erik wardell wrote -
I'm running the Aspen Backcountry Marathon (a 26.35 mile long suffer-fest) in hopes of buying the community of Ambalona, Madagascar two shiny new treadle pumps. And now a quick Q&A to help explain this initiative.
Q: Have I ever run a backcountry marathon?
Q: Have I ever run a marathon?
A: Definitely not
Q: Have I ever run a half marathon?
Q: Have I sworn to myself on multiple occasions I would absolutely never run a marathon?
Q: Did I wear Wrangler husky jeans as a kid?
A: Sure did. You can refer to the picture of me trying to look like a stud at the age of ten after finishing the Bolder Boulder, the last distance running race I participated in.
Q: Why is that relevant?
A: Just trying to convey the point that I don't have the good fortune of being endowed with the physique, or natural talent, of a strong runner. As a matter of fact, I run more like a 80 year old than anything else. Reference "The Geezer" here.
Q: Do I really think I can do this?
A: Not sure, but it's for a good cause, so I'm going to sack up and grind it out.
Q: What's a treadle pump?
A: Please refer to IDE's website or the image of the Indian woman irrigating a rice field with this style of pump.
Q: Why treadle pumps?
A: Just over a year ago I visited the small community of Ambalona, Madagascar where Alpine Initiative's second major project is taking place. In assessing opportunities for furthering AI's work there, the leader of our partner organization recognized that a couple treadle pumps could be extremely beneficial in the community. Much of the arable land in Ambalona sits 1-2 meter above the river that flows through the village, which makes it extremely challenging to irrigate all the rice fields and the permaculture gardens that AI has helped build, especially the school gardens.
AI has agreed to buy two treadle pumps to help overcome this irrigation deficiency and now we just need to raise enough money to purchase these pumps from the manufacturer in India (which is where you come in), have them shipped to Madagascar and set up. A portion of the funds raised will also go toward the purchase of drip irrigation systems for the permaculture gardens at the school.
How you can help
In donating to this cause not only do you get to support the community of Amablona on their path to food system self-reliance, but you get to support me in my effort to finish my first ever marathon. Please give whatever you can! A dollar a mile would be stellar, but anything helps.
- My husky younger years
- Various from my trip to Ambalona
- Treadle pump example
- Aspen Backcountry Marathon course