After the entries sold out in a matter of days, organisers of the new STIHL iMfolozi Outrun on 31 August and 1 September are hoping that the innovative run through the province's premier game park will serve its purpose of awareness and fundraising.
Each of the runners is expected to weigh in with personal fund-raising as the event hopes to generate around R300 000, which will go towards two projects that the park management has identified.
"First and foremost we want people to come and experience what this very special park has to offer, so it is about awareness and stimulating the tourism economy of the park," explained iMfolozi Park Manager Richard Penn-Sawyer.
"The money raised will be spent on two areas that we are passionate about, upgrading our staff quarters and the support we offer the local community that is integrally involved with the reserve.
"The welfare and quality of life of the local community is directly connected to the welfare of Imfolozi, and we are continually working at ways to enhance and improve their quality of life," he explained.
He added that it was no surprise that the 300 entries had sold out as fast as they did, as the unique opportunity to run through the famous Big Five park would have immediate appeal to avid trail runners.
"The mountain bike event we host here generates a very similar response, so we were not that surprised that the limited number of places available went as quickly as they did," said Penn-Sawyer.
"I have no doubt that this event will sell out fast every year it is run, so anyone keen to be part of it will have to respond quickly when entries open."
The second day is something of a secret but will range between 16km and 19 kilometres in length in the Masinda section of the iMfolozi Game Reserve, renowned for its White Rhino, Giraffe, Buffalo, Wild Dog and Elephant sightings. The Stihl Imfolozi Outrun takes place on 31 August and 1 September.
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