Inca Trail Runner

to this blog’s feed

I’m compelled to share this video for a few reasons: 1) its direct
relevance to geography, 2) perhaps relatedly—its capacity to evoke fond memories of
a former National Geographic education coworker (and, incidentally, housemate) 3)
its application to emergent web 2.0 technologies, and 4) its value as an
entertainment and inspirational piece.

1. The video is one in a series
following a young man’s quest to run an ultra-marathon along the Inca Trail
from Cusco to Macchu Pichu, the famed UNESCO World Heritage site in the
highlands of Peru.
Nick hopes to raise enough money to build a school for an orphanage in Lima. At 54 miles and
12,000 ft., it’s no feat for the faint-of-heart. In the clip, Nick discusses the
challenges of attempting to train at sea level. That’s geography for you, as
are the reservations he expresses about trying to communicate in Spanish—especially
considering that in this particular region of Peru, locals are likely to speak
Quechua or another native language and may not speak Spanish at all (a fact
Nick fails to consider)! I love the traditional pan flute music audible throughout the short three-minute segment, as well as an especially humorous highlight near the end in the form of a ‘cultural’ exchange about
guinea pigs…

2. Nick’s story reminded me of a
former coworker, we’ll call him “Morris,” who traveled to Peru this past
summer. Morris hiked the Inca Trail and raved about the stunning diversity of
the physical and cultural landscapes and the friendliness of the people he
encountered. Morris was also one of the most physically fit individuals I’ve
ever met: I could easily see him running an ultra-marathon through Peru–especially
to promote the dual causes of education and cross-cultural understanding! Though Morris is undoubtedly a much better soccer player than Nick seems to be, they share the tendency of joining personal passion with altruism: a
valuable lesson for us all (and an occasion, if I may, to remind you once again of the Donors Choose Challenge).

3. I found this video on the website, to which
I was referred  by a friend who examines trends affecting Generation Y. Created by Al Gore and others, “Emmy award-winning
Current TV has been the world’s leading peer-to-peer news and information
network. Current is the only 24/7 cable and satellite television network and
Internet site produced and programmed in collaboration with its audience.”

That is, Current TV is a REAL television
channel that features (primarily) user-generated and edited content (via the website). Pretty cool—and
certainly of interest to those of us who target our audiences through blogging,
viral communication, and other innovative online technologies.

Check out the video and let me
know what you think! Then watch some of the other programming and Tell us:
Would you continue to watch Current TV?


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4 thoughts on “Inca Trail Runner

  1. I wonder if Nick will take altitude sickness pills? Most “gringos” do, even if they’re just visiting the region. Or, they drink mate tea, hailed for its abilities to abate symptoms.

  2. Very interesting video. He’ll definitely benefit from doing some acclimatizing at altitude before starting the run, because at some points he’ll be approaching 14,000 feet! 54 miles is a long way but I can’t think of a more beautiful and challenging way to do it!

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