13 June 2012

Running with Rhinos

Lewa Marathon (photographer unknown)

Ok, I'm back!  Just thought you'd like to know about our island's upcoming marathon on 30th June, which will be my first.  My housemate and I are training for the race together and most importantly we are raising money for Tusk Trust, an organization that "uses wildlife conservation as a catalyst to alleviate poverty, reduce conflict, and improve education and livelihoods in rural areas rich in biodiversity." 

The race will be held at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, so yes, we'll be on the lookout for lions, rhinos, etc.  

Some background:  

By day (and often night), we both work on a water, sanitation, hygiene, and nutrition research study that aims to evaluate the impacts of such interventions on children's health.  By dawn and dusk, we can be found on the trails around town, bushwacking, falling, getting chased by kids, running into bats, holding breaths  running past latrines, getting lost, spotting snakes and chameleons, and saying habari to befuddled locals (crazy mzungus!).  
Some of what we invariably hear during these adventures includes: 
"Mzungu, how are you!"
"Let me run with you!"
"You give me your dog"
"Where are you going"
"Well done well done well done"
"Practice make perfect"
"One heart, one peace brotha"

Considering the nature of these runs, it's no suprise that we have just now gotten around to fundraising for the marathon and Tusk Trust.  There are less than 3 weeks until the marathon (my  first and his umpteenth), but that is plenty of time to think about how you love safari animals and care about the people whose livelihoods are intricately connected to them.  Please donate to help protect this delicate balance.  
More details about the marathon are below.
Thanks for your consideration! 

My housemate the thru-hiker... he has crossed the country four (4) times on foot.

I like to hike too.  Ok, this trail is about 1/1000th of the distance of the AT or PCT, and I did half of it.  

My housemate the ultramarathoner.
The only marathon I've done is one where I can coast down hills.
 Ahhhh, look at that: together after a bike race.  He won, I got lost (and last).
 Our fuel.  
 WHOA!!  Look at that!  It's a baby rhino!  And it's running!  This is the clincher, so I'll post the donate link  again.

More about the Lewa Marathon and Tusk Trust:

TUSK's  13th Safaricom Marathon and Half Marathon will take place at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, 140 miles north of Nairobi, on Saturday 30th June 2012. Organised by Tusk Trust and supported by Safaricom, this fundraising event will host 1,000 runners from 20 different countries. The Safaricom Marathon is regarded as one of the ten toughest marathons in the world. However, participants of all abilities take part, from recreational runners, walkers and amateurs, to professionals like former world record holder, Paul Tergat.
The event is run through some of Africa’s most beautiful scenery. Mount Kenya lies to the south and there are breath-taking views north towards Samburu and Mount Lololokwe. The heavily protected 65,000 acre wildlife sanctuary is home to over 100 rhino, herds of elephant and vast numbers of plains game including zebra, giraffe, buffalo and much more.
The impact of the event has been huge and the benefits tangible. Since its inception, the event has raised over $2.5 million for projects across Kenya. Tusk Trust has been a conservation partner to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy since its creation twenty years ago, and has always shared a common goal to use wildlife conservation as a catalyst to alleviate poverty, reduce conflict, and improve education and livelihoods in rural areas rich in biodiversity.