1000km Balkan Charity Challenge - the duathlon beyond

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Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go

This sentence by T.S. Elliot describes quite well the 1000 km Balkan Charity Challenge. During the way back from Sofia to Bucharest we will plant “a living fossil” plant – Ginkgo or Metasequoia in the public areas which are starting/ending points of every day run. This will be a small, but not symbolic only, contribution for the people and the Planet.

Once upon a time there was a saying: “While thinking for survival people sow rice. While thinking for enjoyment people plant vine. While thinking for Eternity people plant Ginkgo.”  

Ginkgo biloba and Metasequoia glyptostroboides

Ginkgo biloba and Metasequoia glyptostroboides are both considered “living fossils”. Both of them have been included in the Red List of Threatened Species of The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources: Ginkgo bloba with a conservation status “endangered”,  Metasequoia glyptostroboides with a status “critically endangered”.

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo iloba is a unique tree without any living botanical relatives. It has been classified in a separate category Ginkgophyta, which contains the class of Ginkgoopsida, order of Ginkgoales, family of Ginkgoaceae, genus Ginkgo, and to this day it is the only living species belonging to this category. Ginkgo biloba is one of the most well-known examples of “a living fossil.” It is also often called Maidenhair tree, Ginkgo tree or just Ginkgo. Four Ginkgo trees have survived after the atomic explosion in Hiroshima, only about 1-2 km away from the site of the explosion. Ginkgo iloba species has been included in the Red List of Threatened Species of theIUCN(The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). Although Ginkgo trees are commonly planted and cultivated, the species is endangered and at risk of losing its biodiversity. Ginkgo iloba is among the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world. Nevertheless, it has been known in the West for a relatively short period of time (several decades). Its medicinal properties have been used in Chinese medicine for ages. Ginkgo leaves contain 198 active ingredients, which: decrease cholesterol levels, maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, eliminate free radicals, stimulate the brain, and improve memory. According to Marianne Beuchert, German researcher of Symbolic meanings of plants, Ginkgo biloba is a symbol of Invincibility, Hope, Longevity, Fertility, Sympathy, Friendship and Adaptability.   Metasequoia glyptostroboides, the Dawn Redwood, is a fast-growing, critically endangered deciduous tree, sole living species of the genus Metasequoia, and one of three species of conifers known as redwoods. It is native to the SichuanHubei region of China. Although shortest of the redwoods, it grows to at least 60m in height. It is another good example of “a living fossil”. Metasequoia has experienced morphological stasis for the past 65 million years, meaning the modern Metasequoia glyptostroboides is identical to its late Cretaceous ancestors.   Vasil Dabov aka Ginkgoplanter, born and living in Bulgaria, has been sowing, planting and growing Ginkgo biloba trees since 2005. Until recent time Vasil succeeded to grow over seven thousand Ginkgo plants. In 2010 he started sowing Metasequoia plants. Vasil managed to grow in his farm over 350 Metasequoia seedlings which are 2.5 years old and between 1 m and 2 m tall. In 2007 Vasil created the web site www.GINKG.Org which contains information about Ginkgo biloba. Since 2007 Vasil has been involved in voluntary planting and taking care of Ginkgo plants in public areas in the territory of Bulgaria. In 2010 he participated in planting 750 Ginkgo plants in public parks in Romania. In 2012 Vasil planted the first publicly available in the center of Plovdiv Metasequoia. The m.a. Ginkgo plants in the public areas for the time being are 76 distributed as follows: Sofia – 51, rest of the country – 25. One third of the income from the sale of Ginkgo and Metasequoia plants Vasil dedicates to projects for planting and taking care of Ginkgo and Metasequoia plants in public areas in Bulgaria. Vasil is raising funds for transplanting 300 Metasequoia seedlings. Everyone is invited to sponsor this noble project.


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5th edition: 29 OCT - 08 NOV 2016

   left until 2016 edition!

Online Donations:


Raised so far



Last donations:

name Challenger amount
Melon Inc Valentin Velikov 1020 Bgn
Anonymous Friend Valentin Velikov 40 Bgn
Eyes-Open Eyes-Open Valentin Velikov 200 Bgn
Eyes-Open Eyes-Open Stanimira Georgieva (Tania) 200 Bgn
Eyes-Open SRL Eyes-Open SRL Stanislav Georgiev 1000 Ron

Donations deadline: November 20th

After this date donations on the fundraising pages will not be possible any more!

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