5,000MileProject raises funds for CP

Some people will run to the ends of the earth to pursue their dreams.  For Katharine and Dave Lowrie, this mantra has become a physical reality.  This July, the adventurous duo will set off on foot to complete a 5,000 mile journey from the southernmost point in South America all the way up to the Caribbean Sea.  They are undertaking this extraordinary journey, what they’ve called “5,000MileProject,” in order to raise funds to support conservation across South America.  One of the two groups they are running to support is us, Conservacion Patagonica!

Katharine and Dave Lowrie, from Britain, are self-proclaimed “ecologist-adventurers” with an inspiring vision for environmental conservation, and the drive to create tangible results for a healthier, more verdant world.   When asked what motivated them to take on the 5,000MileProject, Katharine responded: “We want to do something for our planet, the natural world means everything to us. We thought the only way people would listen to us would be if we did something physically extraordinary, that no one has done before!”

Katharine and Dave will set off on foot in a month, with the goal of conducting a 5,000 mile run through some of the most biologically-rich and stunningly beautiful places on earth.  A quote from their project’s website (www.5000mileproject.org) previews the incredible adventures the couple will undertake along their route:

From Cabo Froward, the most southerly tip of the continent and the roaring Southern Ocean, into the icy depths of Patagonian winter; plunging into the clouds of Chile’s ancient tropical rainforest; ascending the mighty snow-capped Andes, before pounding into a never-ending horizon of windswept Argentine pampas; crossing the fabled Amazon Rainforest, over the Guyana Shield and into the desert-scrub of Venezuela, to finally collapse into the azure Caribbean Sea!

Along the way, Katharine and Dave plan to conduct the world’s longest-ever “mega-transect,” a coast-to-coast survey of wildlife and habitat that will serve as a long-term resource for those interested in place-based ecological research.  They plan to collect raw data about species abundance and diversity.  They will document their findings for science and educational purposes, charting species data alongside photos with carefully mapped geographical information.  This data may be used in the future for tracking environmental changes, or for performing ecological assessments to determine best practices for future conservation efforts.

Katharine and Dave are especially excited about the section of their journey which will lead them straight through the heart of the future Patagonia National Park.  They hope to run through the “sweeping majesty of the Andes” with the project’s leaders, Kris and Doug Tompkins, whom the couple met at Pumalin Park last November.  The adventurers recall that visit fondly, noting Kris and Doug’s friendly and welcoming charm.  “They were extremely down-to-earth and approachable.  Our first meeting was held in a chicken coup!” Katharine laughs.  She adds, “they’re generous, and have a razor sharp determination to succeed where it seems impossible.”

On their upcoming journey through Patagonia National Park, Katharine and Dave long to catch a glimpse of some of the region’s most enigmatic wildlife—“guanacos, condors or even a culpeo or puma!”

They also look forward to meeting all of the wonderful staff, volunteers and community members who help to make Conservacion Patagonica’s vision for conservation in the Aysen region a reality.  This on-the-ground team helps ensure that the future Patagonia National Park will be a destination where future ecologist-adventurers might be inspired to conserve and protect wild places around the world.

Katharine and Dave plan to depart on July 27th, 2012, the first day of the summer Olympics, which seems fitting considering the Olympic proportions of their quest.  When they reach their journey’s end in 2013, Katharine and Dave will have run the equivalent of over 200 marathons—each.

Katharine and Dave plan to broadcast their adventures daily, connecting folks around the world to their experiences with the communities and wild places they encounter along the route.  They hope to spread their vision for conservation to as many people as they can, inspiring and spurring people to action through this exciting and meaningful journey.  “Together, with small steps we can tackle seemingly insurmountable challenges; it’s not too late to protect the world’s remaining un-spoilt but threatened ecosystems, but time is running out.”

Learn more about Katharine and Dave, make a donation, and follow their adventures across South America in real-time through their website, www.5000mileproject.org.  We are so grateful to have the support of such dedicated ecologist-adventurers, and look forward to following their journey every step of the way.  Please consider making a donation to Conservacion Patagonica in honor of this incredible undertaking!

10 thoughts on “5,000MileProject raises funds for CP

  1. Ray Healey
    Tuesday June 26th, 2012 at 03:23 PM

    What a wonderful and inspiring story! As a former marathon runner and dedicated environmentalist, as well as somebody who loves a good adventure yarn, I will follow the adventures of the Lowries with great interest. Best, Ray Healey

  2. Thursday June 28th, 2012 at 06:55 PM

    Thank you Rob, we really appreciate your warm words. In fact you sound just the man to come and join us for a leg of the expedition?! And any tips you have from your marathon running days would be much appreciated!
    Very best wishes, Katharine

  3. Thursday July 5th, 2012 at 07:56 PM

    Hola Guys!! I am back in Puerto Montt. Un abrazo grande, was the contact at El Chalten helpful?
    Take care!!!

    1. Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 08:00 PM

      Maria, great to hear from you- thank you for all the support you and Patagonia Trails have provided us with border logistics etc. you are amazing!
      Abrozos enorme, Katharine y David

  4. Ashley
    Thursday July 5th, 2012 at 09:32 PM

    Best wishes for you two in running and conservation! I love this adventure story and can’t wait to follow your journey. As someone who deeply loves Patagonia, conservation ecology and running.. I’m a bit jealous! :)

    1. Tuesday July 10th, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      Hi Ashley, THANK YOU! Yes Patagonia, conservation ecology and running are the perfect combination, of course! We will need your wishes, we’ve just heard there has been the worst snow in the deep south of Patagonia in 15 years! We will be setting off to the start line in two days, so it might be skis for the first 30m from Cabo Froward!

  5. Katy
    Sunday July 8th, 2012 at 05:06 PM

    Amazing! I am very jealous of you two and I wish you all the best. I’ve just started training for running marathons, so I will follow your journey as well! It feels great to see others’ dedication for preserving the environment. I try to talk to others about the importance of taking care of our animals & environment, but sometimes it’s hard to find people who actually care. You are an inspiration and I hope I can get out and do something similar in the near future! Best regards,

    1. Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 07:56 PM

      Dear Katy,
      Really lovely to hear from you! Like you we love hearing of other people who are passionate about conserving the natural world. Running is such a great way of experiencing the “wilds”. We have had so many fantastic encounters with mammals and birds during the run- as we’re so much slower than the cars that wiz passed… and can be very quiet. Best of luck with the marathons- superb!
      Very best wishes,
      Katharine and David

  6. Jason
    Wednesday July 25th, 2012 at 04:04 PM

    Dear Dave and Katharine,
    I just stumbled upon your link while researching volunteer opportunities for one of my students. As someone who is currently training for his first mountain ultra (a mere 32 miles, I admit), I am totally inspired by the two of you. I too love traveling swiftly by foot in remote places and I wish you safe journeys as you embark on this epic adventure!

    1. Saturday August 4th, 2012 at 02:36 AM

      Dear Jason,
      Your mountain ultra sounds epic, best of luck. Yes, we´ve found a wonderful sport, to run through some of the most awe inspiring natural environments with the least of kit (well in our case far too much clober at the moment!) blows the mind and invigorates the spirit… hopefully we can together inspire others to conserve these incredible remaining wild places too. Cheers, Katharine and David.

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