Runners in this year’s Virgin London marathon were greeted with sunshine and clear blue skies on the the morning of the marathon. The Save the Rhino team met nice and early in Greenwich Park which was buzzing with excitement and nerves before the race.
We had our largest ever team of 71 runners in this year’s marathon, including 15 running in our famous rhino costumes. It was fantastic to see so many of our runners before the race as they popped by to say hi on the way to their start. During the hour prior to the race our team of volunteers set about fitting our rhino runners into their costumes with plenty of padding, safety pins, tape and vaseline. Our rhino team attracted huge amounts of attention even before the race began and with rhino runners commencing from all 3 start lines (red, green and blue) we had the whole start covered.
Our team joined 37,500 other runners and were cheered on by the supportive crowds lined along the whole route. The rhinos attracted a fantastic amount of attention and were featured on several news highlights of the race. Family and friends of the team were great at dashing across London to cheer the runners at different points along the course.
We set up our rhino picnic area at the end of the race in St James’s Park and welcomed the team at the finish with a beer and well deserved massage. Our first runner to finish the course was Andrew with a very impressive time of 3hr 4 mins, this was closely followed by several other team members – including some for whom London was their first ever marathon. Our first rhino to finish the course was Rhino Vinny, who finished in 4hr 17 minutes creating a new rhino record! We had runners joining us throughout the afternoon, and even heavy rain showers could not dampen the amazing atmosphere. All of our runners finished the course with our last rhino who danced and entertained the crowds along the route finishing around 6pm.
Our Save the Rhino marathon team were absolutely amazing this year and we are really lucky to have such a fantastic group running and fundraising for us. The team have raised around £60,000 so far with sponsorship continuing to stream in (the final totals will be announced at the end of May). Money raised by the team raised is hugely important in allowing us to continue supporting our rhino conservation projects across Africa and Asia
Once again a huge thank you to all of those who the 2012 Virgin London marathon for us!
Save the Rhino marathon team in the news
Rhino John was featured in the main marathon coverage in the Guardian, click here to see the full story
Rhino Paul has a great photo in the London Evening Standard, click here to read the full story
Rhino Vinny appeared in the Metro paper the morning after the race and the rhinos were also featured on the BBC marathon highlights.
Image credit: Russel Pearce