It all began with one man’s mission to run 50 marathons, over 50 days, for the 50th anniversary of the Two Oceans Marathon, but with a difference.
In collaboration with BirdLife South Africa, long-distance runner, Dave Chamberlain, will be running 50 consecutive ultramarathons to raise funds in aid of The African Penguin Relocation Project, culminating in the 50th Anniversary Two Oceans Marathon.
Quite a beakful, but it’s really quite simple. The more BirdLife South Africa raises through Dave’s feat, the better the chance of survival our beloved African Penguin has.
You can join BirdLife South Africa’s ambitious journey by pledging towards every run completed within the 50 days.
Come back daily for fresh content leading up to the Two Oceans Marathon, including updates from Dave, The African Penguin Relocation Project news, vlogs, and more.
You can lend a helping flipper to The African Penguin Relocation Project by donating for each run that Dave completes. In keeping with the theme of the campaign, you can donate R50 per run, or more or less. For each tier of donations, we have some gifts to say thanks - or as we like to say - flipper five for your support. Click here to donate through our GivenGain page, or contact Christina Hagen for more details. It really is a case of every little bit helps.
BirdLife South Africa also has a plan involving the “two oceans”. The project aims to create new African Penguin colonies in the Indian Ocean, relocating penguins from the Atlantic Ocean where they are struggling to survive.
Sardine stocks - African Penguins’ favourite food - have shifted from the west coast, where they have historically been more abundant, to the south coast. We believe this is due to a combination of changing ocean temperatures and high fishing pressure on the west coast. The shift in distribution has caused a problem for penguins on the west coast, as they can only swim up to 40 km to find food while they’re breeding.
Why can’t the penguins follow the fish? Because there aren’t any safe breeding areas on the south coast. When penguins breed on land, they’re vulnerable to predators like leopards and caracal. So they generally breed on islands which naturally don’t have predators on them. The problem is that there are no islands where the fish are now more abundant. So BirdLife South Africa is going to create safe spaces for penguins to breed on the mainland, in areas with lots of fish. Read more about the project here.
This former South African scuba instructor happened to discover his passion for running by happy accident – the result of a silly challenge over sushi.
In 2011 he set off for his first long run down the length of Argentina. Since then he’s crossed Canada and run through the Namibian desert to South Africa. For his next epic feat, he’ll be going the distance (2800 km to be exact) in an effort to secure a future for our bird buddies.
Break a flipper, Dave!
The Two Oceans Marathon is one of the most beautiful marathons in the world, following a route along the Cape Peninsula taking in breathtaking views of both the Indian and Atlantic oceans. Now in its 50th year, the event features a 56 km Ultramarathon, 21 km half marathon, and a number of trail and fun runs.