22 April 2015 by Lowenna Waters
Alison will take part on April 26, and is running the 26-mile race in honour of her good friend Trish who sadly passed away in March this year from cancer. She first met Trish on holiday in Namibia where they quickly discovered they shared an interest in conservation and the environment.
On that trip they were lucky enough to view magnificent rhinos together in Etosha National Park, which she describes as "a truly remarkable experience". Because of this memorable experience, Alison felt it was suitable to run the marathon in aid of Rhinos Without Borders, a charity aiming to relocate 100 rhinos from South Africa - a centre of poaching - to the safe haven of Botswana.
This year, The Africa Foundation - a charity aiming to facilitate the empowerment and development of people living in or adjacent to protected areas in Southern and East Africa - will be coordinating the collection of funds for Rhinos Without Borders in the UK.
82 per cent of the world's remaining free-ranging rhino live in South Africa, where illegal poaching is sadly at an all time high, with one rhino being killed every nine hours. At this rate, the species will be extinct in the wild by 2020. Rhinos Without Borders - run by &Beyond and Great Plains Conservation - want to stop this through relocation.
Joss Kent, &Beyond CEO, commented: "Translocations are fundamental to secure on-going survival of endangered species and this ground breaking project aims to protect species for future generations to enjoy." They've already moved 10 rhinos, and have the funds to move six more by road, or three by air. An expensive project, it will cost an estimated $8 million to achieve, so every donation - however small - counts.
This is not Alison's first marathon but this time her training has been interrupted, so she expects it won't be a personal best time. However, she's determined to run in memory of her friend and to support this very good cause.
To support Alison and donate to Rhinos Without Borders, please visit Alison's justgiving page at: www.justgiving.com/ALISON-NICOLLE1