Yesterday, a flood of pink gnomes took over World Of Warcraft, racing from the starting area of Gnomeregan to the pirate harbour of Booty Bay. The Running of the Gnomes has grown over its nine annual iterations, now seeing thousands of participants log in to celebrate and raise money for breast cancer research.
The Run began as a small gathering of about 150 players, with gnomes chosen both because one of their default hair colours is a lovely shade of pink and because of the symbolism of something small adding up to a big impact.
Since last year, Blizzard have also hosted their own official micro-holiday based on the event, the Great Gnomeregan Run, and it returned this year too. It formalises the route with checkpoints and NPC spectators, but the original Running of the Gnomes only takes place in one server, Scarlet Crusade-US, so that organiser Dravvie can properly count the racers. This year there were somewhere between five and six thousand, though the tally is yet to be finalised.
Currently, this year’s fundraising total is sitting at $8440 (about £6420), but that’s likely to go up significantly once the sales of the very cute shirts are accounted for. Last year the run raised more than $16,600 (£12,600).
All the money raised goes towards researching the promising Tuohy vaccine, which targets one of the most deadly forms of breast cancer, and is currently undergoing human trails. If you want to donate, you can do so here.