5000 Mile Project adventure runners David and Katharine Lowrie have now run over 3,200 miles in their quest to run the entire length of South America. Last Friday, the British Parliament recognized the UK couple’s efforts by congratulating them on finishing the first 2,500 miles.
The adventure started on July 28, 2012 at the southernmost point of the South American continent. At that time, the Lowries estimated that it would take them about a year to reach their goal at the opposite end of the continent at the Caribbean sea. As of Thursday, they had been running for eight months and 21 days.
“We intend to become the first couple and I the first woman to run the continent,” Katharine Lowrie wrote before the journey in a blog being hosted by UK newspaper The Independent.
As birders, she acknowledged that they originally thought about walking instead of running. However, they crunched the numbers and soon realized that walking at a birdwatcher’s pace would take years, if not decades, to finish the journey.
The 5000 Mile Project adventure runners aren’t just in it for the glory. They’re also raising money for Bird Life International and its partner, Armonía in Bolivia. Armonía works to protect habitat for rare species including the critically endangered Blue-throated and Red-fronted Macaws, which are found only in Bolivia.
On Thursday, BirdLife said that the couple, by running 20 miles a day, six days a week, had already run 3,200 miles. By their calculation, that’s almost as far as if they had run from London to New York City.
In addition to their The Independent blog, the adventure runners have a 5000 mile project Facebook page, which documented their recent arrival in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. And their 5000 Mile Project website provides maps of the route and such helpful tips as “How to Talk to a Magellanic Woodpecker.”
This birder has to salute their determination. I don’t think I would be able to run 20 miles a day with woodpeckers like that to stop and inspect.
Are you inspired by the 5000 Mile Project adventure runners?
[photo courtesy David and Katharine Lowrie via the 5000 Mile Project]