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 Post subject: Skukuza Half Marathon
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 4:50 pm 
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The Skukuza half marathon was run last weekend. I believe the front runners had to be picked up and kept in safety for a while, (in a suitable vehicle) due to lions in the area.
Does anyone know the full story?

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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:02 pm 
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Thanks, it should be an interesting story. I heard one year of how a giraffe carcass had to be cleared away before the race.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:37 pm 
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@ Karin ... please accept my humblest apologies for any mistakes made in the translation and the wording ... your Afrikaans article was excellent.

Wild@Heart's Attempt at a decent translation of the article wrote:
Lions have athletes on the run
By: Karin du Plessis

8/8/2005 5:19:00 PM

SKUKUZA Three athletes that took part in the yearly Skukuza Sterling Half-marathon had a thrilling camp-fire story to tell.

The leading three of this popular marathon, of which a 1000 athletes partake yearly, received the fright of the live at around the 14km mark on the Kwekery (nursery) road got the fright of their lives when 3 Lions were lying lazily and made themselves comfortable in the middle of the road.
Luckily they were noticed by a motorbike rider who was riding in front of the runners and slammed on brakes!
The nearest ranger who was doing duty on the route was called and chased the Lions off before the race could continue.
The result was that one group of runners finished together and it was decided to award the leader at the 14 km mark as the winner.
The rest of the athletes were not affected by the incident and some of them even expressed regret at not seeing the Lions.
It was quite something considering there were so many runners on the route.
The Lions were not the only animals that caused problems.
On the Friday night a herd of Elephants caused chaos in the Skukuza village on the route to be used.
The elephants left the area early in the morning and before the race started were chased further away by a helicopter.
Broken trees and branches were the silent reminders of their earlier presence and runners had to literally run over the fresh dung that littered part of the route.
According to Josie Knight, chairperson the Marathon club this is precisely why participants from all over the country want to take part in this prestigious event.
And this year they were not disappointed.
There were enough animal interaction and adventures to satisfy their wildest dreams.

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 Post subject: Skakuza half marathon
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 11:31 pm 
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I am going in big here.
I will be in the Park in August. If memory serves me, it is half marathon time.
Does anyone know how I might get entry.. and when is this big moment??

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Unread postPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 4:21 pm 
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macho mouse wrote:
To all runners out there, take note :P Not much can compare to this.
This is really a runners dream :D or have I got it wrong again?

Sorry, but yes, I truely believe Kruger is neither the place nor anything else for a marathon of any kind.
I am not a runner and never will be, I admit, but come on, what would the consequences be if some runner were to be taken out by an animal, surely this is supposed to be their domain and we are talking about helicoptors chasing them off and rangers being called in to remove lions from the road. :shock:
My feelings are that there are there are enough places for running races to be held and let Kruger remain a wildlife sanctuary for the animals and them alone, with us merely the spectators.

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Unread postPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 4:27 pm 
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Freda wrote:
I agree with you, Elsa :)

Me too! Sorry MM :wink:


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Unread postPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 8:23 pm 
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The Marathon does not go through the Park, but Skukuza Village. There is one small section that incorporates a bit of Park road. There is also a very strict limit to the number of runners participating and stringent rules regarding litter ect.
The proceeds of the race go towards conservation. I know of runners who get corporate and private sponsorship and raise thousands for the Park.

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 Post subject: Re: Skakuza half marathon
Unread postPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 8:33 pm 
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macho mouse wrote:
Does anyone know how I might get entry.. and when is this big moment??

I googled around MM and found this: Kruger Park Marathon Club
Looks like you are too late to enter: closing date for entries is 30th September 2005 :?
But at least you know where to look for next year. ;-)


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Unread postPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 8:51 pm 
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Thanks Gwen. I went in and browsed and it was really interesting.
For the unconverted, Freda, Jose, Elsa, dip into the article and it might put your mind at ease. It really is a community experience and from reports I have recieved from various individuals, it unites the villiage residents and brings in a different dimension.

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Unread postPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 9:02 pm 
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I'll certainly have a better look, MM but in spite of it being limited to Skukuza village, I am still rather reluctant when it comes to bringing more or less "large scale" public events into a National Park. For me it somehow doesn't feel right. Just my personal opinion. :wink:


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Unread postPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 9:07 pm 
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They actually bumped into a lion last year.
Quote:
We will not accept entries sent in on behalf of "Mothers-in-Law" for next years race!


On a more serious note, The history of the KNP marathon club is quite an interesting read.

Quote:
National Parks Board to hold a half marathon within the confines of the village of Skukuza, as long as the principles of the National Parks Boards towards nature conservation were not violated.
......

The half marathon involves practically all the inhabitants of the village of Skukuza. The water tables are manned by the primary school, the army and SAB. There is a monetary prize for the best water table as well as an interesting trophy - a brass tap mounted on a local piece of wood. The best water table is chosen by questioning a random selection of runners after the race.


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Unread postPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 9:21 pm 
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I must agree with Elsa and Jose.
If there is a half marathon in and around Skukuza village, then I feel it should be limited to KNP Staff ONLY.
Sorry MM.....

I know there is a big Golf week there, this week, Am not sure about that one either.

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Unread postPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 9:37 pm 
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Hmmmm, read the article on the history of the race and ya, while I have to agree it does look all organised, 1000 runners is an awful lot of pounding feet which must surely impact and cause a fair amount of disruption and risk to the animals where they leave the village and run around the L panic area.
But I guess my little 'ol opinion is not going to change history, so as Jose, I'll just have to live with it and hope that nothing ever goes awry and nobody gets hurt in the interim. :roll: :)

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Unread postPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 1:13 am 
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my 5 cents worth. I am sure for the 1000 runners who do partake in this adventure it is fun, and it might be a really good noddy badge to carry around, but I must agree with those opposed to this. I think it is foolish and yet again the wildlife will come up in second place. There are many ways to raise funds for conservation, putting animals at risk is not the way to go. If any of those lions lying in the road had attacked and injured or killed one of those runners, what would of happened. Without doubt the lion would have been destroyed. Now how fair will that be???? Guys if you want to run, why not run from one gate to another (outside the park), or something like that, bu tplease leave the park to the exclusivity of being a wildlife reserve.

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Unread postPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 8:42 am 
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Nico wrote:
Sorry, one word....STUPID. :evil:


Ditto :!:

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