#run4water, Mina Guli

10 - 15 April

When will Mina run
this river?

#run4water, Mina Guli


Where is this river?

#run4water, Mina Guli

Global Goal 6.3

What subgoal of Global Goal 6 will she focus on?

#run4water, Mina Guli

6 marathons

How far will Mina run here?



- The world’s busiest inland waterway -



Key Facts

The Yangtze river basin accounts for 40% of China’s freshwater resources: more than 70% of the country’s rice production,
50% of its grain, more than 70%
of fishery production, and 40%
of the China’s GDP.


55% of China’s rivers
have disappeared over the
last20 years due to
industrial use


The annual discharge of sewage & industrial waste in the Yangtze is
25 billion tons, which is 42% of
the country’s total sewage discharge, and 45% of its total industrial discharge.


Day 19 | 10 April 2017 | 785km done | 903km to go

Ni Hao 🇨🇳 from China! About to kick off the 4the leg of the 6 River Run expedition. Our location? The world’s busiest inland waterway, The Yangtze River!


China has become known for their pollution problems over the past 2 decades. Earlier this year the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, declared 2017 as “The Year of the Blue Skies” as an acknowledgement of the Chinese Government’s commitment to clean energy and being pro-environment.

The Yangtze River, China’s longest river, is home to one-third of the country’s population (about 400 million people) and has been the origin of more cities than any other river in the world. The annual discharge of sewage and industrial waste in the Yangtze alone has reached about 25 billion tons, which is 42% of the country’s total sewage discharge, and 45% of its total industrial discharge.

I’ve come to run here to investigate what the Chinese Government is doing to keep this beautiful river healthy. #Run4Water

Mina Guli #Run4Water
Mina Guli #Run4Water
Mina Guli #Run4water
Mina Guli #Run4water


HALF WAY celebration of the 6 River run!

Could not have imagined any other way to celebrate this milestone than running with the kids from Thirst. They are the reason I run. I want each and everyone of these kids to have a dream they can achieve - and in a world without water, that’s not possible.

Thirst is the non-profit I started in 2012 with the aim of educating the world’s next generation of leaders. We run water education programs in schools across China. To date, we’ve had 495,923 kids graduate from the program, and 169,800 kids participate in our water-innovation competitions.

Day 20 | 11 April 2017 | 830km done | 858km to go

Mina Guli #Run4Water

This river is my life. If it had not been for this water right here, I would not be able to feed my family.
— Mr. Chang

Mina Guli #Run4water
“I dream of a river that my children can swim in and drink from, just as I did as a child.”
— Without fail, Mr Li Wei rows his boat up and down the river every day, to collect trash from the water.

Running down the Yangtze and meeting people like Mr Wei and others, I can’t help but feel that most of us don’t realize just how interconnected our lives are to our rivers.

We all have a story or a connection with a river somewhere. For some of us, rivers are a means of transport or recreation. But for the most of us, it is the rivers that produce the food we eat and the products we buy and consume every single day.
Over the last 20 years, 55% of China’s rivers have disappeared due to industrial use and over-extraction.

As our demand for water is growing at an unprecedented rate, now more than ever is a time to protect our rivers. And it’s people like Mr Wei who we can all learn from.

Rivers can live without people, but people can’t live without rivers.

Day 21 | 12 April 2017 | 872km done | 816km to go

Beautiful China!

In 1987 my parents brought my sister and I on a vacation to China during which we took a boat and travelled down the Yangtze River for a couple of days. I still remember the sadness of learning that the river and beautiful surrounding landscape would be changed to make way for the world’s largest dam.

The Three Gorges Dam is so big, that when it’s filled to capacity, it will slow the Earth’s rotation—increasing the length of day by 0.06 microseconds!
Fast forward 20 years to today, this dam provides power to a large part of China’s population, and drives the production of goods we use all over the world. So, in essence, we are all linked to this dam in some way.

It’s remarkable and inspiring to witness the progress that China has made in hydropower production. But, it’s important to keep in mind that this progress comes at the price of permanently changing our world.

Day 22 | 13 April 2017 | 922km done | 766km to go

“The only way to define your limits is by going beyond them.” - A.C.
— 13.5 hour day traversing the trails along the Yangtze River.

Day 23 | 14 April 2017 | 972km done | 716km to go

Ni hao Shanghai! After 5 days of running from Chongqing, through the beautiful Xiling Gorge, and past the 3 Gorges Dam - we’ve finally made it to the mouth of the Yangtze River.
Mina Guli #Run4Water

Seeing countless construction projects around the city and how Shanghai has changed face over the past 10 to 20 years, I’m again reminded of China’s unprecedented economic development. This is a sight to behold.
Mina Guli #Run4Water
Mina Guli #Run4Water
Mina Guli #Run4Water

Day 24 | 15 April 2017 | 1,027km done | 661km to go

“It is like breathing through a straw.”
— I felt that familiar burn in my throat and chest. Having lived in China for 10 years, I knew what it was from. The air quality index reached a critical 168. This is the cost of progress.
Mina Guli #Run4Water

Also, today I reached the 1,000km milestone. 

Day 25 | 16 April 2017 | 1,082km done | 606km to go

We have decided to delay our the start of our Egypt leg by two days. This decision was made after numerous conversations with family, friends, advisors and business connections based in Egypt. So, we now had 48hours extra in Shanghai, which presented us with the perfect opportunity to bank some miles and also run with close friends.

Day 25 | 16 April 2017 | 1,082km done | 606km to go

This is an incredible country - with beauty juxtaposed against the economic powerhouse of production. Xiè xiè nǐ China, for letting us tell your water stories.
Mina Guli #Run4Water