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A few minutes with Linnea Ackerfors...

... who is in her third year in the Environmental Science programme, and was selected to participate in the world’s longest relay race, “Run for Your Life”, which will end at the UN climate conference in Paris. Why are you running?

Image: Linnea Ockerfors. Private picture“I’m studying in the Environmental Science programme, and we’ve studied UN meetings like the one in Paris – how previous meetings have been unsuccessful despite pressure from individuals and organisations. Many have tried to influence world leaders, without success. Now we have to bring pressure to bear on this meeting, because it’s extremely important that the world’s leaders take the important decisions that are needed concerning climate change. So when I saw that this relay race was being held, I applied and got in.”

Do you think your participation can influence the world’s leaders?

“Maybe not just because I’m running. But this race is the world’s longest relay race – a thousand people will run a total of 20 days, from Kiruna to Paris. There, the baton will join the big Climate March demonstration. Debate on environmental issues needs to be raised to show that people care. I think the baton could serve as an eye-opener, a chance to show that we care and we demand change.”

Why do you think you, in particular, were chosen to run?

“There was a large rush of applications to get in. In both Norrköping and Linköping there were quite a lot of people who applied. You had to write a personal statement in the application. And I have great personal involvement in the environmental question. Ever since I was little, I’ve been alarmed about environmental problems and the future. Now I’m studying what has always been my fear, and I’m going to work with it. I see how unbelievably important this issue is.”

How far can you run?

“The arrangers have calculated that each participant will run around 4 kilometers. But it varies a little from participant to participant, and from place to place. I know, for example, that there’s a preschool class who will be running shorter distances, and they have to be able to switch at a suitable place. And then some have gotten longer stretches where there aren’t as many runners. I’m starting on Campus Norrköping, that was a wish of mine since I’m studying at LiU. Then, presumably, I’ll run to Söder Tull. But that’s shorter than 4.6 kilometers, so we’ll see what the exact route is I’ll be running. I’ve also gotten a few fellow racers who will run the stretch with me to support the demonstration.”

How well have you trained for the run?

“I train a couple times a week, so physically there are no problems.”

The baton can be followed live on the Web. If someone wants to follow you, where should they look?

“I have a preliminary start time of 1:57 PM on Tuesday, November 17. But it’s still a little uncertain. The baton was 51 minutes behind the other day, but I think they’ve made up for it a bit.”


Follow the baton live here


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Last updated: 2017-02-13