On Saturday, 21 May 2016, four crazy South Africans will be taking the plight of our rhinos to the heart of China. This is being undertaken in an attempt to spread awareness, stimulate education and raise funds for this amazing species.
Brad Schroder, Greg Canning, Panayota Galanakis and Wilna-Marie van Staden, who currently all hail from the Vaalwater area of Limpopo Province, will be running the 42 kilometre Great Wall of China Marathon. Even though the Great Wall Marathon is deemed by runners to be one of the most difficult races in the world, Brad and Greg will be taking it a step further by running in rhino suits.
In the event that these crazy South Africans have not had enough punishment, two days after the marathon, they will then fly back to South Africa to tackle the second part of their challenge on 29 May 2016 – Brad and Greg will be running the 89-kilometre Comrades marathon and sharing the task of wearing the rhino suit over its course.
Brad and Greg are both passionate conservationists and have made their careers in this field. Combined they have both actively been involved in rhino conservation for the past four decades. The rhino keepers and fellow runners, Panayota and Wilna-Marie, are both passionate about rhinos and see this cause as close to their hearts.
“We are looking for one million AMAZING people to donate only R1,” says Schroder. “These small amounts add up quickly and will allow us to achieve our goal of raising ZAR1 million. Be one in a million and make your small contribution to this amazing cause. Please ask family, friends, colleagues, clients, school friends and anyone else you can think to donate this R1. YOU can make a difference!”
Braam Malherbe, a well-known conservationist, extreme adventurer and motivational speaker, is endorsing this initiative. He achieved a world-first with David Grier when he ran the entire length of the Great Wall of China – a distance of over 4,200km – at the pace of a full marathon a day for 98 days.
Malherbe says: “It is really an honour to have been approached by Brad and his team to endorse this fantastic initiative. Any initiative to save this iconic and keystone species from extinction should be supported. What stands out for me here is that the team are putting their bodies on the line and are simply asking the public to D.O.T. – Do One Thing – for very little. Everyone can afford R1.” says Malherbe. “Every South African is a custodian of the rhino and it is, in my view, our moral collective responsibility to be part of the solution. It is a genuine war out there and one does not win a war without resources, and resources cost money. This is a simple, easy and effective way for each one of us to do one thing for the rhino.
All funds raised will go directly to rhino conservation through Save the Rhino International. 50% of the funds raised through Save the Rhino will go towards rhino-related conservation projects including protection, security and education initiatives in the Waterberg area of the Limpopo Province. This will be managed by Save the Rhino International and Welgevonden Game Reserve NPC.
Money donated to this cause will be collected via JustGiving. This guarantees that all donations will go directly to the cause and will ensure complete transparency.
Malherbe concludes by saying: “In the natural system you are either an asset or a liability. We, as a human species, are not exempt from this simple principal. Here is a fantastic way to show you are an asset. Please support this noble cause.”