Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

South America run challenge ends

The couple's gruelling effort has taken in the length of South America

After more than 10,000km, 15 months and 20 pairs of worn out shoes, a British couple's mammoth running journey will come to an end today.

Katharine and David Lowrie have been running the length of South America since the start of the London Olympics on July 28 last year to raise money and awareness for wildlife and conservation issues.

That is the equivalent of almost a marathon a day.

Beginning the gruelling journey at the southern tip of Chile, they will today finally reach the Carribean Sea on Venezuela's northern coast, having also passed through Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil along the way.

The journey has taken them through extreme climes ranging from minus 10C to a sweltering 45C, while battling a range of terrain including snow, ice and knee-deep mud.

They have worn out 10 pairs of shoes each during the journey and have taken turns to lug a trolley, weighing up to 100kg, behind them.

The husband and wife team have raised almost 10,000 US dollars (£6,186) and have broken a collection of records along the way.

Mr Lowrie said he and his wife decided to take on the challenge because they felt they needed to pay their "rent" for living on the planet.

"We decided to show how we all absolutely depend on the natural world and how amazing it is," he said.

"That with small steps we can overcome seemingly insurmountable hurdles, that time is running out, but it's not too late protect it."

Their struggle has drawn support from several celebrities and notable people, including the Duke of Cambridge.

"I am hugely impressed that you are undertaking such a gruelling and challenging 5,000-mile run for such a vitally important cause," a message from Prince William on the couple's website read.

"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.

"I send you both my kindness, good wishes and admiration."

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