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I wrote a letter, sitting on the bank of a stream, my back nestled in the buttress roots of a spiralling Bolivian rainforest tree. Enormous plate-sized, electric-blue, morpho-butterflies wafted over my hand. Beads of sweat formed rivulets down my back and tiny fish darted past my toes.
The letter was to HRH Prince Charles about our expedition and how meeting him, a staunch advocate and conservationist of our natural world, would give us a tremendous boost during the many hot, sweaty, insect-infested miles that lay ahead.
Miraculously he wrote back saying,
“I am hugely impressed (more…)
OK – so the running is over and our bodies are in repair, but so often our minds are carried back to South America, the expedition and the incredible landscape by the many reminders we see in the products that we consume here at home in the UK. Sugar from Paraguay, Brazil nuts from Bolivia etc etc. We feel we know South America so well now, and how can we be sure that the products we buy here in Europe, and consumers throughout the world buy, are any good for the continent where they come from?
We appear in the July 2014 issue of Runner’s World!
Fantastic talking about the expedition again; the wildlife, wildernesses, risks and survival techniques……
Staying in touch with sponsors, supporters, family and friends whilst on the run in wonderfully wild but disconnected places presents some challenges, especially when you have to carry all your kit in the running trailer, but this is how we do it:
CLICK MAP TO ENLARGE
We’re back on our 80 yr old home (our boat) in Uruguay & remarkably she’s still floating! Before we left the UK I managed to get my hands on a copy of Roz Savage’s, “Stop Drifting, Start Rowing”. Amazing! A rare, up-close & personal glimpse of life at sea in the Pacific through the eyes of a world first ocean rower. From a bum red-raw with rowing, to capsizing, dealing with raucous booby-bird neighbours and gliding through slicks of plastic rubbish. It navigates the reader through the trials and intense beauty of life on the high seas, as well as exploring a different perspective on life…. A fantastic Christmas present to cast your mind into another world!
Running barefoot has been a central pillar of our run the length of South America. We trained for three months before the challenge began, re-training in the barefoot running technique (discussed previously), and working remotely with our coach using video and skype calls to check on our running form.
Using this preparation we ran 6,504 miles in 15 months.
Last week we had the opportunity to be guinea (more…)
“Nothing has changed!” I tell the new head mistress, “but the ceilings seem a bit lower”, as we stroll these small, colourfully decorated corridors which looked so spacious thirty years ago!
We may have finished the running part, but “Running South America” continues back on home shores as we visit our former schools (and others who have followed us through the “BigToe” Classroom) to share our adventure and passion (more…)
We have met so many people in the course of running South America, before, during and after, but very rarely do you stumble upon a kindred spirit in this world. We have long followed Roz Savage and her goliath ocean rowing exploits, and when she invited us to talk with her on her fantastic Adventure Podcast we were honoured and readily accepted. The real treat though was to find that we talked the same language, were worried about similar themes and had so very much in common in our outlook for the future.
Click the PLAY button to listen through the laughter and Roz’s dulcet tones as we talk honestly about the expedition on the virtual couch . . . .
We visited a marvellous Devon primary school, Landscore, who we have been sharing stories with ever since we sailed from the UK to work in international conservation in 2008. We were really excited to meet up with their Headmaster Mr Read again, as well as all the teachers and school children. The children asked us loads of fab, juicy, questions. We love asking questions and so are delighted that more have arrived! Check out our answers below……………
We chose to run South America because we thought we might only be able to run such a very long way, 6504 miles, once in our lives. And in that case, it would have to be the most wildlife and plant rich place in the world. With the largest tropical rainforest, the biggest river, longest mountain chain, most bird, monkey and amphibian species and so much more… it was very clear, South America it had to be! We got to know some amazing wildlife and wildlands along the way, including snakes, giant anteaters and guanacos. So why not check out this video and meet them! Then put on your running shoes, go outside and find your own wild neighbours!