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16/08/2021 Events Ocean protection

Galapagos-Cocos Swimway Challenge

Between May and August 2021, we set the challenge to swim, walk, run, cycle, or wheelchair the length of the proposed Galapagos-Cocos Swimway route – 1125 km or 700 miles – where we raised over £4,500 towards our vital work.

Photograph of Beth Byrne

Beth Byrne

Former Communications & Marketing Officer at Galapagos Conservation Trust

Between May and August 2021, we set the challenge to swim, walk, run, cycle, or wheelchair the length of the proposed Galapagos-Cocos Swimway route – 1125 km or 700 miles – and we raised over £4,500 towards our vital work!

The Galapagos-Cocos Swimway is a vital migration highway connecting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, with Cocos island, Costa Rica. The challenge launched on 5 May at the start of the 2021 research expedition where our science partner Dr Alex Hearn and an expert team of scientists spent two weeks gathering vital scientific evidence to support the critical protection of this 240,000 km2 Swimway.

76 people from nine countries took on the challenge, including Ecuador, Colombia, the UK and the USA. Bronwen Cavallo joined in from Australia. “I completed 425 km of the challenge before my arthritis forced me to retire. A pound for each km! Fingers crossed for the Galapagos Cocos Swimway!”

The whole GCT staff got involved into two teams, Team There and Team Back Again, who finished the challenge in an impressive 23 and 28 days, raising almost £2000!

A person cycling with their arms up in the air. They have just finished the Galapagos-Cocos Swimway Challenge.
After finishing with GCT Team There, our Communications and Marketing Officer Beth managed to continue to do the challenge solo by cycling and walking the entire 700 miles. This photo was taken as she finished the final mile. © Nathan Harrison

Congratulations to Reece and Jas, who completed the challenge in 86 days, raised an incredible £770. We loved their team name: Reece and Jas Galapa-go Running.

“Last year, we got the opportunity to explore the Galapagos Islands. We wanted to give something back to help fund projects that support the Galapagos, and this was the perfect way! We really enjoyed challenging ourselves to run and walk 700 miles. It felt even better knowing that our hard work fundraised for this fantastic cause.”

Two people in running gear, they are smiling. They are just about to start their final run of the Galapagos-Cocos Swimway Challenge.
Reece and Jas just before they headed out on their last run. © Reece Collingbourne

The team at Travel Matters were also delighted to support us in this challenge – they even celebrated their success with an Ecuadorian meal cooked by Karen, the founder of Travel Matters and the Make Travel Matter campaign. “We wanted to support the challenge as it helps to support our campaign to ensure our clients and travellers are informed and educated about various challenges the Galapagos face.”

A huge congratulations to everyone who took part in the Galapagos-Cocos Swimway Challenge this year, and a massive thank you everyone who donated, we really appreciate your support!

The challenge is now closed. If you would like to donate to GCT, you can do so here.

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