In conjunction with Space for Giants, Tusk and Save the Rhino, ‘Running for Rangers’ are 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. Hundreds of 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.

In April 2015 a five person Running for Rangers team ran the infamous ‘Marathon des Sables’, a gruelling six-day, 250km multi-stage adventure race through a formidable landscape in one of the world’s most inhospitable climates, the Sahara desert. Twenty runners took part in the Safaricom Marathon across the stunning but challenging training of the Lewa Conservancy in Kenya in June 2015.

In their toughest challenge yet, an international team of 15 men and women are running the fearsome ‘Beyond the Ultimate’ Jungle Ultra in Peru. This will be a true test of endurance as the Running for Rangers team run 230km over 5 days through the jungle trails, mountain roads and village tracks, making their way from Cloud Forest down 10,500 feet to the Amazon Jungle below. Humidity levels will approach 100 per cent, and the runners will have to be self-sufficient, carrying their own hammock, sleeping bag, food and supplies for the entire race.  The fitness training leading up to the event cannot be underestimated – many months of physical and mental endurance will be required.

Together our runners have raised over $120,000 for vital equipment for rangers to date. We now have an opportunity to make a step change in the amount we can raise for rangers, and in turn protect the future of rhino and elephant in Africa.