Mike's Grand Adventure Fundraiser
Updated: Mar 10
I have been living and working in the South African bush for the past 17 years, as a guide, field ranger and owner of Siyafunda Wildlife and Conservation volunteer project. I have a beautiful fiancée and I have two beautiful daughters. I have a passion for running and it is something I am blessed to be able to do in my spare time, I have completed 7 Comrades Ultra Marathons to date. I met Tess Geddes, the race director of the Grand to Grand Ultra 3 years ago and she has finally convinced me to take the plunge into doing this race, to say it is daunting is an understatement.
On 20th – 26th September 2020, I will take on the huge challenge of running the Grand to Grand Ultra, a self-supported foot race in Arizona and Utah, USA – 275 kms in 6 stages over 7 days. Self-supported means I will be carrying everything I need for the week in one backpack, i.e. food and mandatory equipment. All the organisers provide are water at checkpoints and tents at the end of every stage.
The Grand to Grand Ultra is one of the toughest stage races in the world. It is the only stage race to start from one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the awe-inspiring north rim of the Grand Canyon, and finish on the summit of the Grand Staircase, one of the world's most iconic geological formations. The course takes you through a high desert landscape of sand dunes, red rock slot canyons, buttes, mesas and hoodoos.
I have entered the Grand to Grand for the challenge for myself, to inspire my two beautiful daughters, and show them that no matter how daunting a challenge, you should go for it, and have no regrets, the idea of failure should not stop you . Along the way I hope to inspire others, but ultimately, I want to use the event to raise funding for rhino protection in South Africa and to honour all the men and women and animals who are out on the front line fighting for the rhino 365 days a year, night and day pushing them to their mental and physical limits. The short 7 days of trial I will experience seems small compared to those endured by these brave heroes..
Rhino have been steadily killed in South Africa since 2007 for their horns and even though the past couple of years has seen some decrease in their killing, the fight to save them is far from over. My chosen charity is The Rhino Protection Trust. This Trust has been set up by my mother, sister and our friend Maggie. The trust is 100% volunteer run and no money goes to salaries, everyone involved takes time out of their lives to support it and raise awareness and funding.
The Trust’s main beneficiaries of the funding is K9 Conservation, the Makalali Land & Wildlife Trust and Rhino Revolution. They all work to conserve rhino in the Lowveld region of South Africa. The funding is specifically going to:
- Tracking collars for rhino
- De-horning rhino
- Telemetry equipment
- Digital Radios
- And the associated costs for this of helicopter hire and veterinary cost
Why we do the above is always to be able to locate the rhino. Knowing where they are means K9 Anti-poaching teams can be with them to protect them. De-horning, while sad to see, reduces the incentive for poachers to risk killing them as there is minimal horn on the animals. All these operations are ongoing and the funding is needed yearly.
My goal is to raise $15,000. Please get behind me and rhino, any amount is welcome and makes a difference.
You can donate via The Rhino Protection Trust website https://www.rhinoprotectiontrust.com/, See bank details for Electronic Transfers or Paypal link.
Or if you want to take advantage of tax deductions you can donate via Rhino Revolutions website http://www.rhinorevolution.org/.
Please use the following reference for all donations G2GMike so we can keep track, thank you.