At the end of September NCM’s Chairman, Henry Chaplin, travelled to Africa to attempt the ForRangers Ultra. The run is 230 kilometres long (nearly six marathons), spread over five days and involves carrying all of your own food, gear and water along rough terrain with lots of hills! Below Henry tells us more about the challenge and the reasons he chose to do it:
“My natural environment is about 40 degrees colder up a mountain somewhere so this run was very much new territory! What’s more, the ForRangers Ultra is the only ultra-marathon in the world where you are supported by armed men (over 100 of them) because the whole route goes through the middle of five conservancies full of wild animals. They pre-fly the route each day with a helicopter to clear it of big cats, rhino, buffalo etc but you still see lots of wildlife whilst running which is a good way to keep your mind off the pain in your legs…
This ultra is jointly organised by Save the Rhino (where I have been a trustee for six years) and ForRangers. You are probably familiar with the statistics - it is estimated that 3 rhinos are killed every day by poachers for their horn (made of the same stuff as your fingernails) and over 50 rangers fall victim to these same gunmen every year. Save the Rhino is making a really meaningful impact on this, notably on looking after the sustainable populations, and a huge proportion of funds raised has a direct impact on the ground. The race is run through the middle of five of Africa’s most iconic game reserves – Lewa, Borana, Lolldaiga, Ol Jogi and Ol Pejeta.
If anyone would like to donate, I am trying to raise £10,000 pounds which I know is a tall order but I haven’t done a major fund raising exercise since the Himalayas with Walking with the Wounded in 2012 so please give generously! We are at nearly £8,000 already!
Donate directly to the charity through https://www.justgiving.com/Henry-Chaplin (the picture is of one of my sons, George, hugging a rhino in Swaziland). If you would rather send a cheque, please send it to my office at 7 Melville Crescent, Edinburgh EH3 7JA made payable to Save the Rhino International.”
For more details about Save the Rhino, please go to http://www.savetherhino.org/
And for those interested in the race https://beyondtheultimate.co.uk/ultra/for-rangers-ultra/#!/2019