In an unprecedented event, Reza Baluchi will begin to raise one million dollars for children’s charities by running across America carrying the American flag, traveling more than 3,000 miles from Santa Monica, California to New York City, New York. Running an average of 75 miles a day, Reza will pass through cities and towns in 15 states, visiting state capitals and journeying through communities with populations totaling more than 95 million Americans.
Reza will take the American flag on a people-powered journey across the country in an attempt to spread a message of peace and raise one million dollars to be donated to charities promoting the betterment of children. The flag will be ceremonially taken down from the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., with the support of U.S. Senators, and flown to Los Angeles, California, where Dana Bowman, a double leg amputee wounded soldier, will sky dive in with a 1,000 square foot American flag soaring behind him and pass off the American flag to Reza.
At this opening ceremony on Sunday, August 16, 2009, Reza will embark on his run to be joined by high profile Americans including professional athletes, Olympians, entertainers, politicians, local and National broadcast media personalities and other celebrities in addition to more than 1,000 runners who will start with Reza in Santa Monica.
Followed by a camera crew in a specially designed vehicle, Reza’s journey will end with a return to the U.S. Capitol Building, approximately seven weeks later. It is intended that as many Americans as possible join in the Run With Reza by carrying the flag a short distance, join in the run, organize crowds to cheer and/or make a donation. An advance team will travel ahead of Reza, bringing each town’s community together with an all-day media covered event promoting peace, health and physical fitness. This effort will serve as an exciting prelude to Reza's Run Around the World (starting January 2010), raise awareness to his cause and raise funds in a million dollar campaign to benefit four charities.
Reza's route is based on Guinness guidelines from the current record (currently that of Frank Giannino). The run will take 45 days, beginning in Santa Monica, California with Reza reaching his destination of Ground Zero in New York City on September 30th. Participants will be invited to run with Reza across America and participate in a coordinated flag-passing extravaganza in an effort to have as many Americans run with the flag as possible, whether for 200 feet or 200 miles. ccompanying him will be a follow car which carries a video camera crew, photographer and medic as well a separate RV which will serve to sleep and feed Reza and the crew. A celebration event will take place at his arrival at ground zero with appropriate dignitaries invited.
Registered participants, possibly school children, will symbolically join Reza in his final half-mile. The event will be coordinated through the NYPD.
ONWARD TO WASHINGTON, D.C.
Following his arrival in Manhattan, Reza will appear on interested television talk shows, the success of which will help to insure the maximum exposure of his next stop at the White House. Reza will run from New York to Washington, D.C., again followed by the film crew. Starting 10 miles from his destination in Washington, DC, Reza will be joined by 100’s of registered participants. The supervised 10 mile home-stretch will provide opportunity for the film crew to interview participants (and to acquire material regarding the run's mission). Scheduled breaks on this portion of the route will provide opportunities for participants to interact with Reza. Upon his arrival in Washington, D.C., Reza will solicit the signature of the President on his Run Around the World flag in a coordinated meeting at the White House.
Reza Baluchi has inspired tens of thousands of people around the world. He is a man who embodies the highest reaches of the human spirit in the humblest of ways, giving love to those he meets and hope to those who only hear about him.
In 1972, Reza was born in Northern Iran into a large family. His mother and father worked hard as rice farmers by the Caspian Sea to provide for their seven children. At the age of eight, Reza felt compelled to help his family. He began to learn the trade of an automobile mechanic and ran nearly 14 miles to and from work each day after school.
The pride Reza saw in his father's face motivated him to do more. By the age of 14 he would frequently ride his bicycle to Mashhad about 621 miles each way over the Elburz Mountains. He joined the national cycling team and competed until the age of eighteen, when he went to serve his country in the army. In search for a new beginning, Reza left for Germany and joined another professional cycling team. By the age of 24, he began competing in Vela Rome and placed on the podium in both team and individual competitions. Following his heart he began biking through other countries. From Europe, he headed to Asia, then to Japan, and then Australia. He continued biking to Africa, Central America, Mexico and finally came to the United States in 2003. Reza spent seven years biking across fifty-five countries on six continents and covered over 49,700 miles. He delivered a message of peace everywhere he went, sharing his love of life.
After the events of September 11th 2001, Reza felt compelled to show Americans that Iranians are a peaceful people. After entering the United States in 2003, he left his life in Los Angeles and ran across the continent to New York City, arriving on the second anniversary of the September 11th attacks, breaking a world record in the process.
In 2007 Reza once again laced up his shoes to run around the perimeter of the United States. He ran 11,720 miles in 202 consecutive days and donated the monies raised to The Children’s Hospital of Denver. Reza Baluchi has traveled our world and shared in the lives of people from every nation. He understands that we are all special, and strives to bring peace and unity to the world he loves.
VISION and MISSION
Meet with world leaders as a symbol of encouraging connectivity and have them sign their national flag as a symbol of their desire for peace among nations and as an endorsement of good faith to actively help the poorest of their country meet their basic needs.
Speak with school children to tell his story, and plant a tree as a symbol of growing personal empowerment.
Create a web-broadcast along the journey showing the human spirit of every nation. (www.runwithreza.org)
Organize “Run with Reza” events in dozens of cities, and have a festival on every continent, partnering with youth organizations, local government, sustainable living associations and renewable energy companies.
Create a reality television show and feature documentary.
Establish partnerships with local organizations for building projects like water wells, small medical centers and schools, thereby enriching the lives of thousands worldwide and creating jobs.