Sunday, 21 July, 2024

|
The Extra Mile Trail Run will return to Huntington Village in the greater Bushbuckridge area for the sixth time on 23 September.

The Extra Mile Trail Run supports man and animal

The Extra Mile Trail Run will return to Huntington Village in the greater Bushbuckridge area for the sixth time on 23 September.

Also known as the “Trail Run with Heart”, the race was launched in 2018 as a More Community Foundation (MCF) fundraising initiative to provide support to people in rural communities, coupled with the conservation of endangered species.

The MCF is a non-profit organisation and its primary focus is to support social development and environmental conservation in Southern Africa.

The Extra Mile Trail Run is not just about racing toward a finish line. It is about running with purpose and heart, making a positive impact on our communities and our planet’s vulnerable animal species.

The beneficiaries of this year’s Extra Mile event are MCF’s projects in the Huntington community, along with the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Wild Dog Project.

The African wild dog is one of Africa’s “Magnificent Seven” species, but also one of its most endangered. The largest population survives in southern Africa, with about 3 000 individuals under threat from habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict.

South Africa’s largest and most viable population of 250 dogs in 22 packs can be found in the Kruger National Park, home of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’ Wild Dog Project.

The project aims to increase the range, number and status of these animals by securing and expanding their habitats, finding solutions for coexistence with human communities, and supporting legislation to protect them. 

Each sponsored runner receives a R250 Spar voucher. This not only gives them the chance to participate in a memorable event, but also offers tangible support for their daily needs.

Michelle Scott, general manager of the MCF

There are various ways that businesses and individuals can support the causes that will benefit from the race.

The first is to enter the race. The race is run over various distances and if you are unable to join at the event, there is an option to enter the virtual run. For the virtual run, you choose where you start, run and finish. You can choose to run in the vicinity of your home, at a local park, on a nearby trail, or even on a treadmill.

In 2023, The Extra Mile partnered with Birdlife South Africa and the Cape Parrot (Bird of the Year) was chosen as brand ambassador for the 2023 The Extra Mile Virtual Run.

Another way to contribute is by sponsoring a community runner. 

The Huntington community, both the beneficiaries of the cause and the physical location of the Extra Mile Trail Run, is among the most impoverished areas in the country. Many families are living on the breadline, struggling to meet basic needs such as food, let alone participating in events like a trail run.

By sponsoring a community runner, the people of the Huntington Community can participate in this extraordinary event. It is not only a chance to enjoy a healthy activity and connect with others, it also enables community members to learn about the importance of wildlife conservation. Half of the 1 200 entries available will be allocated to community runners.

“Your sponsorship provides them with entry to the race, a T-shirt, a buff, and a runner’s bib with an electronic tracking device to record their participation and time,” says Michelle Scott, general manager of the MCF.

“Moreover, each sponsored runner receives a R250 Spar voucher. This not only gives them the chance to participate in a memorable event, but also offers tangible support for their daily needs.

I’langa Mall in Nelspruit is one of the corporate sponsors of the event.

Photos: Lactic Acid 

We deeply admire and appreciate the invaluable support it provides to environmental preservation, biodiversity conservation and the sustainable development of our local communities.

Henri Gouws, marketing manager of I’langa Mall

“I’langa Mall is proud to partner and be a co-sponsor to the Extra Mile Run,” says Henri Gouws, marketing manager of I’langa Mall.

“We deeply admire and appreciate the invaluable support it provides to environmental preservation, biodiversity conservation and the sustainable development of our local communities. This will be the second year that we take hands with this trail run with heart and the journey has never been less than exhilarating. Just as I’langa Mall aims to inspire, elevate morale, and build partnerships with our communities, The Extra Mile Race personifies their mantra: running in communities, through communities, for communities.

“We encourage all to support this cause. It is our responsibility to contribute to the protection of our environment and the community we live in.”

“We challenge individuals, families, friends, and businesses to get involved. Sponsor a community runner, join the race, or participate from afar in the Cape Parrot Virtual Trail Run,” says Scott.

To enter the race, sponsor a community runner, or donate to the cause, click here.

Leave a Reply