On World Rhino Day, the 22nd of September 2015, a small group of South Africa’s finest Trail Runners were asked to ascend the iconic Rhino Peak in the Southern Region of the Maloti Drakensberg World Heritage Site. While establishing new FKT’s (Fastest Known Times) for the Rhino was a partial objective the main focus was to raise awareness, in a unique way, to the plight of Rhinos as well as the other endangered habitant of the Rhino Peak itself, the Bearded Vulture. These two very different creatures are a powerful symbol for South Africa’s threatened species and having these elite runners doing something special on the only Peak over 3000m in the world that resembles a Rhino sent an unprecedented message on behalf of the conservation community.
In 2016, in line with the plan to launch off the foundation of 2015, the participants in the Rhino Peak Challenge (RPC) were increased to 2 teams of 12. The first group consisted of 12 of SA’s Elite Trail Runners and the second group comprised of Persons of Influence (POI’s) from the world of Sport, Conservation and Entertainment. Using the FKT’s established in 2015 of 2hr45 and 3hr25 the Elite Men and Ladies were given cut-off times of 3hr30 and 4hrs respectively for their runs while the POI’s were allowed to set their own goal times.
A system was then set up whereby each runner had a profile on the event website and the public was able to pledge an amount on one or more of their chosen participants. This pledge was 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.
The day went off extremely well despite the gale force winds. New FKT’s of 2hr34 and 2hr45 were established by Rory Scheffer and Holly Page and all of the participants raised substantial amounts of money totalling nearly R 300,000.
After the success of 2016 the same core model was adopted on a permanent basis with a few minor changes.
The first of the two changes was the implementation of a maximum pledge factor of 45 and a minimum of 10. This meant that anyone who ran faster than 45min under their goal time had their multiplication factor capped at 45 and anyone who missed their goal time or were unable to complete the challenge had their pledge multiplied by a minimum of 10.
The second change was the offer of lucky draw prizes by the participants for anyone who pledged on them. Thus anyone who made a pledge would go into a draw for the prize that the person on whom they pledged had offered.
The format for RPC2020 is going to be quite a bit different to that of previous years. This is mainly as result of Covid-19 and the delays and restrictions it has imposed.
In the past we invited 3 groups of 12 influential people from the worlds of Conservation, Sport, Business and Entertainment to take part in the Challenge. Each person was tasked with sourcing pledges from their respective networks and these pledges were made prior to the event and paid after the event. The format was very successful and resulted in over R1.5m being raised for our beneficiaries over the past 4 years.
This year however, we have decided to open the opportunity to 36 members of the broader public to be a part of the Rhino Peak Challenge and have asked people who are interested in being a RPC Ambassador to send us motivations as to why they’d like to join the fundraising effort. A condition of their application needs to be a commitment to raise a minimum of R10 000.00 as part of their participation in RPC2020.
The response has been terrific and we will be revealing our 36 Ambassadors on the Profile Page in early November. Please feel free to support our Ambassadors and the RPC by choosing to make a donation on one or more of them. The details of the non-profit bank account as well as the references required can be found on the Participants page.
We hope that you will get behind RPC2020 and our Ambassadors.
If you would like to apply to be a RPC Ambassador please send your motivation to email@example.com