I am full of excitement and nervousness, as it will be my first 10K.
When I first heard about the race, I really wanted to join because I support the cause. But I’m not a good runner!
I ran a bit last year and did a 5K in the summer of 2013. Since I didn’t consistently keep up with my running, and instead became more interested in biking, I kept putting off signing for races. But once I saw this race posted online, I wanted to be a part of it. My boyfriend, a much more dedicated runner than myself, was excited and signed up for it as well. What the heck, I thought. I should sign up too!
So, it wasn’t until I registered for this race — about five weeks ago — that I decided to take running more seriously and to begin training. Which means that I don’t think I will be able to run the full 10K, and that is fine with me. My goal is to run at least half of it. I’m happy that in my short amount of training, I went from being unable to run a full mile to being able to run 3.
Registration for the event sold out at approximately 500 participants. We have also raised over $20,000 for these amazing creatures. Some readers may be asking: Why elephants?
- “The greatest threats facing elephants today are poaching, conflict with humans, and habitat loss and degradation. Elephants across Africa and Asia are being poached for their ivory at increasing levels.” — http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/elephant
- “Ivory-seeking poachers have killed 100,000 African elephants in just three years, according to a new study that provides the first reliable continent-wide estimates of illegal kills. During 2011 alone, roughly one of every twelve African elephants was killed by a poacher.” — http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140818-elephants-africa-poaching-cites-census/
“Today, levels of poaching and illegal trade have spiralled out of control once again. In many areas, rates of poaching are now the worst they have been since 1989. In 2011, just thirteen of the largest seizures amounted to over 23,000kg, breaking all records since the ivory ban. In July 2012 CITES recognised that elephant poaching had reached ‘unsustainable’ levels, not only in small unprotected populations but also among larger populations traditionally regarded as safe.” — http://www.bloodyivory.org/stop-the-ivory-trade
- “Elephants help maintain forest and savanna ecosystems for other species, and are integrally tied to rich biodiversity. The seeds of many plant species are dependent on passing through an elephant’s digestive tract before they can germinate. It is calculated that at least a third of tree species in central African forests rely on elephants in this way for distribution of seeds.” –http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/elephant
“The West African country of Gabon holds most of Africa’s remaining forest elephants. Their main stronghold, Minkebe National Park and its surrounding buffer zone, was home to an estimated 28,500 elephants in 2004. By 2012 the number had plummeted to about 7,000—a loss of 20,000 or more elephants. People are shooting, poisoning, and spearing the animals at such a rate across the continent that some scientists already consider them “ecologically extinct.” There are now fewer than 500,000 wild African elephants—maybe no more than half that number—and barely 32,000 Asian elephants.“ — http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140221-elephants-poaching-empathy-grief-extinction-science/
- Elephants are amazingly empathetic. They grieve and care. See: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140218-asian-elephants-empathy-animals-science-behavior/
Elephants matter very much to me. I hope they do to you, too. Even though I know tomorrow’s race will be difficult, the difficulty I’ll face will be nothing compared to what elephants have to endure as they struggle to share the planet with us.
PS: Thanks to No Meat Athlete for inspiring and motivating me to run.