Underberg – With the Endangered Wildlife Trust in the minds of all those who took on the 2016 Rhino Peak Challenge, the howling winds and tough conditions did not deter the athletes who ran and hiked the 21 kilometre route and raised around R309 331 for the wildlife projects.
With a generous total in his mind before the event kicked off, event organiser Spurgeon Flemington believed that if all the athletes and their pledgers came to the party then they had a chance of raising a substantial amount but not as substantial as the final figure they achieved.
“It wasn’t quite a ‘pie in the sky’ estimate but we thought that if all the athletes and influences could get R500 a minute and they all went half an hour under their times then we could get close to R 300 000,” Flemington mentioned.
“We exceeded that quite comfortably in the end which makes us incredibly happy and myself and Matt (Goode) have to now send out over 1000 emails to the people that pledged.
“These numbers are great so we hope that all the people that pledged money will back up their efforts.”
The unusual pledge system was a unique concept as it forced people to look at the event a little deeper when deciding to pledge money in support.
“We wanted to make the event as much about awareness as about money raised and with quite a complicated pledging system in place it was designed to force people to read more in-depth then they might if it was purely a donations based event,” said Flemington.
“With that said we have been really pleased with the take up after the event and we have been asked by around thirty people how they could go about donating to the cause after the event.
“The awareness garnered at the event and afterwards has been really satisfying with our social media awareness growing and being shared amongst the athletes, their families, friends and beyond,” a satisfied Flemington added.
Conditions might have been tough on the day but the smiles and positive energy that surrounded all that took part was palpable with the cause transcending all the pain that might have been felt and the response from the professional athletes and influential people alike was positive.
“We had all the athletes coming up to us after the event thanking us for such a great event but we weren’t too sure how to react as they are the ones that raised the awareness and the money through their efforts before and during the event.
“It was really positive for us that so many of the athletes and the influential people have already booked off World Rhino Day 2017 to take part in the event again!
“Raising money and creating awareness about the plight of our engendered species in South Africa was at the heart of the event and having all the people that took part pursuing a common goal was really satisfying and made the planning and execution all worth it in the end,” commented Flemington.
For more information, visit www.rhinopeakchallenge.co.za.