Student Running 150 Miles Through Peru

Posted on: November 5, 2013

Abbie-NewtonOne hundred fifty miles on foot through eight ecosystems in six days - that is the challenge one College of Communication Arts & Sciences student faces.

Abbie Newton, sophomore journalism major, and four other students from around the world will run close to a marathon a day through the exotic Andes Mountains and Peruvian Amazon as part of the Impossible to Possible (I2P) Peru Expedition Nov. 5-10.

The expedition begins today at the top of the Andes at an elevation of 11,000 feet and will descend into the Amazon basin through forest trails and rivers.

Along the way, the ambassadors will educate Peruvian K-12 students about resiliency, ecosystem services and financial literacy.

"If I had the chance to inspire people like I've been inspired in the past, I thought why not - it's a fantastic opportunity to give back," Newton said.

The student ambassadors will check and record oxygen saturation of water, observe mosquitoes and their service to the ecosystem, and create a curriculum for the K-12 students.

"They will be looking at the services and benefits the Peruvian ecosystems provide," said Bob Cox, I2P Executive Director.

The exercises will be edited and sent to Peruvian classrooms.

The student ambassadors also will visit two indigenous communities that will share their culture and how they survive in the modern era.

Newton said the best way to find out about a different country is diving right into the culture and its people.

"My eyes may get tired from how much I'm trying to take in and comprehend," she said.

The I2P mission is to educate, inspire and empower the world through knowledge and experience to make a positive change.

Newton has been training for the trip since August.

"As a student everybody is busy," she said. "I had my tennis shoes, a water bottle and my workout clothes in my bag at all times so I was ready to drop my stuff and go whenever I found one or two hours."

A three-sport athlete in high school, Newton said I2P offered her the opportunity to challenge herself both physically and mentally.

She was selected among a nationwide group of college students ages 18-22. The four other students doing the 150-mile trek include one student from South Dakota, two from Canada and one from Australia.

Impossible to Possible hosts three expeditions a year, two for students that are based on I2P founder Ray Zahab's past expeditions and one for world-class athletes.

Newton is actively involved at MSU as a host for Impact 89FM radio station, a professorial assistant and Associated Students of MSU Vice President of Special Projects.

To follow Newton along her journey through Peru, check out the Student Hub where updates from her will be posted.

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