As the Olympic gun resounded through the streets of London on July 27, 2012, Katharine and David Lawrie took their first steps toward their monumental goal of running the length of South America through the 5000MileProject. Fast-forward some 10,000,000 steps, 6,400 miles and 15 months later, as Katharine and Dave begin to focus on the reality that their finish line – those same London streets – is, finally, just around the corner.
As we first wrote about here, Katharine and Dave set out on this journey to raise funds in support of conservation across South America, including Conservacion Patagonica, while inspiring environmental action and connection people from around the world. As Dave explains, “We felt it was time we paid our rent for living on this extraordinary planet. Ten thousand years ago, the weight of the human population was 1/10 of 1% of all the earth’s biomass [with] the rest made up of wild animals. Today humans, our pets and domestic animals make up 96-98%, staggering! We decided to show how we all absolutely depend on the natural world [and] that with small steps, we can overcome seemingly insurmountable hurdles.”
Over the course of the past 15 months, Katharine and Dave have been met with many an unexpected challenge – from injuries to illness to extreme humidity to hurricane-force winds (to name a few) – all diminished by the kindness of locals met along the way. “We have been offered food and shelter from the lowliest of night watchmen to one of the largest landowners in the USA,” Dave explains. “People clap as we pass…we never expected this.” Kath describes more “magical moments,” including “bathing in cool streams under the Amazon rainforest or watching thousands of fireflies light our way in the Grand Savannah of Venezuela.”
Completing this monumental journey with 7 marathons over as many days, Katharine and Dave have much to be proud of: raising nearly $10,000 for their conservation charities, presenting to over 1,000 school children across South America, and, of course, acknowledgement from HRH Prince of Wales himself. “I am hugely impressed that you are undertaking such a grueling and challenging 5,000 mile run for such a vitally important cause and I pray you will not have too many blisters, mosquito bites and other travel scars by the time you return from such an extraordinary marathon.”
What does it take to run 6,400 unsupported miles the length of South America? Here’s the 5000MileProject by the numbers:
- 5 countries, and first to run the length of Bolivia, the Amazon, and Chile’s Carratera Austral
- Average of 20 miles per day, with the final 2 months at 24+ daily miles
- Longest run: 35 miles
- 33% run barefoot, or in barefoot shoes
- Over 450 bird species recorded in their megatransect (more info HERE)
- Minimum temperature run through: -10°C / 14°F
- Maximum temperature run through: 45°C / 113°F
Join us as we congratulate Katharine and Dave and celebrate their final miles in to London on October 26th! Find more information HERE.