There is quite simply a crazy number of exciting events piling up as we swing into summer!
OutDoor with Rosie Mitchell
That includes today, when a special Mid-Month Msasa Walk-Run is being held in Mukuvisi Woodlands, so that you and your family, friends, and dogs too as long as they are firmly leashed, can go and enjoy the gorgeous sight of the msasa trees flushing in their riot of rich colours.
More exciting news is that Maxine, the young giraffe born in this nature reserve, and now nearly two, has a brand new sibling, born just over two weeks ago, and doing well.
My personal great news is that the cast on my arm was removed this week, and now I can run, run, run, as well as, thankfully, drive again.
The weather is, of course, perfect for running, and I can now throw myself into preparing for The Rhino Run at Chivero on September 28 and the Vumba Mountain Run on October 26. There is also the Rooney’s Extreme 15 and High Five on September 22.
Rooneys has been backing this event for years, and it’s always very festive.
It starts at Borrowdale Country Club at 7am with pre-registration on Friday September 20 at Old Georgians from 5:30pm, or from 6am on the morning. There’s a 5km and 15km run. The 15km is a tough, very hilly course, hence the “Extreme”!
Meanwhile, the same day, September 22, which also happens to be World Rhino Day, this important day will be commemorated in Bulawayo with a Rhino Fun Day.
The Matobo Rhino Initiative Trust was set up in 2012 to assist the Matobo National Park primarily in the protection of the rhino.
The re-erection of the Whovi game fence was identified as a priority and the rhino game fence project was established. This kicked off in 2013, and the northern and western boundaries of the game park have now been fenced.
The Trust is currently busy raising further funds to complete the entire perimeter fence. The Rhino Fun Day will be held next Sunday at Sandy Spruit at the Main Entrance to Matobo National Park, starting at 10am.
All proceeds to the fence project, and entry fees cover a braai lunch and drink, participation in the sponsored 5km walk, a cycle ride of 30km, and there are various fun prizes.
Part of the rhino fence will be erected on site during the event and there is an auction of rhino art, and talks on rhino by well-known environmentalists.
The organisers hope to draw many people to the event to support all the efforts in this key area for rhino conservation and hear about positive developments in this very beautiful National Park, home to some of the precious few remaining rhino in the world.
Aware Trust fundraiser at Lake Chivero
Preparations are well underway for The Rhino Run and Ride on September 28 at Lake Chivero, also commemorating World Rhino Day. Aware Trust is organising this fundraising event for rhino conservation in partnership with National Parks.
Participants are encouraged to stay for the weekend in the National Parks Lodges or Campsite.
The Run, Walk and Ride for Rhino starts at 9am, registration from 8am, and offers 5km, 10km and 20km distances through this scenic game park. Parks Rangers will be on hand throughout, and there are “watering holes” along the way.
With a herd of friends, we’re staying the whole weekend and much looking forward to re-acquainting ourselves with all that there is to enjoy in this very accessible national park.
I’m most certainly looking forward to the run — though I expect I’ll be doing this in not quite so gung-ho a fashion for a while, I certainly don’t want to fall and land on my cracked wrist!
Then on October 26 the Old Mutual Vumba Mountain Fun Run offers distances of 5km, 10km or 21km in and around Leopard Rock Resort, special rates for participants and supporters.
It is interesting and very pleasing to see this decades-long backer of the Two Oceans Marathon and related events in Cape Town each Easter, Old Mutual, becoming more and more involved in the support of local running events as well.
The Triathlon Season also kicks off this weekend. This has become a massively popular sport globally and appeals to all age groups. The local triathlon community is very proactive and strongly encourages beginners to give this enjoyable pursuit a try.
The trio of disciplines — swimming, cycling and running — gives the whole body a great workout, and the events are very social. There are events suited to complete beginners as well as seriously competitive athletes.
Exciting news is that Zimbabwe is hosting the African Triathlon Championships 2014, to be held at Troutbeck Resort on April 12 and 13 2014.
If this all sounds entirely too energetic, there is an equivalent feast of artistic and other happenings on offer in the near future — one of which, being organised by Chisipite Junior School, is sure to draw a huge crowd.
Elvis Blue will perform an open air “music under the stars” style concert at the School on September 27. Singer-songwriter Elvis Blue won SA Idols in 2010, after starting his musical career by busking in the streets of London and across Scotland.
He then studied music at Allenby Campus, focussing on piano, guitar, singing and song-writing.
Since winning Idols, he has released three albums and shared the stage with the likes of James Blunt, UB40, Westlife, and most recently, he opened for Bon Jovi during his recent South African tour.
His first album went platinum, and he has twice won the SA Musician of the Year Award. He performs for one night only, with opening acts, 8 Count and the timeless Rusike Brothers.
Entry is by pre-sold tickets only, on sale now, 10% of proceeds to rhino conservation.