22-24 February 2019: THREE CRANES MULTIDAY CHALLENGE, SOUTH-AFRICA
(date to be confirmed)
The Karkloof Conservancy was officially formed on the 19 March 1998. The Conservancy is made up of local landowners interested in the protection of biodiversity in the Karkloof and has been actively involved in a number of community projects in the area for the past 13 years. The Karkloof Conservancy covers an area of 40 000 hectares in the Karkloof, KwaZulu-Natal. The area includes wetlands, grasslands and huge tracts of forest, which are all protected biomes.
The farmers of the Conservancy participate in various environmentally friendly farming practices, ensuring that they maintain their alien invasive plants, their soil, the fauna, flora, and the environment as a whole. Some of the farmers are registered crane custodians and all 3 species of crane occur in the area.
Some of the projects that the Karkloof Conservancy participates in include annual game counts to monitor the game in the area such as the endangered Oribi.
The Conservancy has also worked closely with local conservation organizations such as the Endangered Wildlife Trust, KwaZulu-Natal Crane Foundation, SANBI, Enviro Watch, Wildlands Conservation Trust and the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa.
The beautiful Karkloof valley is the breeding ground of South Africa’s endangered Cranes. Sadly, all three of South Africa’s Crane species are in decline due to man’s relentless exploitation of their delicate habitat.
Cranes are large, beautiful, long-lived birds that have inspired awe among people since the earliest times. They are the most elegant of all birds and their trumpeting calls and carefree, bounding courtship dances are evocative of our wildest places. The lifelong devotion shown by mated pairs has resulted in them traditionally being revered as symbols of peace, happiness and longevity.
Due to their large size, distinctive behavior, extensive territories and cultural significance, cranes have served as flagship species in many conservation efforts throughout the world. They provide the incentive to conserve the wetlands and grasslands upon which many other less charismatic, but equally important species, also depend.
Sadly, cranes are rapidly retreating in the face of man’s relentless exploitation of our planet, and crane populations have plummeted over the past two centuries. Without our concern and careful management, many species are doomed to slip into extinction. Already seven of the world’s 15 species of crane are Critically Endangered.
By running the Old Mutual Three Cranes Challenge you are helping to conserve KwaZulu-Natal’s endangered Crane species.
Over the course of 3 days, you’ll cover over 100K in and around the breath-taking Karkloof Nature Reserve.
The run will incorporate roads in and around the Karkloof Nature Reserve, and you can expect easy off-road tracks through forests and grasslands, some trail running through beautiful misty forests and magnificent views as you run along the Gilboa escarpment. The night run will add a new dimension and adventure to this challenge and promises to bring out the adventurer in you!
A single base camp will be set up, and each participant will be accommodated in his or her own tent for the duration of the challenge.
Registration opens in August.
17-18 March 2018: SHEVAROY HILLS ULTRA, INDIA
The Chennai Trekking Club (CTC) is a non-profit volunteer-based group of nature and trekking enthusiasts in South India which organizes outdoor events during nearly all weekends of the year. Yearly the group cleans up the entire Chennai coastal line over 15km with thousands of volunteers.
CTC’s green wing Ainthinai planted and nurtured 14 thousand trees in and around Chennai in the past 4 years with a survival rate of 75%. Ainthinai organizes frequent green activities including tree plantations, cleanup drives, zero-waste initiatives, terrace gardening, organic farming, tree walks and environmental sustainability awareness drives including the Chennai Coastal Cleanup and annual Green Day.
This active and large community also raises awareness of nature, outdoors, adventure, photography, wildlife and conservation with their treks, a major trekking symposium and their races.
The Shevaroy Hills Ultra is a 2-day 80K Ultra in the enchanting Shevaroy Hills near Salem on March 17-18.
You will be running through lush green coffee plantations, rolling hills and chill mountain climate at 1000-1500m altitude, beautiful single trails offering stunning valley views, bonding among like-minded ultra souls, dirt tracks connecting remote tribal villages, detox body and de-stress the mind, camping below the stars and refreshing showers.
Location: Shevaroy Hills, India
Race terrain: trail, mountain
Race distances: 80K, 2 stages
Race info: #ShevaroyHillsUltra.
1 August 2018: FOR RANGERS ULTRA, KENYA
Running for Rangers is a dedicated group of individuals who run marathons and ultra marathons worldwide to raise money for the welfare of the rangers who risk their lives daily to protect elephants and rhino in Africa. Both of these iconic species are under threat of extinction because of illegal poaching – the demand for rhino horn and elephant ivory is rising and both command high prices in South East Asia. 100 African elephants are slaughtered each day by poachers; and in South Africa, which has by far the largest population of rhino in the world, an estimated 1,215 were killed in 2014 alone.
With the rising prices of ivory and rhino horn, poachers have become ever more determined and motivated, using high caliber assault weapons and sophisticated equipment to operate at night. Often poachers come from an underworld of illegal gun runners, involved in all facets of gun-crimes including human trafficking, drugs and terrorism.
The rangers who protect rhinos and elephants operate in tough, dangerous conditions, and cover vast areas on foot each day. In order to be effective, they need top-quality clothing that is suited to the warm days, cold nights and tough terrain, and sophisticated equipment to allow them to track and apprehend the poachers. Running for Rangers raises funds for good quality military clothing and specialist equipment which is not available in large areas of Africa, and organizes its importation and distribution.
For Rangers Ultra is a 230km race split into 5 stages crossing five wildlife conservancies. Each has its own characteristic terrain from verdant grasslands to forest; the playground of East Africa’s iconic wildlife.
Runners should expect company. Under the watchful eye of the rangers you’re there to support, you will encounter the diverse wildlife of these incredible conservation areas. The trails through the grasslands will be baking and the terrain through the rocky hills and riverbeds will be rough underfoot. Undulating between 1500m and 2000m above sea level the habitat and conditions vary hour by hour.
As a self-sufficient race, you are responsible for carrying your entire kit, including food, safety equipment and a minimum of 2.5 liters of water which can be refilled at checkpoints along the stages. You’ll need some specialist gear to take on this challenge.
You’ll spend each night under canvas at our base camps under massive skies full of stars.
For Rangers is seeking sponsorship in the form of donations or gifts in kind to cover the costs of the trip, so that all the money raised can be used to support the rangers. The runners come from several different countries, including the UK, New Zealand, Tanzania, USA and Kenya, and are available as speakers at events.
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