5000 Mile Project – Katharine & David Lowrie
Katharine and her husband David Lowrie are the first ones who ran the length of South America, unsupported, for its wilderness and wildlife.
They had clear goals in mind when they set off for their 5000-mile project.
On 28th July 2012, as the Olympic gun resonated through the streets of London, David & Katharine began their own Olympics. An epic journey to run the length of South America, the equivalent of 250 marathons in 15 months, through some of the most awe-inspiring and biologically rich ecosystems on earth.
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!
They ran 14 Months 23 Days 13 hours 55 minutes to raise awareness and money to protect and conserve threatened habitats. They also ran to connect with people and wildlife, met along the way. And they ran to inspire environmental action, to prove that with small steps we can tackle seemingly insurmountable challenges.
The distance turned out to be a bit more than they had anticipated, but on 20th October 2013, Katharine & David Lowrie completed the project of 6,504 miles.
Why the Natural World; the Wild Places and Wildlife of South America matter to You:
“The earth provides us with vital “Ecosystem Services”. These are the “free services” provided by the natural world, including the ecosystems of South America. Examples include water filtration, flood control, soil creation, oxygen production etc. that we need to survive.
Scientists have recently begun to evaluate their relative financial value to humankind, especially as ecosystems are modified and degrade and can no longer provide their original functions.
It’s not too late to protect the world’s remaining unspoiled ecosystems, but time is running out.
The project was an immense physical and mental challenge. We spoke to over 2,583 students & interest groups about running & the natural world, counted 453 bird species, wrote 35 articles on ecological issues and raised money for Birdlife International, Armonia & Conservacion Patagonia. We spoke to the press across South America & internationally.”
Her book “Running South America: with my Husband and other animals” covers the whole journey.
In March 2019 Katharine shared her story packed with lots of tips and inspiration during Trail Runners Connection Live: