The actor who ran 2,421km to Glasgow for climate change
Last year, the actor Agis Emmanouil watched the documentary of Sir David Attenborough «A life on ourwhen he was born the idea of (re) use running as a means of raising awareness of the very important issue of climate change and the global crisis.
A runner with experience in marathons since 1996 (26 in total), nine super marathons and already a big action in his assets – the “240 kilometers for the coast” he ran in 2014 – decided to add several hundred more kilometers to his calendar and travel a 2421km route to be in early November in Glasgow for the United Nations Climate Change Summit (COP26). Thus was born the action “2421 kilometers for climate change”, which, although it seemed like a superhuman feat, finally succeeded despite the adversities and difficulties, and Saint Emmanuel sent the message that “nothing is impossible for anyone, as long as he makes a decision “, as he explained in an interview.
From Pnyx to Glasgow
The calendar showed August 11, when St. Emmanuel began his long voyage from Pnyx to Glasgow, to be at his destination on November 1, where the world’s leaders would discuss the climate. . The road was long and the obstacles often seemed insurmountable, but the actor and runner managed to overcome them and successfully cope even with the loneliness he experienced along the way.
“I started from Pnyx and I had support during the part of Greece. Then I went to Italy and as I was traveling alone I had my car with me, where I left all my things when I was running. I left it in a city-base and did some kilometers by train to and from the base. I preferred this unorthodox so as not to carry what I had with me. I had great support in Italy, but not on the road. On the road I was alone with the exception of two days. “So I had injuries, I had to do physiotherapy in Milan and then I entered France which I thought – as it turned out – would be the most difficult part as it was the biggest kilometer and I had no support,” said the Greek athlete.
“I was alone for a month and a half, I went through very difficult situations. The fatigue was insurmountable. Sometimes I missed the train to the base station, another time I got lost in a forest, another time I heard a growl… I had not budgeted or planned all this. In the end, however, I succeeded, although the degree of difficulty increased dramatically. “There was no crew or any other assistance along the way,” he explains.
Where he really had to lay down his life, along with what was left of his physical stock, was in France, where “conditions were extremely difficult,” he describes. “What happened in France was very hard. And all this was done by a 52-year-old man. If I calm down and sit down and think about it, it will seem “weird” to me. “But I felt from the first moment that I would succeed”, he says and he remembers the relief that every cell of his body went through, when he arrived in Calais “because now I was close to England and there I would find my own people”, as he says characteristically.
This caring, the eternal need of man to feel the warmth of a fellow human being – and in this case the support of such a difficult and at the same time original project – was something he missed along the way. “I was sometimes angry about the indifference as everyone knew that there was a similar action in my CV. There was little support. That is why when I faced these difficult situations along the way, I put them with everyone because if there was the much bigger wave of support and admiration that exists now, I could have more support and film – for example – this unique journey, “he said. characteristics.
On the other hand, of course, as he emphasizes, in these difficult situations he owes the incredible experiences he has put to his “piggy bank”. “This loneliness made me feel vulnerable and I came to despair a couple of times, so it all got bigger. I went to depths and heights inside me but I managed. It is as if a roller coaster is passing over you and you are experiencing them all in incredible sizes. Both despair and joy. “The emotions were mixed and that’s how I experienced it”, he emphasizes, describing the rush of emotions that flooded him every step of the way.
Agis Emmanouil had material assistance from the Attica Region, who covered his expenses, but also from other sponsors (World Human Forum, Alliance for Greece, Ecological Alliance, Mizuno Greece, ELPEN, Sunwear stores, Allianz and ANEK).
“I started in Pnyx and had support during the part of Greece. Then I went to Italy “
St. Emmanuel: Nothing is impossible
When asked if he managed to get the message he wanted, he answers:” I think I managed to show that nothing is impossible for anyone, as long as he makes a decision. It is so simple and at the same time so difficult. The issue of the climate crisis is within us as we accept that we are responsible for it. So we must go within ourselves and look for the root of evil and not go to the symptom and correct it. In short, as I said about the shore project, I think we are “wrongly Armenianizing”… “
Saint Emmanuel argues that our world needs to” grow up “, but in order to do that, I am very afraid that it will have to there is a shock “and here, as he says,” there is a risk, according to scientists, that this shock will be final. Let everyone take their responsibilities “. “This action is a proof that everything is happening. So, any leader who said that I can not change everything in one day, I would tell him that you can but you do not want and the proof is in front of you “, he points out.
In the role of the runner ..
One could say that Agi Emmanuel’s relationship with sports is even older than that with acting. “I have been an athlete since I was 13 years old. I have never stopped playing “, he says and explains the beneficial effect of the exercise in his life but also in his career as an actor.
“When I was studying at the EMPROS theater, but also later when I participated in various performances, I discovered how much aerobic exercise helps – especially the preparation for a marathon – in the role”, he underlines, pointing out that the exercise helps to strengthen the diaphragm, but and in the very confidence of an actor.
“I always use aerobic exercise as preparation, not only for performances but also in general,” he says.
The next project of Agi Emmanuelsuper
After the firstmarathon of 2014, in the mind and soul of Agi Emmanuel nestled the idea of ”Run and Act”, an ambitious project of 2000km, which combined sports and culture -suparathon and theater- where they were born, in Greece.
The script wanted a group of European actors and ultra-marathon runners to start on May 9th from the northernmost ancient theater, that of Maronia, and descend to the ancient theater of Epidaurus, uniting the ancient theaters of the mainland and as modern marathon runners – “Fei,” emphasizes- to play a play in every theater. “This was the project, this is what I fought for so many years, that’s why I kept myself in shape. I believed in it a lot, unfortunately it is very difficult to do as a production “, he underlines.
This project has not yet received “flesh and bones”, however Saint Emmanuel has not abandoned the idea. So, when we ask him what his next project is, he answers: the previous one! “It’s ‘Run and Act.’ That is, to bring Europe to Greece and not to go to Europe myself. “If all the actors are coordinated, it will not be just an individual vibration of a certain scope, but a coordination of an ensemble with – I hope – deafeningly positive results”, he emphasizes with enthusiasm.
Agis Emmanuel with his athletic endurance but also with his artistic soul combines a man with a spirit and sensibilities that are rare. He is an example of a man with high empathy and at the same time intense dynamism.