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Aussie attempts 100 marathons in 100 days to highlight water shortage

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HONG KONG : From ankle-deep mud in Central Asia to the scorching heat of Australia, Ms Mina Guli is facing a variety of conditions, while running 100 marathons in 100 days to highlight a looming global water shortage.

The 48-year-old Australian is galloping across the planet, 42km at a time, with barely a moment to adjust her watch before it's on to the next stop.

Her world tour began in New York on Nov 4 and has so far taken in France, the Vatican, India and Hong Kong.

Ms Guli, a former lawyer, will race through dozens more places - including in Jordan, Kenya and Mexico - before she gets back to New York on Feb 11 for a triumphant final marathon.

"Running is not my favourite thing in the world to do by any stretch of the imagination," Ms Guli said.

But it has opened her a path to adventure - like in Uzbekistan where city streets were closed for her, she had a police escort and the mayor joined her for a jog.

"When you see all the traffic banked up at the traffic lights for you, you just think 'wow I need to be running faster or something'," she said.

Despite an itinerary that would be the envy of many a seasoned traveller, Ms Guli and her team of six have no time for tourism.

The UN estimates that, by 2030, demand for water will outstrip supply by 40 percent.

That thought, says Ms Guli, is what keeps her going through the longest - and most difficult - slog of her life.- AFP

WORLD