Friday, December 31, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Just a few more days....and the 2010 i2P Amazon Youth Expedition will begin!
The United Nations has designated 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity and has presented the world with a unique opportunity to be engaged in an effort to safeguard the variety of life on Earth, and to showcase to future generations what species are left on the planet, what species are threatened and what species are gone.
To mark the Year of Biodiversity impossible2Possible has chosen the steaming jungles of Brazil’s Amazon Basin as the backdrop for the third stage of the World Expedition Series. The Expedition Amazon adventure will see four i2P Youth Ambassadors embark on a demanding journey through the Amazon Basin to raise awareness for global biodiversity. Selected from applicants across North America, these 4 adventurers will stretch the limits of what many think is possible as they trek, run and swim through the seemingly impenetrable jungle of the Amazon on an 8-day, 170 kilometer odyssey. Accompanied by i2P adventurers, including myself (i2P founder!) and many awesome members of the i2P Team, the young explorers will be challenged to face their fears and uncertainties - becoming the leaders and decision-makers - as they navigate through one of the most mysterious places on the planet. The Youth Ambassadors -modern-day adventurers, will communicate their experiences in real-time to thousands of students in classrooms back home and around the world via a BGAN satellite communication system in a unique peer-to-peer format that demonstrates i2P’s core educational philosophy of true Experiential Learning.
This third stage of the i2P World Expedition Series follows the 2009 Baffin Island and 2010 Running Tunisia Youth Expeditions that had over 13,000 students participating from across North America. i2P has teamed with educators, scientists, and advisors to create captivating educational modules that will bring over 15,000 students alongside the expedition team as they explore one of the most unique areas on the planet.
The four i2P Youth Ambassadors will push their mental and physical limits while educating thousands of their teammates in classrooms around the world. Another cool feature..the Youth Ambassadors are spearheading a “pilot project” for the i2P Experiential Learning Program, teaming with schools to complete research projects tailored specifically for the Amazon. In addition, Expedition Amazon will raise funding for a school construction project in the heart of a protected area of rainforest in the region of Santarem called the Floresta Nacional do Tapajos (FLONA). This region is home to over 22 communities that are in desperate need of adequate educational facilities and it is the hope of impossible2Possible that Expedition Amazon will be a catalyst for providing a safe learning environment for the children of this region.
Following in our tradition of pairing youth expeditions with extreme world-class expeditions i2P is announcing another epic journey to accompany the 2010 Amazon Expedition and Experiential Learning Program. In January of 2011, Kev Vallely and I will push the limits of our endurance by running the length of Chile’s 1100km “rainless” Atacama Desert. As we utilized on our 2009 South Pole Quest and 2010 Siberian Express expeditions, we will employ a fast, lightweight approach on a journey that is believed to be a unique endurance endeavor!!! We plan to run an average of more than 80kms a day (over two full-length marathons) in an attempt to cross the full length of the vast Atacama Desert in a 12-14 day push.
A Busy Fall!
Well, thats it for now! I will be on the road in between, speaking at various events about i2P and our programs. I was honored to speak at TEDx Dallas again this year, and will be speaking in Singapore and Mumbai at the Economist World in 2011 events. My topic will include the need to bring interesting and thought provoking learning opportunities into classrooms, and how we are seeing young people responding and doing amazing things everywhere as a result of these programs!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Monday, July 05, 2010
It's been an awesomely busy month for the i2P team. In June Ray and Bob went to Atlanta to announce the next expedition on CNN Backstory (check it out here): we're going to the Amazon!
We're looking for four young adults to join us for a 8 day, 200km trek in October. If you know an amazing young adult, encourage them to apply here (the deadline is July 18th).
We're also encouraging schools to register (for free!) for amazing educational resources about biodiversity. We already have over 3,300 students registered around the world, including the US, Canada, Kenya and India. If you know a school that would like to be involved, encourage them to register here.
The team is busy planning for the Amazon but we also have lots of other cool stuff going on- stay tuned for i2P updates!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I am asked so often what music i listen to on a run....the answer everything and it changes !!! All the time !
Today and lately i have been listening alot to 70’s rock. My tunes of choice...so many. One has really got me running. Flirtin’ With Disaster by Molly Hatchet. Crazy Southern rock band aka Lynyrd Skynyrd and Allman’s. Great running tune ! And really, when have we as runners not “flirted with disaster” at some point ? I know i have !
Especially on those long runs. I remember specific moments in my running when those thoughts of “collapse in a heap” have entered my mind. Will i get there, finish or will it be the end of my run right now ? I mean...can i go on ?
If i am honest, my body may say no- but my heart says yes. So on we go- at least until these legs won’t go one-two anymore.
Just recently i had the honor of meeting some folks training for their first 5km race. Goal- finish. Result- they did.
But i couldn’t help but remember that day Charlie, Kevin and I reached the Red Sea. Tears in our eyes, fatigue in our bodies. 111 days of sand in our hair...and shorts !
i remember thinking that this felt as difficult as that first 7 km ‘real’ run i did with my buddy Pat in 03.
We all, and that is whether we are running 5 kms or 7500 kms reach a point when we think we might quit. We do flirt with that line of not going back, of continuing when our bodies say no, and our hearts say yes. Thats the magic. That what makes us put one foot in front of the other. That’s skirting disaster by a hair.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
"Today is the last day of running for our Youth Ambassadors, they will finish their epic run in the Tunisian Sahara with a 12 km ceremonial finish run near the city Matmata. I will be waiting for them at the city limits with the i2P banner- totally pumped to see them complete their journey.
As with the Baffin Island expedition, these youth adventurers have inspired not only us, but thousands of students and people around the world. Kath, John, Doc, Marshall, and of course my adopted bro Bob all were here again for this Youth Expedition, and made everything work so well. The participating students and schools- thank you so-o-o much. Without you we have no expedition.
Fundraising continues for the water projects, and we will announce the results in the coming weeks. I am not saying goodbye just yet- we still have several blogs to come from Tunisia as the Youth Ambassadors visit Tunis and Matmata. Keep reading, and thank you for participating !"
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Today we made it into the dunes, which were incredible! The sand was lose and textured like flour, but absolutely beautiful! It felt like we stopped for photos every few steps. Our guide, Arida, decided to come with us on our run, in hjs long pants, sweater and cheche (pronounced sheesh). While running, he taught us traditional Arabic songs and games, and showed us a variety of different animal tracks including scorpion, scarab, camel and warthog. It was amazing to hear all his stories and learn more about the nomads of the Sahara!
We had another incredible lunch and after a brief nap, after a recommendation from
We just finished setting up camp in the sand dunes and will likely sleep very well tonight. Talk around camp is that we might be getting an Arabic flute show later on!
Another amazing day in the Sahara Desert!!
Monday, April 19, 2010
Today was our first full day running in the Sahara. After a long drive of about 2.5 hours, we began running in the hopes of reaching our goal of 42.2 km by the end of the day – a distance that neither Jill, Kajsa, nor Connor had ever ran in a single day before. The first 20 km was… muddy. The unbelievable lightning/rain storm the previous night had altered the land to such a degree that Jill was skating across the desert. We continued to move forward in the search of lunch – something that the youth ambassadors had been fixated on from km 15 – 20. When we finally crested the hill, we looked down upon the land cruisers and an outstretched blanket covered with sandwiches, oranges, dates, tea… and
Also check out this video from the team and this feature on CNN
From the Youth Ambassadors:
The day started out with a 1.5 hour drive with rockin’ Arabic/French music in Nardeen’s car to start where we finished yesterday. After a tough day yesterday, we made a collective decision to run 20 minutes, then do a fast walk for 2 minutes. Our goal was to make it back to camp, about 36 km, and everyone was feeling pretty good around lunch time, however, the heat of the day was beginning and we still had about 16 km to go. After lunch, we came across a herd of dromedaries (one-humped camels) and watched as Andy chased them around the desert in his attempt to ride one! As the heat pressed down on us, we tried to focus on hydrating properly and keeping a consistent pace while out on our own. Throughout the first two days, Kathy (Ray’s wife) had been running alongside with us and helping with pacing, but today, she deemed us ready to go out on our own and make our own decisions on proper speed for running a multi-day expedition. The heat was very hard to take the last 10 km, but we worked together to keep everyone motivated and could not have been happier when we crested the hill to overlook the camp in front of us. Back at camp, we had an interesting educational discussion with Doc Affleck about a variety of water issues as well as facts and interesting history about the theories of the origins of water. Ray had us do an experiment where we carried 12 litres of water around camp to get a feel for what it is like for children to carry water for miles on end that is necessary for their everyday life.