Aussie Runner Leads the Pack in the Virtual Ultra

It is such an incredible thing when people from all over the world go out of their way to support our rhino conservation efforts. Melissa Singleton, from Queensland Australia, is one such person. She had the privilege of visiting Ol Pejeta some years back and met Sudan, and this inspired her to want to play her part in raising awareness about rhino conservation. A committed running addict, our announcement of the Virtual Ultra Marathon in December 2017 provided the perfect opportunity for her to support rhino conservation on Ol Pejeta.

Since the Virtual Ultra began in January, Melissa has been ahead of the pack for most of the race and has currently covered an astonishing 1,182 kilometres in 4 months! Her daughter Zahra and husband Brad have been supportive all the way; helping her blitz the course in record time. This leaves her only 63 kilometres away from finishing the marathon circuit. Such a phenomenal accomplishment; we salute you!

The Virtual Ultra Marathon is a collaborative project between For Rangers and Ol Pejeta Conservancy that allows anyone, from any part of the world, to help support rhino conservation while getting fit. Over a year, participants run or walk the collective distance between all of Kenya's rhino conservancies and parks - a total of 1,245 kms.

So far, Melissa has raised $348, leaving her quite some way from the target of $1,000 she was to raise by the end of the race. You can donate here and help this amazing conservation champion achieve her goal. All donations will go towards supporting the brave men and women who put themselves in harm’s way every day to ensure our rhinos are safe.

In addition to being a setting the pace on the Virtual Ultra, Melissa will be visiting Ol Pejeta (again) in July through our volunteer programme.

“I am most excited to be on the ground with the boots and paws who make a difference every day. I can never articulate my gratitude for the role of the anti-poaching dogs and rangers and all the staff at Ol Pejeta as I believe the approach taken to conservation is so multifaceted and innovative, it is no wonder numerous awards have been achieved.”

You can check out the Virtual Ultra leaderboard here and donate to support these special men and women who are putting their bodies under extreme stress to support the men and women who risk their lives on a daily basis to ensure rhino populations continue to grow.