Underberg – Having missed out in 2016, Cape Town ultra-trail runner Kane Reilly will make his Rhino Peak Challenge debut this year when the event takes place on World Rhino Day 22 September in the Southern Drakensberg.
The 24 year-old Salomon athlete has been very aware about the plight of the environment but admits that he has never specifically targeted one event as a means to grow awareness and through his participation in the Rhino Peak Challenge he hopes that he can play his part by raising funds through his personal pledges.
“I spend so much of my time outdoors that I have developed the belief that it is important to conserve what we have,” Reilly said.
“Whether that conservation be for endangered species or for heritage sights, it’s vital that we do our bit.
“I wasn’t able to take part in the event last year and Spurg (Flemington) has made sure that I am involved this year and I am really excited to be giving it a go for such a worthy cause.
“The Rhino Peak Challenge provides me with an easy opportunity to promote conservation through doing what I love.”
Despite being based in the Western Cape Reilly has made the trip up to the Drakensberg on a handful of occasions, and says he is looking forward to this being his first time tackling the 21km round trip to the Rhino Peak.
“We have such incredible mountains in the Western Cape that we often don’t travel, but I have been to the Drakensberg before for a few training runs while on holiday.
“I am excited about running through the Drakensberg because it is much bigger than anything we have here and I have heard that the views from the top of the Rhino are awesome.
“It will be competitive once we get going but I think that the whole theme of the event is getting like-minded people together for a good cause,” Reilly commented.
The event is based around the public placing pledges on the athletes that they want to support. These pledges are then linked to the runner’s cut-off or goal time by means of a multiplication factor.
So for example, if someone pledged R10 on a runner and that runner then ran 20 minutes under their goal time then the pledge would be multiplied by a factor of 20 meaning the donation would equal R200. The multiplication factor is capped at a maximum of 45.
There are numerous ways in which athletes are able to spread the word to garner pledges for their efforts at the 2017 Rhino Peak Challenge and Reilly will be tapping into his social media following to increase his pledge numbers.
“I spend a lot of time on Instagram documenting my life and racing and people will be able to follow me there to learn more about how to pledge.
“This will be my main focus but not a lot beats word of mouth and I hope that I can spread the word through sponsors, friends and family,” he added.
One of the innovations introduced by the organisers Running Man Adventures encourages the invited participants to put up a unique prize as an added incentive for people who make a pledge on that particular participant.
This year Kane will be offering a prize from his sponsors Salomon, Fresch Lifestyle Cafe as well as his friends at Red Bull.
For more information, visit www.rhinopeakchallenge.co.za.
To pledge for Kane Reilly head to the Rhino Peal Challenge website pledge page here –http://www.rhinopeakchallenge.
Follow Kane on social media here: