into the loss of our biodiversity…”. The third cause that animates Alexandre is that of the forest. Victim of destructive fires, the Australian forest has suffered considerably in recent years. On his scale, the young man has already participated in the planting of 15,000 trees and plants in Perth, an action in the spectrum of the national ambition to plant a billion trees by 2030. He also plans to go to a farm south of Sydney to help a farmer revegetate several hectares of lost plantation and “understand what techniques are used to protect forest areas”

At the same time, Alexandre is interested in the challenge of transport – and not the least in such a large country -: “The distances between cities are enormous, the plane is preferred. I decided to travel while limiting my carbon footprint by avoiding the plane, even if I am not against it! But you have to use it wisely. “. Finally, in the same way as forests, a young man wants to raise awareness about the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef, a major challenge for the planet, but above all one of the proofs that the climate is experiencing “irreversible tipping points “.

Run Impact, or building a community of committed runners

Nearly 1,200 km later, Alexandre Hennon proudly announces €2,660 in donations collected for associations close to his heart: “Beyond the missions that raise awareness, the vision I have of this project is to build a community of committed runners for causes: each kilometer traveled would finance an association, thanks to partnerships with companies. For the moment, I wanted to support the League against cancer but also the Rêves association which helps sick children in France: support that is close to my heart because of my personal story. I also want to support causes in Australia. The marathon runner then talks about his project around him and on the social networks “Run Impact”. The goal, to identify and encourage runners (or future runners) to join the adventure “those who believe in the project”. He also appeals to the most motivated to join him. Its second objective is to encourage companies to participate in the financing of the kilometers traveled “Today, we have two partners, GROUPAMA GAN VIE & Mutuaide. Others could join the adventure soon.

By setting foot in Australia, Alexandre did not expect to be so animated, and wishes to limit this project in time, between 7 and 8 months: “I do not have a return ticket. Before I started, I thought that a dream had a start date and an end date. he confides. Maybe he will change his mind. “Since the end of my studies, I have turned to the world of employment. where I learned a lot from my colleagues.. But deep down inside me, I want to put my ideas in place and start… I will soon be 30 years old, this project represents a step for me, that of run towards new possibilities.”

The legs barely recovered, Alexandre is already thinking of October 2, the date of the next Australian marathon, in Melbourne. Then, on October 16, he also announced that he was running a simultaneous race in 23 cities in the country, dedicated to the coral reef and named run 4 reef. But his biggest challenge is still to come: “By the end of the year, I will try to build an event that can bring us together. “, he concludes, enigmatic…