Rhino Peak Challenge Media
Written by: Nick Tatham
Rhino Peak Challenge out to smash records in 2017
Underberg – 22 September marks World Rhino Day and the third edition of
the Rhino Peak Challenge that sees 24 people from elite ultra-trail
athletes to sporting celebrities and conservation heavy-weights tackle
the Southern Drakensberg’s Rhino Peak to raise funds for the Endangered
Wildlife Trust (EWT).
This unique event sees the participants raise funds via a pledge system
that is linked to the time it takes for each runner to complete the 21km
round trip up and down the Rhino Peak.
The Elite athletes are given set Goal Times for the run while the
‘People of Influence’ are allowed to choose their own Goal Time. The RPC
is a 100% fundraiser with no expenses deducted and all funds
administered transparently through the EWT.
Of the 12 elite athletes that are taking part, 2016 winner, and holder
of the fastest known time (FKT) up and down the Rhino Peak, Rory
Scheffer will be back to take part in the event again this year.
Along with Scheffer, there will be a number of first-timers taking on
the RPC with the likes of Kane Reilly from Cape Town, Johardt van
Heerden, Martin Dreyer’s Change a Life Academy pair of Mthobisi Mzolo
and Siyabonga Ngcongo as well as Taryn Lopez from the KZN North Coast.
The event will also see the debuts of two FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon
winners in the forms of Sbonelo Khwela and Hank McGregor.
Khwela, who uses trail running as an important part of his base training
during the winter months, has been bracketed in the elite athlete’s
bunch and has been set the target of 210 minutes to complete the 21km
McGregor, who recently won his tenth canoe marathon world title, will be
taking on the Rhino Peak Challenge with his wife Pippa, who completed
the Cape Town Marathon last weekend will be looking to get up and down
in 300 minutes.
Rugby World Cup winning captain John Smit will also be making the
journey on Friday and the Springbok icon has given himself 420 minutes
to make the round trip.
Two men that are heavily involved in adventure racing in South Africa,
Gary Green and Glen Haw, will also be taking on the challenge. Haw took
part in 2016 and he will be joined by Old Mutual joBerg2c partner Green.
The beauty about the Rhino Peak Challenge is the integration between
elite athletes and conservationists. 2017 will see a wide variety of
passionate conservationists taking part to help both the rhino as well
as the endangered Bearded Vulture.
Manager of the black rhino expansion project for Ezemvelo Wildlife Dr
Jacques Flamand will be taking part as will Ezemvelo Wildlife ecologist
and manager of the Bearded Vulture Captive Breeding Programme Dr Sonja
Krüger – who will be involved for the second year in a row.
Continuing on with the conservation theme, a number of rhino
conservation champions will be taking part, including Dennis Kelly and
Kelly, who has been with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife for 14 years, beginning
as a Wilderness Trails Officer for 2 years, and then as Section Ranger
for 10 years in the Mkhuze Game Reserve, is now managing the Makhamisa
Section of iMfolozi.
Being a Section Ranger Kelly is very involved in Law Enforcement
operations, and over the last few years rhino poaching has become a main
focus. However, he mentioned that he is exceptionally passionate about
vultures and is keen to do more for vulture awareness and conservation.
Ncube, who has over 10 years’ experience tracking rhino, is not only
heavily involved in rhino conservation but also in community awareness.
He is also very involved in community conservation education, where he
teaches kids the importance of the environments and game reserves. He is
in direct touch with conservation work and therefore can give a true
picture of conservation to the youth.
Pledges for the runners will be taken right up until the last runner
crosses the finish line.
To make a pledge on one or more of the runners in the RPC before the
22nd of Sept please go to the website at
Click to download the hi-res
Challenge logo - jpeg
The leading men from the 2016
Rhino Peak Challenge, Lucky Miya (left) and winner Rory Scheffer (right)
on top of the Rhino Peak. Scheffer will return to defend his title in
2017 on World Rhino Day on 22 September.
The North Face/Mountain
Splendour's Su Don-Wauchope (left) and Racefood's Tracy Zunckle, will
both be present at the 2017 Rhino Peak Challenge on Friday, 22
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