The call of the Wild Series

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Old Mutual Wild Series raises nearly R1 million to boost conservation

2016 was a banner year for the popular Old Mutual Wild Series, which raised close to R1 million through its five endurance events. Participants enjoyed exclusive access to some of South Africa’s most beautiful, wildest spots while contributing towards the conservation of these protected areas.

Funds raised at the Three Cranes Challenge were used to support grassland management and crane conservation in the Karkloof Conservancy. This is the only area in the country where all three of South Africa’s crane species can be found.

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photo: Em Gatland

At the iMfolozi MTB Challenge, the funds raised went towards the support of the severely endangered wild dog and management support for the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. The funds also contributed towards the Global Environmental Trust to support the ‘Save the Wilderness’ campaign against mining (fracking) on the edge of the park’s wilderness area.

The endangered bearded vulture was the beneficiary of both the Golden Gate Challenge and the Mont-Aux-Sources Challenge, with funds going towards the work carried out by the SANParks Honorary Rangers and the management of the Maloti-Drakensberg Park.

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Photo: Em Gatland

Karen Thomas, Head of Brand at Old Mutual, said: “Our sponsorship of the Wild Series mirrors our business of encouraging customers to take a long-term view of their savings and investments. By taking part in Wild Series events, participants are able to help secure the long-term survival of our shared natural heritage. South Africa is famed for its wildlife and beautiful parks and reserves, and it’s essential that we do our best to preserve them. Through Wildlands and the Wild Series, runners, cyclists, rangers and sponsors are able to contribute meaningfully to the future security of these national assets.”

All entry fees to Old Mutual Wild Series events go towards conservation efforts, and participants can raise additional funds through the Old Mutual More than Yourself platform. Hanno Langenhoven was 2016’s most impressive Wild Series fund-raiser, successfully generating R28 900 through his participation in the Three Cranes, Mont-Aux-Sources and Golden Gate Challenges.

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photo: Em Gatland

Andrew Booth, Old Mutual Wild Series race organiser, said, “2016 was a record year for the Old Mutual Wild Series, it was successful in a number of ways but over and above everything else, it provided a community of runners an opportunity to contribute to conservation while having a mind-blowing experience. It is a space where lives change and progress is made.”

Entries are currently selling fast for the next Three Cranes Challenge, which takes place in February next year, while entries for the Mont-Aux-Sources Challenge opened last week.

Another option to consider is the Wild Series Grand Slam – enter all the Wild Series trail running events and qualify for a R800 discount off the entire series. The Grand Slam offer is valid until entries close for the Three Cranes challenge.

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