Question: How tiring is it? Are you getting used to it?

Posted by on Feb 5, 2013 in Big Toe Blog, Questions | 0 comments

Thank you very much 8 year old Tom from Copplestone, Devon, UK,  for your questions! (And learn more by clicking here to read this blog in Spanish !)

Q. 1: How tiring is it?

It’s more tiring than we could ever have imagined!! It’s a bit like you playing football for 4 hours a day, every day, whilst dragging your 10 year-old sister around behind you!! All we want to do is sleep – preferably a very long sleep, like a dormouse or hedgehog that hibernates in the winter!!

At the moment we are in northern Argentina and the temperatures are reaching 40 degrees Celsius in the Southern Hemisphere’s summer. We have therefore changed our running routine, with the alarm going off at 04:30. Oh I hate that sound! This means we can run when it is cool, (“fresco” in Spanish) before the sun tries to fry us from 09:00 onward.

One of our camps under an acacia tree by the road side

After about 4 hours and 20 miles of running, we want to collapse, but first need to find shade.

The need for shade is reminding us of the many values of trees. They’re not just homes or “habitats” for birds, insects and mammals; they don’t just produce oxygen for us through “photosynthesis”; they’re not only gently intercepting rain as it falls and channeling it into ground water and binding our soils; they’re also providing incredible pools of life-giving shade!-just like the tree in the photo.

Q.Can you think of more reasons why trees are fantastic and we humans rely on them??

So, once we’ve found a tree (not always that easy in this scrubby habitat) we collapse under our tarp and mosquito net or into our hammocks. Marvellous!

One of the incredible native trees we have found here in northern Argentina: Ceiba speciosa or Palo Borracho. It's in the Baobab tree family and stores water in its mighty thorns!!!

The best thing is that we can see and hear the world while we rest. At night times we can watch fireflies flashing over our heads as they search for a mate and hear mammals and birds screeching in the bush.

Q. 2: Are you getting used to it?

Yes, very slowly our muscles are growing in our legs. It is amazing what our bodies will let us all do! When you read about the history of humans, it appears that we probably evolved to run to hunt predators and so in fact, running long distances is probably in our genes!

David working under our tree!

One of the most difficult parts is all the things we try and do when we are not running; like writing articles, blogs and presenting to schools. It takes a lot of time and energy, but when we meet new schools and students for example, it is all worth it, such fun.

A gigantic Grasshopper!

I’m not sure, however, that we will ever get used to the possibility of seeing armadillos, giant anteaters, colossal stick insects, minute iridescent hummingbirds, immense snakes and other crazy and amazing wildlife as we run!

An enormous beetle we found by the roadside- we are meeting masses of bugs!

 

An enormous boa constrictor snake - nearly 2ms long- we found by the roadside, unfortunately, it had been killed by a car

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