It’s World Ranger Day today. A day to honour the brave people who put their lives on the line to protect Africa’s wildlife. The Rangers stand between Africa’s giants and the poachers who hunt them for profit.
It’s a fitting day for our runners to arrive at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy ready for the For Rangers Ultra. Runners have come from all over the world for this race and together they taking on this epic in support of the work of the Rangers under whose watchful eyes they’ll run through the coming days.
Their day started early with a coach pick up in Nairobi and an epic drive across Kenya. Over the course of the day, the scenery changed from a vibrant African city to rural communities, through farmland and eventually into the open plains of Laikipia County. Via a KFC on the way for a last taste of something resembling home.
On arrival at Lewa the runners were greeted with a military-style camp in a secure compound. Secure from everything except the monkeys at least who decided to pay a visit during the afternoon. There were zebras and other plains game wandering around the camp perimeter as the sun dipped low and the sky turned a deep orange over the horizon.
Each of the runners is signed in, kit checked and ready to take on their challenge. They’re currently chatting in the light of their head torches. There’s plenty of laughter as they trade stories of other races but there’ll likely be some restless runners tonight, their thoughts will be spinning with the task ahead of them and the thorough safety and medical briefings fresh in their minds.
As we get ready to sleep there are more stars over our camp then most of us have ever seen before. The sky is wide and crammed with points of light. The milky way is clearly visible spread over us.
Tomorrow the runners set off on Stage One of their journey. 38 kilometres of Savannah lies ahead of them. They bound to see some of this area’s giants as they make their way through the grasslands. At CP3 tomorrow they’ll even come face to face with the location which Pride Rock from the Lion King is based on. If anybody makes their way across the line tomorrow without having sung at least a few lines of Hakuna Matata it’ll be a miracle. Follow the race live here from 8am (UTC) tomorrow morning. Our tracking system will go live on our homepage at midnight tonight.
[arve url=”https://youtu.be/T5-hFnU8H0g” title=”For Rangers Ultra Testimonials – Adia Reece” /]