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Media Release: Addo Elephant Trail Run

18 March 2006

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Today, 38 runners are competing in the Addo Elephant Trail Run. The event includes a 100-mile (160 km) and 50-mile (80 km) race through the Addo Elephant National Park.

The 100-mile race begins in the arid northern section of the Park at Darlington Dam while the 50-mile race begins in the town of Kirkwood.

Contestants will end the grueling trail run in the main camp of the Addo Elephant National Park.

Bruce Arnett

The trail run has once again attracted international interest from France and Holland, as top South African trail runner, Bruce Arnett, defends his number one 100-mile position from last year.

The Addo Elephant National Park is sponsoring two local runners, Michael Hendricks, last year’s 50-mile winner, and Chris Antonie, who took third place in the 50-miler. In addition the Park will sponsor entrance fees for Michael Ngunyana, another Kirkwood Local. Sponsorship will greatly assist these locals, who last year competed without the aid of proper running gear, impressing all with their success.

Contestants will cross the Zuurberg Mountain range in the park with its breathtaking views and pristine fynbos, grassland and forest vegetation. The runners will also keep an eye out for some of the Park’s Big Five species. Park rangers will patrol the course to ensure the safety of runners.

The long course will see 100-miler contestants running through the night, with only torches and luminous markers for direction, and into early morning of Sunday the 19th of April.

The race date was chosen for this particular weekend because of the near full moon which will enable the 100-miler contestants better light as they enter the night hours. This nocturnal part of the course is also the section of the park which is home to elephants, black rhino and buffalo, and runners will need to watch out for these animals on the course.

Pacers on bicycles and on foot will shadow the 100-mile contestants who must report to marshals at regularly-spaced checkpoints. This ensures that any runners who stray off course or injure themselves can be found if they don’t check in.


***Ends***

Issued by:  South African National Parks
                
Enquiries: Megan Bradfield
Social Ecologist
Addo Elephant National Park
Tel: (042) 233-0556 or 083 6508649

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