Just seven weeks ago I found out I have a place in the Royal Parks Half Marathon on 8th October 2017. I'd thrown my name in the hat earlier when Helping Rhinos contacted supporters, but with a very limited number of places available, I didn't make the selection.
Then, out of the blue, I received another email asking if I was still available. Without a second thought I said yes. In my mind 13.1 miles didn't seem that far, it's not like I had signed up to a full marathon. That said, I've never stuck to a regular exercise plan for any length of time, so I vowed to start training straight away.
As soon as I hit the streets it became very apparent that a half marathon is quite a big deal. I've had a few wobbles over the last seven weeks, wondering how on earth I'll be ready. I've been out a minimum five days a week and no matter what stage I'm at when race day finally comes, I will complete the course in the best time I can. The cause I'm doing this for is so much bigger than the nerves I have or any expectation of how quickly I should reach the finishing line.
Rhinos are facing a more than uncertain future. Numbers have rapidly decreased due to poaching and threats to their environment. The Black Rhino is critically endangered and the Northern White Rhino is on the brink of extinction with only three left in the world, one male and two female.
It's devastating that we are in this situation and often I feel so helpless and hopeless. But there is hope and we mustn't give up. Helping Rhinos is a charity that is dedicated to rescuing and protecting rhino, leading initiatives on anti-poaching and preservation of their natural habitat.
Helping Rhinos is proud to partner with Ol Pejeta Conservancy (OPC), an area of about 400 km2 in the Laikipia region of northern Kenya. It is home to the largest population of black rhino in East Africa, and the last three northern white rhinos in the world, including Sudan, the most eligible bachelor in the world.
Ol Pejeta teamed up with Tinder to create the campaign 'The Most Eligible Bachelor'. Funds raised will be used to suport ongoing research into Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) being carried out by a consortium of institutions. Once perfected, this technology, and in particular in vitro fertilization (IVF), will help achieve successful pregnancies to gradually build up a viable population of northern white rhinos.
Keeping our wildlife safe is not cheap, which is why fundraising is so important. By taking part in this half marathon I can raise much needed funds to support the work of this fantastic organisation. If you want to help you can make a donation on my fundraising page. It's so easy and all money goes direct to Helping Rhinos. You can also add gift aid if applicable.
Alternatively, you can sponsor Sudan himself by visiting https://www.helpingrhinos.org/most-eligible-bachelor/ or why not sign up to easyfundraising and raise free donations every time you shop online?
Of course raising money is key, but this is also about generating awareness. So if you want to help save these amazing creatures please share my post and let's get the message out there before it's too late.