In 2018, ForRangers and Ol Pejeta Conservancy pioneered the first virtual ultra in Kenya. Enlisting participants from all over the world, the marathon was 1,245 kms long and traced a virtual route between Kenya’s rhino parks and conservancies. 31 people took part, and enjoyed receiving information about the wildlife areas as they went from one checkpoint to the next, while maintaining a demanding exercise regime.
For those of you who are not familiar with a virtual ultra, here's how it works:
The event was created for people who want to take part in a significant physical challenge for conservation, but don't have the time, funds, health or even fitness to travel to some far-flung corner of the world and participate in an actual ultra marathon. This is much more of a slow-burner, a daily commitment that you can take privately, at your own pace and in your own style. All you need to do is cover a certain distance (see below) within a certain number of days - 365, to be precise. Using a fitness app, you log distances covered in each session - and this can be running, walking, swimming, rowing, playing tennis, riding horses - anything you please! - and enter them into our customised web-app.
The app will reflect your achievements on the leaderboard, showing you how far you've made it along the 'virtual route' - which we mapped out on Google maps, as well as where you've got to compared to everybody else. You also need to raise US$ 1,000 before the year is up - but don't worry, we'll send you lots of tips and ideas to help you get there.
This year, we will actually be offering two virtual ultras - the Wild Dog route and the Lion route. You'll also be able to see your progress next to one of our rangers (on their daily patrols), and even a collared lion, as they move around their territories!
Wild Dog Marathon:
- The same track as before: 1,245 kms around Kenya’s rhino sanctuaries
- Average daily distance of 3.4 kms (2.1mi.)
- Compete with one of our rangers on their daily patrols!
- Registration fee: US$ 50
- The distance between Ol Pejeta and Kruger National park: 4,435 kms (2,755.8mi.)
- Average daily distance of 12 kms (7.5mi.)
- Compete with one of our rangers, and a collared lion!
- Registration fee: US$ 100
What you commit to:
- Raise US$ 1,000, which will go straight into equipment for the rangers
- A much more active lifestyle
By competing in the 2019 Virtual Ultra Marathon, you will help make sure our rangers have everything they need to continue their critical work in conservation.