Seems hard to believe we have been running for 9 months. Three-quarters of a year ! Whilst progress has felt painfully slow at times, and sometimes just plain hard, now when we look around we see palms and parrots, chaotic Latino markets and lorries plying along dusty roads precariously laden with bananas and tropical fruits . . . a far cry from the icy South where this adventure was born. And we’ve finally had time to update the running statistics page (thanks Patty for pointing this out!), sorry for the previously outdated info!
[button link=”www.5000mileproject.org/run/runningstats” color=”silver” newwindow=”yes”] Click for Updated Running Statistics[/button]
At times it is all just a blur (which is why we keep records!!) and other times the reality of the place couldn’t be more acute. We live and run in the very heart of South America, “warts-n-all”! At best, between our 20 mile running days, we sleep in the forest, or under a palm dozing off to the clatter of mosquitoes and owls. We wake to the scratching of ants devouring our belongings, the steam rising as the verdant green is touched by the sun and the screech of toucans and monkeys fill the air. At worst we slumber listlessly in an exposed field, aware of our trespass, aware of the torchbeam and gun shots of hunters in the field boundaries, or under the lights of a shambolic urban night sky devoid of stars, choking on the smoke of burning plastic bottles, the pinnacle of our disposable society. To a great extent the GPS decides where we stop on our long road North. This is the texture that our beloved Microsoft Excel can’t describe!
But running-wise, are we on track??
That depends! If we can just keep the weekly mileage up over 100 running miles per week whilst towing our trailer, then we are on track to make our target of 5000 miles in one year, which would be a major part of the dream. But that is a big “BUT”! It’s a very long way yet through territory which will undoubtedly be the hardest we will face. The road is almost certainly going to peter-out, and the physical stress of running in this tropical zone with the risk of disease, infection and general chaos easily has the power to re-write the plan.
And what of the “plan”? It is clear now the real distance will be over 6000 miles. Kath and I have had a long time on the road to deliberate the options and we have decided we will carry on running until we see the sea, moreover plunge headlong into it, trailer flailing behind! Whilst the name of the project carries the original goal, the entire continent of South America is a much more significant target to us, this continent of contrast and wildlife superlatives. The graph shows clearly we will need to extend the project to take account of this, probably 10 weeks we think but to stop after 5000 miles astride the amazon river doesn’t feel right when we said we´d run the length of South America. So, better run!!