• Code name - The ABC of Running
• Mission - Run in cities whose initial is a different letter of the alphabet and complete them all, from A to Z
• Expiration date - None
• Activation - Send us a "Activate mission" message (info(at)runtheplanet.com) including your name and nationality
• Report - Send us a "Mission completed" message (info(at)runtheplanet.com) including your name and running biography
• Reward - Download your "Mission completed" T-Shirt logo [under construction]
Take a word from a language. Break it down into sounds. Assign symbols to represent each sound or sounds and you have an alphabet. The name is derived from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet; alpha and beta. An alphabet is very different from other systems such as pictographic systems, ideographic systems, or syllabaries. A picture of an object is the spoken word for the object in a pictographic system. In an ideographic system, pictures are combined to represent ideas that cannot be expressed through a single picture. Finally, syllabaries are symbols that represent each syllable in a word. The cuneiform of the ancient Babylonians, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and the Chinese and Japanese written symbols are examples of pictographic-ideographic systems.
The transition to an alphabet comes when the picture represents a sound. More often than not, the sound is derived from the spoken word for the object. The Semitic spoken word for house was "beth". It came to symbolize the initial "b" sound of "beth" and eventually the "b" in the English alphabet. Many scholars believe that first alphabet was the North Semitic alphabet, which developed along the eastern Mediterranean between 1700 and 1500 bC. This alphabet consisted of consonants exclusively. Several variations later, the Greeks added a couple of consonants and set aside some of the letters for vowels. This developed into the Roman alphabet. Roman conquests and the spread of Latin allowed their alphabet to become the basis for all languges throughout Western Europe. Of course, there are many other alphabets throughout the world. Named for one of its inventors, Saint Cyril, the Cyrillic alphabet also stems from the Greek. Primarliy used by the Islamic world, the Arabic alphabet was derived from the Semitic one. Most of the alphabets were adapted and developed over time. Some were just created such as the Armenian alphabet, which was invented by Saint Mesrob in 405. The Mongolian hP'ags-Pa script is written from top to bottom and was invented in China around 1269.
For this mission, should you be literate enough to accept it, will focus on the alphabet consisting of these twenty-six letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z. Head to Atlanta or Amsterdam for a run! Then you're off to Baltimore, Bangkok or Beijing! A juant through Cairo in next, followed by a run in Dublin or Detroit. You get the idea. You need to run the alphabet, learn the ABC of Running! Find a location for each letter of the alphabet and put your running shoes on. Sure you can run A-T in your own state or country. Will you find a V? Z? X? Let us know that you have taken up the challenge and keep us informed of your progress. Good luck!
In order to complete this mission you need to run in twentysix cities whose initial is a different letter of the alphabet:
• Your name and running biography here