‘Bucket list’ challenge to raise rhino funds

2015-09-28 10:39

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Pietermaritzburg - Underberg's “Rhino the Peak Challenge”, is a unique mountain trail challenge to raise funds for rhino conservation.

Spokesperson John Northard said in a press statement the challenge’s visual and symbolic association with the rhino, as well as the challenge being in a World Heritage site, makes the race “one of the planet’s most sensational phenomena”.

“Our mission is to make capital of its status and develop the brand for the benefit of rhino conservation and our World Heritage Site trail maintenance,” said Northard.

He said wilderness trail running had become hugely popular around the globe and received significant sponsorship.

“The tourism spin-off will also provide a vital boost to the southern Drakensberg economy.”

The challenge coincided with World Rhino Day on September 22.

“Four of South Africa’s best trail runners, a team of seasoned mountaineers and 14 learners and their mentor from Felixton College were tested by nature’s elements, altitude and exhaustion in their bid to summit Rhino, The Peak,” said Northard.

“Every one of them set a benchmark performance record.”

He said the men’s trail running team of AJ Calitz and Johardt van Heerden achieved the fastest registered time of two hours 45 minutes, which is 25 minutes faster than the old record.

“The women’s trail running team of Tracy Zunckel and Su Don-Wauchope completed the Challenge in three hours 25 minutes, which was an extraordinary time and the first registered time for women.

“Local grade seven learners and their teachers summited the peak over a three-day period earlier this year,” said Northard in the statement. “The challenge will be held on World Rhino Day each year to raise the status as a ‘bucket list’ challenge.”

Income for rhino conservation will be generated throughout the year by trail runners, mountaineers, schools, corporates and families.

The registration fee is R450 of which R100 is allocated to rhino conservation. Visit their website, www.rhinothepeak.co.za for more information.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  rhino

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