British runners raise £60,000 to protect endangered rhino

A team of British runners has completed the first ever ultra-marathon across Kenya to raise funds for an anti-poaching unit that protects endangered rhino.
 
Five runners from London-based Save The Rhino ran the gruelling 150-mile “For Rangers Ultra” across five days in the Kenyan wilderness, raising more than £60,000 in the process.
 
The money will go towards training and equipping the rhino rangers who put their lives on the line every day to protect Kenya’s rhino population.
 
A total of 50 athletes completed the challenge in 30C (86F) heat and were greeted at the finish line by the 2018 London Marathon winner Eliud Kipchoge, who presented the medals.
 
“This has been a phenomenal race to be part of and will go a long way towards raising funds and awareness of the extraordinary work these brave men are doing to keep rhino safe,” said Save The Rhino chief executive Cathy Dean.
 
The rangers guarded the entire route to ensure the runners were able to complete the rural course safely. Each competitor had to carry their food, water, sleeping bag and a medical kit on their back throughout the race.
 
Africa’s rhino population has been decimated in recent years due to an insatiable appetite for rhino horn products in countries like China and Vietnam.
 
An ounce of rhino horn now fetches more than gold on the black market as a result, with criminal gangs roaming countries like Kenya in the hope of killing the animals.
 
“We’re fighting back,” said Pete Newlands, a former British soldier who trains the rangers.
 
“Our guys now have the equipment, the technology and crucially, the firepower, to make a difference.
 
“These gangs aren’t coming onto our lands for a picnic, they’re coming to kill rhino and the message is clear – we will respond in kind.”
 
Some 67 wildlife rangers have been killed by poachers in Africa in the last year alone.
 
“Rhino runner” Liz Winton from Oxfordshire has raised thousands for the project and described the race as “a truly unforgettable experience”.
 
She said: “Seeing where the money goes and seeing these guys with the proper kit needed is incredible. We want future generations to be able to see rhino in the wild. Now they stand a chance.”
 
The race was organised by Sheffield-based Kris King from ultra-running company Beyond The Ultimate, with 50 runners taking part from the UK, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Kenya.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *