May 2009

Boston Marathon here I come

Boston Marathon 2008. Photo: Paul Keleher

Boston Marathon 2008. Photo: Paul Keleher

In this blogpost I shall not speak a of birds at all. So if you are a birder, with absolutely no interest in the physiology of a marathon race, leave now and come back next week, when I shall be blogging about birds again. If you have done your homework (that is reading my previous blogposts), you’d know I am about to run a Marathon on Sunday to raise money for conservation of cloud forests near Satipo in Central Peru. If you have not been so diligent, check out that post and make your pledge to support me and the forests near Satipo. Most of the information in this book is in one way or another derived from the brilliant science based Lore of Running by Tim Noakes, MD. Dr. Noakes presents a scientific approach to running and explains the physiological processes in the muscles, blood stream and respiratory system. Not only that, it treats psychology, training, training, injuries, running for women etc. It is a bible of over 900 pages! Other books on running have borrowed much of explaining physiology from this book. Highly recommended!

A bit of history

As you probably know, the distance between Marathon and Athens in Greece is approximately 25 miles and Greek legend lies as the base to what today is known as Marathon.

The name marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger. The legend states that he was sent from the town of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming “Νενικήκαμεν” (Nenikékamen, ‘We have won.’) before collapsing and dying. – From Wikipedia.

For the Olympics in London 1 mile was added with royal permission to make an undisturbed start along the Long Walk avenue leading to Winsdor Castle. To accommodate the Queen (Alexandra, wife of Edward) to get a splendid view of the finish of the marathon 385 yards on the track on the Olympic Stadium at Shepard’s Bush in London was added. The fixed distance of the Marathon 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km) was set from this day, even if there were to be some variations in the next coming Olympics until settled onwards from 1924.

Avoiding the wall. Glucogen loading.

Anyone can run half a marathon, but what is so special about the full distance? You burn close to 3000 kcal during a marathon. Most of the energy used is stored as glycogen in the liver and in the muscles. The glycogen in the liver breaks down simple sugars to feed the brain and the glycogen in the muscles is used by the muscles supplemented by simple sugars and free fatty acids in the blood stream. Normal storage is around 1500 kcal worth of glycogen. But with training and diet it can be raised to over 2000 kcal. Unless, you train for a marathon you will run out of glycogen and the last part of the race the body starts to rely completely on burning fat. Since the fat is more complex in structure it is also not as accessible as an energy source. The result is that you have to slow down and you hit the famous wall.

Fat as fuel.

While you train, and especially after doing long runs that depletes the glycogen stores, your body gets used to replacing the glycogen fast and little by little make you better and better prepares. During the last week before the marathon it is a good idea to slow down intensity in training to fool the body to keep on storing glycogen – just in case. Doing a good job at it, eating carbohydrate rich food (70-80% of the diet), the glycogen deposits can increase to about 2500 kcal. This is the reason why marathoners eat copious amounts of spaghetti prior to the race.

On raceday however consuming a lot of carbohydrates just before the race will increase sugar in the blood stream and immediately set off an insulin release that will lower counter the high sugar content and make it more difficult to metabolize the energy. So any additional energy consumed on raceday ought to be taken around 4 hours before the race. Great! The race on Sunday start at 7 AM. I am really looking forward to a 3AM breakfast! Not!

The funny thing is that actually eating something very fatty an hour or so before the marathon will actually raise free fatty acid levels in the blood stream, which would serve as energy delaying the breakdown of the stored glycogen,which will this way be preserved for later in the race. I am not going to try to eat anything greasy sleazy before this Marathon because I don’t know how I will react, and should have tried this during my training if I had read up on physiology of running.

Another more normal way to increase free fatty acid levels in the blood stream, is taking caffeine. Caffeine is not permitted in large dosis, but normal coffee intake is fine and within the allowed limits. Peak values set in after 1 hour and remains up to 4 hours. It should only be tried if you are used to caffeine. As a keen coffee drinker, I should have no problem. I plan to drink coffee instead of sportdrink half an hour before the race. Best to drink it without sugar since the sugar would delay the effect.

Hydration during the race.

A normal person would lose 1 liter per hour in the race by sweating. In a four hour race he would lose four liters. Fortunately, he does not have to drink 4 liters to compensate, since the breakdown of glycogen to glucose releases as much as 2 liters of water during the same time. With a water-hole every 4 km it means that I should aim to drink 200 ml at each station to get enough if I run at a 6min/km pace. Grab two cups! It is hard to drink in fast speed from plastic cups, so if friends can help out providing liquid in plastic bottles instead that helps. (Volunteers…please speak up!).

What should you drink?

Water and Powerade is supplied. Unfortunately and contrary to belief, taking sugar during the race, will not prevent from depleting the glycogen stores in the leg muscles. The stores are consumed at a steady pace. When they are gone they are gone -and that is when you find the wall. You will have to slow down.
But the sugar does prevent glycogen depletion of the liver. So at least your head shall remain clear and you will not faint if you consume carbohydrates during the race.
There is only so much sugar you will be able to absorb. Some people have trouble absorbing the liquid if it contains too much sugar. To drink sportdrinks during the training makes it easier to absorb during the race. Some people should stick to water and occasional powergels or dilute the sport drink. But don’t wash down your Powergels with Powerade. It will not work. The liquid will not be absorbed and it will cause trouble during the race.


The combination of losing too much water, too hot climate and too fast speed makes overheating a serious risk in Marathon running. Climate and speed are the most important factors. In Lima there should be little risk, since the cold season has set in. Most likely temperature will be slightly below 20ºC (68ºF) and maybe some coastal fog. The race provides free T-shirts in synthetic breathable material. This is good. It is not a good idea to wear a cotton T-shirt. The sweat produced during running is supposed to cool down the body which happens when it evaporates from the body. A sweaty T-shirt could prevent the cooling process.
Overheating forces you to slow down. If the temperature in the air is above 23ºC you will have to run slower.

This is how my day looks like on Saturday-Sunday.

Saturday: 9 PM bedtime!
Sunday: 3 AM. wake-up and immediate breakfast. Probably do peanut butter sandwiches in hope of having some free fatty acids in the blood by the time the race starts. Coffee. Two glasses of water.
3:30-5.00. More rest.
5.50 take taxi to Race start at “Pentagonito” in San Borja. It is close to here – only 5K, but I don’t want to waste energy if I don’t have to.
6.10-6.40 some stretching a bit of warm-up.
6:40 Coffee. Toilet
7 AM Start.
The first part of the race is mainly downhill (110 meter drop from km 4), the second part has to gain 80m back to Pentagonito. I will drink Poweraid throughout. At km 30 I will have some coffee, that I will carry with me.
At control 36.5K I hope to have someone handing me a bottle with 300ml Powerade and will run with the bottle sipping up to 39K. This way I can skip the last control at 40K which is too close to the finish to have any effect on performance. I ran the last 12k of the race course last Sunday as dress rehearsal. I think this will be very important to mentally be able to finish in good form.

Lima Marathon on Twitter.

I shall be tweeting every 10k with hashtag #Lima42K, so you see how I am doing. Follow me on Twitter. If you are in Lima come out on the streets and cheer.

2010 update:  A marathon for Conservation 2010.

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The best blog Carnival of them all


Simply the best – for anyone interested in birds. Your favorite collection of birding blogs is back with isssue number 101. And our favorite top of the charts Science blogger grrlScientist, who gets on average  9000 visits to her blog daily, is host. What more can you ask for.  Jump right in!

To me it is an honor to be participating on this blog. Being on the first page of the number one Natureblogger is almost like making it to  the first page of Digg!

Click like mad, and give the participating bloggers some traffic.  It works great for the self-esteem and which in the end ensure more top blogs coming.

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Question: Why is this blogpost in Spanish? Porque está este articulo en Castellano?

Answer: I already did this in English, so I suggest you have a look at the previous posts.

  • A marathon for conservation
  • Last long run before the marathon for conservation.
  • Physiology of a Marathon – race strategy for Lima Marathon
  • Esto es mi primer articulo en castellano en mi blog. Pensé al principio poner esto en el blog de Incaspiza pero me di cuenta que esta lucha que representa correr un maratón para la conservación es demasiado personal. También consideré poner el articulo en mi blog LimaSafaris, pero en ese blog se trata mas sobre reportes de excursiones que hacemos de vez en cuando dirigidos al publico hablahispana para observar naturaleza en las cercanías de Lima. Así, que no tuve otra opción que meter esto donde presentemente tengo más actividad de blogging, aunque hasta ahora todos estos artículos han sido en ingles. Mas adelante seguramente, crearé una nueva pagina con reflexiones en castellano -pero por ahora lo presento esto aquí.

    Un maratón para la conservación.

    En Estados Unidos para levantar fondos para alguna cause es común hacer lo con “pledges” – que se traduce quizás mejor con “compromisos” – de donar cierta cantidad de dinero contra una prestación. En el mundo de “birdwatching” (observación de aves como hobby) hay Bird-athons en cuales los equipos intentan ver la cantidad más grande de aves en 24h y los amigos y “fans” se comprometen de dar un suma por cada ave vista. El mas famoso es quizás “World Series of Birding” que durante los años ha podido recaudar 8 millones de dólares para la conservación de las aves.

    En el mundo de atletismo también hay carreras populares donde los participantes hacen “pledges” para recaudar fondos para causas como SIDA, Leucemia, Cancer, y otras causas loables.

    Mi causa

    Mi causa es más modesta en cantidades de fondos requeridos, pero no obstante todavía importante. He estado entrenando muy poco tiempo para participar en el Maratón de Lima 42km el domingo que viene (31 de Mayo). Al principio pensé que podría lograr un tiempo de 3 horas y 30 minutos, que me calificaría para el Maratón más famoso del mundo – el de Boston. Sin embargo al entrenar 3 semanas, me di cuenta que mis tiempos y resistencia durante el entrenamiento no iba a alcanzar. Mi esposa me preguntó porque correr entonces. Tenía razón! Correr un maratón no es cosa fácil y hace falta algún estimulo para poder alcanzar una meta. Ahora mi meta parecía inalcanzable. Durante una sesión de entrenamiento se me cayó el idea. Resulta que justamente días anteriores se había celebrado World Series of Birding en EEUU y otros Birdathons estaban denunciados. Me acuerdo que pensé que no seria posible en el Perú simplemente porque no había suficiente observadores de aves. Pero que tal un Maratón de verdad para levantar fondos para un proyecto de conservación y a la misma vez promocionar el eco-turismo a una olvidada zona. Y eso fue lo que presenté en el blog en ingles.

    Presentación del  lugar que recibe los fondos

    Durante mis viajes en el interior del Perú siempre veo que se esta acabando con los bosques con roze y quemas.  En el Centro del Peru cerca de Satipo hay excelentes bosques y la gente de la zona han sido consentizados durante nuestras visitas a la zona por parte de Kolibri Expeditions. La mejor area con excelentes bosques de ceja de selva se encuentran entre Mariposa y Carrizal en este mapa de Google.

    Ver mapa mas grande

    Inclusive llevamos 3 miembros de las comunidades a Mindo en Ecuador para que pudieran ver con sus propios ojos lo que se puede lograr con el ecoturismo. Un video sobre este viaje lo encuentra en: (tenga un poco de paciencia porque pesa 200MB.)
    También pueden leer la charla del acalde de Acomayo (Carpish) sobre la vivencia de los comuneros durante el viaje.

    Lo que falta es financiamiento y promoción. Por suerte hay una ONG de conservación sin fines de lucro de Estados Unidos que esta coleccionando la plata internacionalmente y que ejecutaran el proyecto – Rainforest Partnership. Su director ejecutivo Niyanta Spelman estuvo aquí en Perú el año pasado y ha visitado a las comunidades.

    Pledge – Compromiso.

    Los gringos comprometidos están apoyando con un dólar por minuto que bajo de 4horas y 13 minutos – que llegaría ser una velocidad de 6 min/km lejos de mis estipulados 3horas y media (5min/km). Mi razón por escribir esto también en castellano tiene tres objetivos.

    1.      Pedir de los lectores en Lima apoyar durante el evento este domingo. Necesito algunos voluntarios que podría pasar bebida energética en botellas de plástico en los controles de cada 4 km para así poder asimilar el líquido más efectivo sin tener que parar y perder validos minutos.

    2.      Levantar el perfil de conservación de los bosques andinos también en el Perú a través de un evento de este tipo. Si conoces alguien de la prensa que quisiera cubrir mi esfuerzo seria maravilloso.

    3.      Dar la posibilidad de hacer un “pledge” también aquí en el Perú. Para Peruanos estamos hablando en Soles en vez de dólares.

    Los diferentes planes serian los siguientes.

    • 10 Soles. Me parece que esto es una causa bacán y te apoyaré sea como sea con 10 soles.
    • 1 Sol/minuto que puedes cortar de 4 horas y 13 minutos.  Lo puedes hacer Gunnar. Por cada minuto más rápido que corres, yo donaría un sol mas. Que tengas esto en tu cabeza todo el tiempo!
    • 42 Soles. Eso es un Sol por cada kilómetro. Estas loco Gunnar, pero tienes mi apoyo para cada kilómetro que corres

    Si es que puedes donar en dólares mejor todavía. Para darte un idea de que velocidades hablamos aquí están algunos ejemplos.

    5.00 min/km da 3:30
    5.15 min/km da 3:41
    5:30 min/km da 3:52
    5.41 min/km da 4 horas
    6.00 min/km da 4h13min

    Que se haría con la plata?

    Desde 2000 que mi empresa Kolibri Expeditions comenzó a llevar observadores de aves (birdwatchers) a la zona, poco a poco la gente se han dado cuenta que el turismo podría dejar algunos beneficios. Hemos traído regalos a la escuela y hemos dado charlas informativas. Culminó todo el año pasado con dicho viaje a Mindo, Ecuador. Ya seria el tiempo perfecto para comenzar a mejorar la infraestructura y para eso seria los primeros fondos.

    Hay un salón en la escuela que presentemente se ofrece para pernocte. Hemos apoyado con baños y tubería pero falta mucho que hacer. Se podría implementar con camas y sabanas y hacer divisiones con paredes.

    Lo siguiente se puede lograr con diferentes montos.

    • 2000$ –  Implementar con camas y mejorar baño también con ducha y agua caliente con terma de gas en Apaya entre Mariposa y Carrizal  (2350m) y también poner comederos para picaflores como una atracción turística adicional. La comunidad puede de esta manera subir el precio de alojamiento de 5 soles por persona y noche a 20 soles.
    • 5 000$ –  Lo mismo que lo de arriba y también implementar una casa de  Mariposas en Mariposa (sic!). Hay colecta de mariposa no sostenible en las cercanías de Satipo. Con un criadero de mariposas podría ser un importante eco-negocio sostenible y mas adelante una atracción turística
    • 10.000$. OK. Estoy soñando pero quien sabe? Con un adicional 5000 dólares se podría comprar los materiales para construir una nueva casa mas apto para  albergue en Apaya para turismo y el precio de pernocte puede ser elevado a alrededor 35 soles por noche.
    • Con más financiamiento se puede organizar talleres para formar guías locales y entrenar recepción a turistas en Apaya.

    Con cada meta que se pueda lograr la presión al bosque disminuyera. Haga su compromiso, en la sección de comentarios de este artículo o escríbeme un correo electrónico a Estoy viendo la forma como coleccionar donaciones aquí en el Perú.  Lo mas seguro que habría una organización independiente que podrían cobrar las donaciones y pasarlos directamente a Rainforest Partnership. Posiblemente, South American Explorer’s Club podrían ser el intermediario neutral y sin lucros. Hagan sus compromisos y yo me comprometo de buscar un intermediario confiable.

    La carrera

    Lima Maratón - clic para ver un imagen mas grande.

    Lima Maratón - clic para ver un imagen mas grande.

    Estaré corriendo junto con otro birdwatcher en Lima – Juan Liziola – que no solo esta participando con una donación, sino también me ayudar mantener un ritmo que se acerca a la necesaria para calificar al Maratón de Boston. No es fácil, pero con el al lado que es mas rápido que yo me va a estimular mantener el ritmo durante 42km. Los primeros 24 km lleva mayormente bajada, pero los últimos 18km son prácticamente todo de subida elevando 110m.  Espero ver a los lectores de esta nota, allí en la calle animándonos y algunos voluntarios que nos pasen botellas de bebida rehidrante. El mecanismo para esto no estoy tan seguro todavía, pero se supone que es permitido tener amigos o familiares dando este tipo de apoyo en los controles autorizados para rehidración a lo largo de la ruta. Es sumamente difícil mantener el ritmo corriendo y beber por una copa. El viernes tendría más información, pero en todo caso avísame si puedes apoyar.

    Sigueme en Twitter

    Otro aspecto de la carrera es que voy a hacer un mensaje por Twitter cada 10km para indicar como estamos avanzando. Esto daría una indicación como nos va la carrera y si estamos manteniendo el ritmo. Si no estas en Twitter todavía – y sobre todo si tienes un iPhone, Blackberry o Smartphone, sugiero que te inscribes en y me juntas a mi  Aparte de esta utilidad, vas a encontrar varios otros interesantes aspectos del servicio de micro-blog.

    Yo usaría un nuevo hashtag #Lima42GE. Los que quieran reportar durante el camino cuando pasamos cierto punto pueden mandar un mensaje a Twitter con el tiempo y el kilometro donde pasamos. Así teniendo una columna “search” por la palabra clave #Lima42GE abierta en Tweetdeck o Seesmic desktop se puede seguir mi maratón en casi en tiempo real en cualquier parte del mundo mientras haya gente que mande los tweets con sus celulares.

    He hecho algunos manuales sobre Twitter en el blog (en ingles) que quizás les interesa.

    Amigos, nos vemos Domingo 31 de Mayo al partir de las 7 AM en la ruta. Tu apoyo es muy valioso. Go, Gunnar Go!

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    A birder on the run.

    Go, Gunnar Go!
    Go, Gunnar Go!

    If you wonder why I am writing about running on my birding blog, it is because I have made the marathon on May 31 to a fundraiser for Conservation along the Satipo road. If this is new to you, I suggest you check out my previous blogpost on the Marathon for conservation.

    Long runs

    Last weekend I ran a 32km run, which was the culmination of building kilometers in the short time (only 5 and half weeks in total) I had to prepare for the Marathon. The mileage and long runs prepare the body to endure and to get used to burning fat, when the glycogen stores become depleted. Depleted glycogen stores in the muscles is the physiological condition of the famous “Wall” that sets in around 30-34km for many runners. At this point you just have to slow down. The long runs have been deliberately slow at around 6min/km or more and gradually accustom the body to be able to endure a run that lasts more than 3 hours. Here are the long runs that I have logged prior to today:

    • Apr 26: 22km 2:20H @ 6:21min/km speed.
    • May 3: 26km 2:31H @ 5:48min/km speed. Training with Juan Liziola, who is also running the Marathon
    • May 11: 30km 3:03H @ 6:05min/km speed.
    • May 17: 32km 3:11H @ 5:57min/km speed.

    Training for Marathon speed.

    During that last long run I threw in 4 intervals of 2 km with 5min/km which is a speed I can maintain for quite long, but probably not a whole marathon. It is also the speed needed to qualify for Boston Marathon for my age group (45-49). The idea was to practice race speed in small portions during a very long run. After that long run I needed two days of rest for my muscles to be again ready for training. On Wednesday I made a 14.5 k marathon speed run at it went very well. I managed to hold the sub 5min/km speed through-out the course. The plan was to also run a marathon speed training session of 10-15km on Friday, but when I set off I noticed my legs were heave and stiff. I turned around at 2km and thus only made 4km. It was clear I needed more rest. Today it was dress-rehearsal. I had decided I should try to do a half marathon at 5min/km speed. Running a marathon is just as much running with your head as with your legs. If you know exactly how the course is laid out, it is easier to motivate yourself during the race.

    Lima Marathon May 31, 2009. Click on picture to see larger size.
    Click on picture to see larger size.

    During my training I have run on most of the roads mentioned. I know therefore, that after 1km of downhill, then comes two km of uphill, followed by mostly downhill of total 120m drop for 21km. This means that at the half marathon point the my time should be very good as it has been mainly downhill. Then real challenge begin. The last 18km contains total altitude gain of 100m, with 80m constant uphill during the last 8km. Therefore, I thought it was a good idea to do today’s dress rehearsal of the last 14km of the race. This prepares me well psychologically. I know what to expect. In total I ran 22km today fantastically well at 1:44:31 which makes a 4:58min/km speed. I know that I will loose time during the last part of the race, but I am also aware that I could qualify to Boston Marathon if I only could  maintain that same speed. I am now mentally prepared to run the Marathon next weekend. Hopefully, I can make a very good time to be able to raise more money for conserving the  birds and the forests along the old Satipo road. If you want to help me achieve this, please check out the pledge page.

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    How on earth can a marathon help conservation?

    Pledge: I will run the Lima Marathon 42.195km on May 31 after only 5 and a half weeks of training at 4h13min or less. 4 hours and 13 minutes makes an average speed of 6:00 min per kilometer, which is more or less the speed that I have managed on the long runs I have done  so far.
    But I aiming higher than 4 hours and 13 min and this is where you dear reader come in. I challenge you that I will run faster and you can help me to push my limits.  Let’s do this together for conservation. How? I tell you how! No you don’t have to run a marathon yourself, but I am sure you’d buy me a beer if I make it, right? In fact maybe you’d say that you’d buy me two beers if I shave 5 min from the stipulated time. If I shave 15 minutes you’d throw a party. Having a lot of friends and followers on the social media outlets and lists that I belong to, that could amount to a lot of beer for me to drink – and it would probably not allow me to do any more marathons (or birding for that matter) for a long time! Let’s convert your solidarity for my pain and suffering pushing the limit into a donation scheme for a good cause instead . The challange on your part is to donate 1 dollar for each minute I can shave off the 4:13 Marathon. The cause: Habitat conservation and supporting community eco-tourism project on Satipo road in Central Peru. See google map.
    View Larger Map

    The principal area for birding and the conservation project with the community is the stretch between Mariposa and Carrizales on the map ranging between 1200-3600m altitude.


    I am not new to Marathons – the 42.195 km race that represents the ultimate running challenge. I have run 5 so far. My first in 1982 and my last in 2000. My last one I ran after 16 years of absence in 3:37 in a very hot Cozumel.
    I have had a dream for a long time to run Boston Marathon – the oldest marathon in the US and the most prestigious. In fact this marathon is so popular that one needs to qualify. For my age-group 45-49 I  need to run a qualifying certfied marathon in 3h30min or less to be eligible for Boston. A bit more than 3 weeks ago, when I heard that the Lima Marathon would officially be ranked as an international marathon and thus serve as a qualifier for Boston, I was thinking that in spite of my lack of training I could give it a go. 3:30 makes an average 5 min/km speed. When starting my serious training at that point I was out of shape, but obviously not completely new to running. I had run only about 100km in the first four months of the year and now in only 3 and half weeks later I have run another 250km  A week ago however, I realized that I shall not make 3:30 this time. I have got the endurance to last the race, but not the speed. I would need another 5-7 weeks to build speed. My wife asked me: “so why do you run, if you won’t qualify to Boston?” The idea of running for conservation was born (cracked during training of course). A reason to go on in spite of not qualifying for Boston Marathon.

    The details of the pledge

    I hope to get at least 100 people to help out. You can choose to make pledges according to the following plans.

    • 10 dollars. I think this is a great cause, and will support you no matter what with 10 bucks.
    • 1 dollar/min shaved off from 4:13.  You can do it Gunnar! For every minute faster you run I will donate one dollar more. Have this in your head at all times!
    • 42 dollars. That’s one dollar per kilometer. You are crazy Gunnar, but you have my support for each kilometer you run.

    To give you an idea of the speeds involved for different finishing times here are some examples

    5.00 min/km speed gives 3:30
    5.15 min/km gives 3:41
    5:30min/km gives 3:52
    5.41  min/km gives 4 hours.
    6.00 min/km gives 4h13min

    It shall be fun to support, because I will be  posting  at least every 10km on Twitter during the marathon.

    I don’t know, but the whole thing may actually get some coverage in Peruvian press if I get it out through some Peruvian media.

    Rainforest Partnership

    For this to be successful and to channel the donations we need involvement of a recognized (and quite flexible) non-profit organization. Since similar pledges are not unheard of in the US, the US is the best base. Niyanta Spelman of Rainforest Partnership was in Peru last year checking out the Satipo road area making contacts with the community and is well aware of the needs and possibilities.  During this coming week, Rainforest Partnership will be informing of ways of receiving donations on their web-page and facebook page. Check them out to keep yourself updated.

    What can your donation achieve?

    Since 2000 Kolibri Expeditions have run birding trips to this area, but only a few trips per year. These trips have been quite rough, but we have supported the communities by using their communal schools as base for camping. We have brought school material, given talks about conservation, and small donations to install water and a toilet near the school. In spite of our effort, this can hardly sustain any major income for the community. Nevertheless, during these years awareness have increased, culminating last year when 3 community members were invited on a special trip with Kolibri Expeditions to Mindo in Ecuador to see with their own eyes what can be achieved in an area with same geographical conditions as their own. The same year they received visits from Rainforest Partnership and University of Huancayo was granted a conservation and research concession in their area.

    Now is the best time ever to start supporting the communities. They have a school building and a communal building that can be used as lodging presently, but there are no beds nor dividing walls. This is what we can achieve with different amounts.

    • 2000$ – Implementing beds and improvements of shower and toilet area in Apaya (2350m) as well as hummingbird feeders. The community can raise the current price per person for lodging of 5 soles per night to 20 soles (7 dollars).  That is me running 10 minutes faster than 4:13 and 200 people making pledge.
    • 5 000$ – the above and a Butterfly house/butterfly farm in Mariposa (which incidentally means butterfly in Spanish!!).  There is much unsustainable collecting of butterflies near Satipo.  With a butterfly farm it can become an important export business and it is sustainable. Later it will become a tourism attraction. I cut 20 minutes and run in 3:53 and 250 people make the pledge.
    • 10.000$. With an additional 5000 dollars would ensure the building material to build a new building at Apaya for tourism and price can be raised for lodging can be raised to 12 dollars per person and night.  I cut 25 min and we get 400 people to sign up for the pledge.
    • With additional funding we shall be able to do some workshop for local guides and how to deal with tourists.

    Every goal met will help to lessen the pressure on the forest and allow for an alternative way of subsistence.

    This old article give you a little bit more background on the Satipo road project. The trip to Mindo was done in April 2008 and huge success. In a future posting I shall upload the video to You Tube so you can see what we did there.


    I completed the marathon in 3h59min16s. 25 people made pledges. It gives an important addition to the Satipo road conservation project. Donations can be made on

    Additional later posts about the Marathon can be found here:

    The following people are in on the pledge:

      1. Brian Allen, Gran Rapids, MI
      2. Michelle Townsley, Ventura, CA
      3. Carol Foil, Baton Rouge, LA
      4. Dawn Simmons Fine, US (everywhere!) of Dawn’s and Jeff’s blog as they travel the US with their motorhome
      5. Janet Zinn, NY of
      6. Alan La Rue, Lima, Peru of Expat Peru. Learn spanish online
      7. Joe Church, Harrisburg, PA. Great pledge. Joe writes: On the same day of the Lima Marathon I will be running the San Diego Marathon. So here is a deal for your cause: I will pledge the $1/km or $42 no matter what for your marathon. I will also pledge $1/km for my marathon no matter what and $2 for every minute I exceed 4 hours or $1 for every minute I am under 4 hours.
      8. Antonio Coral, Massachusetts and Puerto Maldonado, Peru pledges $1/km. Thx Antonio. I told him I could knock it off his salary, because he is our main guide for Kolibri Expeditions’s Amigo research station program 🙂
      9. Bob Warneke, Austin, TX. Boardmember of RainForest Partnership.
      10. Stephen Greenfield, Minneapolis, MN.
      11. Lyn Nelson, Las Vegas, NV.
      12. Juan Liziola, Lima, Peru.
      13. Nigel Vouden, United Kingdom.
      14. Mark Egger, Seattle, WA
      15. Elizabeth Gross, Michigan, of Backyard Wildlife Journal
      16. Debbie Blair, Lexington, KY
      17. Phillip Brown, Santa Cruz, CA
      18. Domenic Tomkins from Expat forum.
      19. Olivia Gentile, NY. Author of “Life List” about Phoebe Snetsinger.
      20. Linus Thiel, Stockholm, Sweden aka @yesbabyyes.
      21. Christopher, Boston, MA. Owner of Picus blog
      22. Peggie Veggie
      23. Mary Ambler
      24. Stuart Starrs, Lima, Peru.

    25. Murray Honick

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    • RT @Kolibrix: Did anyone see this? R @reply Put an R in front of to make replies visable to everyone to bypass new Twitter rules. Pls RT #3% #
    • Does it work? #
    • Don’t forget #birdsaturday. Tweet @follow & RT events & birding posts, especially those valuable to newbies #
    • RT @GetAcaiJuice: RT @tweetmeme Top 8 Twitter Related Websites | social radical #
    • R @birdingbev That works too. “if you put the @ in the middle of the tweet instead of at the beginning it works too.” #
    • RT @MichDdot: RT @applemacbookpro Ashton who? @Zaibatsu’s Race to 500k – great post by @AmyVernon #
    • R@Scobleizer Put an R in front of to make replies visable to everyone to bypass new Twitter rules. Pls RT #3% Space not necessary? #
    • That worked as well, wonder if Scoble saw it? #
    • RT @alanmcbride: #followfriday@kolibrix@horukuru@tour_guide@fleur_refresh thanks Alan! #
    • RT @MaineBirder: #followfriday @rhappe @burdr @mmatm_red @TXBirder @Kolibrix Thanks! #
    • Teaser: I am running a marathon May 31 to raise money for conservation project on Satip road together with RainForest Partnership #
    • RT @MeticulousBob: #followfriday Birders @smido@Bembridge@boingbird@birdblogger@cedarwaxwing@birderwestcork@birdim@Kolibrix@chatterbirds thx #
    • RT @Yaarbiriah: #followfriday @hummingbird2 @balmeras @kolibrix @janieelarson thanks for the mention! #
    • RT @loic: Twitter and Facebook now compete with Google according to @mcuban he gets more traffic from them than Google #
    • I am getting off Twitter to go for my Friday run at 0.35 AM saturday morning….hmm #
    • #birdsaturday Anyone has mystery bird photos to be ID:ed? We’re a birders from the whole world to help ID. Use Twitpic. pls RT. #
    • RT @Jtraganos: Can somebody please explain to me why on earth somebody would have birdwatching as a hobby? I dont understand. #birdsaturday #
    • R @Jtraganos – it’s about estetics. Birds are wonderful beautiful creatures and many do something we can’t…fly #

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    Another Blog Carnival on travel

    As mentioned in a previous post I have been testing submitting to several blog carnivals at the end of April as an experiment if they really bring in any substantial traffic to my site. I am not going to reveal the results just yet, but instead present yet another travel Carnival (the first one Inspiring  Travel Blog Carnival I review here on May 4).
    Living in Peru – a popular tourism destination – not only for birders (Machu Picchu may sound familiar??), I decided to submit my post on The best 11 birds as tourism attractions in Peru to some travel blog carnivals. After all some birds are not only for birders and these make excellent poster species – and tourism attractions.

    I was happy to today recieve note of acceptance in yet another travel blog carnival. Nomadic Matt’s Travel Blog Carnival in its 18th edition.  While Inspiring  Travel Blog Carnival was for  a more comfort demanding public, this blogger is quite obviously targeting a public of backpackers and long haul vagabonds. It does contain some very cool blogs, which I will not link to from here, but mention so you jump over to Matt and check them out.

    • The l0ngest way home: about a guy on his way “home” – if he can find it – and has walked – yes walked from Portugal to China the last 4 years!
    • How to take a cab in Instanbul without being cheated
    • 8 signs that you are in Panama.

    Matt’s blog is a gem btw. Especially, for budget travellers. Wish I had this resource during my own vagabonding some 15 years ago.

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    Nate’s going crazy!


    Hosting the 100th I and the bird Blog Carnival is “Quite a milestone”! Nate of Nature Blog Network  is presenting it as the Oscar’s of Nature Blogging. I am sure the Academy will call him after this to be legendary presentation to also do the Academy’s Awards next year. Nate is a natural. A real talent for this kind of work. Over 80 awards given away with justifications and working links to this fortnight’s best nature blogging.  No wonder Nate is loosing it in the end. Great show Nate. I enjoyed it.

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    • If you followed my blog via RSS, the feed has changed to Pls update your reader! #
    • Holt moe! I’m running again. Surpringly no major stiffness from the 30K of Monday night. #
    • Just completed 17K and felt great. Eating Pizza. E is leaving me the boarders cause I need carbs, she says. #
    • RT @burdr: Video spoof, “Extreme Birdwatching” via Manic Attack #birds Could someone tell me WTF a hoatzin does in NJ? #
    • RT @diettogo: Eminem loses two stone thanks to booze-free diet #
    • Former KKK boss who twice ran for US president sets up home in Austria running a birdwatching business. #

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