For Rangers Ultra – Day 2 (see day 1 blog)
Standing in the queue for security the nerves have worn off, slightly, I’m last in the queue and I hope my pre-arranged travel is still waiting for me when I get through to arrivals. I hope everything goes swimmingly with my bags arriving. Not because of my belongings, but because I’m carrying thank you gifts for our supporters here in Kenya.
It all works out well and Charlie, my taxi driver, picks me up and takes me to the wildebeest eco-camp, where I expect to see about 25 of the runners and 10 of our race medics. After my orientation, I drop my bag on my bunk and head for the communal area. I find a group of runners and introduce myself, although they can guess who I am as I’m wearing my Save the Rhino t-shirt! The nerves are now gone. This is really happening and everyone is here. I’m where I like to be, with nice friendly people.
We quickly get through the small talk, ‘Drinks anyone?’, ‘How was your flight?’, ‘This place is nice’ and straight into the important stuff. The race, where it is and why we’re all here. I hear stories about other races and how this one might compare. Everyone is excited and enthused. Spirits are high and the main concern seems to be pack weight and kit list. It’ll be fine, they all agree.
As I’m not running the race, my input here is different. I have the privilege of telling those who don’t know all about ForRangers and Save the Rhino, letting them know about recent grants that have been made with their fundraising. As I leave after dinner, I remind everyone that tomorrow is World Ranger Day and let them know they’ve raised an extra £50,000 for incredible rangers.
Tomorrow we head for Lewa and a full kit inspection, its an early start. A few more runners are due to arrive later in the night. I hope they make it and get enough rest.
As I head for my tent I think to myself ‘wow, people are awesome’. At Save the Rhino we like to meet as many of our supporters as possible and I know a lot of them enjoy meeting us. For me, it’s the best part of events.
The team have so far raised more than £50,000 to support rangers on the frontline. You can follow the race here and support the real heroes, the rangers, by making a donation.