Everyday, wildlife rangers endure difficult working conditions, challenging terrain and harsh climatic conditions in the line of duty to ensure that our rhinos and other endangered species are safe from the threat of poaching.
Earlier this month, the first ever For Rangers Ultra was held in five rhino conservancies in Kenya, with the ultimate goal of raising funds to improve the welfare of rangers. 46 runners from all over the world embarked on the grueling 230 km race spread over five days and crossing five different wildlife conservancies, with the final stage being held on Ol Pejeta Conservancy.
The course of the race wasn’t for the faint hearted, with the landscape between the conservancies ranging from steep sided ravines, rolling hills to the open plains. The fact that the competitors had to carry their own food, medical supplies and equipment throughout the five days made the race even more challenging. However, the runners bravely endured the conditions to ensure their goal of improving the welfare of rhino rangers was met.
The winner was Italian Fransesco Rogodanza, who crossed the finish line at the Equator on Ol Pejeta, where he was handed a medal by 2016 Olympic marathon gold medalist Eliud Kipchoge. Coming in second place was Italian Allessio Zambon with American Abe Nelson finishing in third.
We would like to thank all the people who participated in the For Rangers Ultra; putting themselves through a thoroughly punishing endeavour in order to help improve the welfare of the people on the frontline of wildlife conservation. We’d also like to thank For Rangers, Beyond the Ultimate and Save the Rhino International for organising such a novel way of raising funds for rhino rangers. So far, they’ve raised nearly US$ 120,000 which will go towards improving the welfare of rangers.
We look forward to hosting an even bigger edition of the Ultra Marathon next year. If you are up for a really big adventure, registration opened today for the 2019 For Rangers Ultra. There are only 7 days to sign up.