Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Run for Elephants 2010

Group of students celebrating after the race
“Run for Elephants”, which took place on Sunday, 19th of December 2010, aimed to raise awareness about the wild elephants of the Salakpra wildlife sanctuary, as well as raising funds for the construction of an electric fence around the sanctuary to mitigate human-elephant conflict problems.

The day was a great success from start to finish! Over 400 runners competed in four events: the half marathon, mini marathon, 5km and 3.5km fun run.  Ages ranged from four years old to over sixty. Everyone who competed received a medal, with over ninety-five trophies and cash prizes given out.

ECN Director Belinda Stewart-Cox
Awards a Race Participant
This was the first year ECN has held “Run for Elephants” in December at the Baan Thamanao School. By holding to run at this venue, the running courses were able to provide the participants with a chance to experience the routes the wild Salakpra elephants take into the adjoining villages. By running on elephant tracks through different terrain and environments, runners are given a unique opportunity to connect with the purpose of the event, as well as giving “Run for Elephants” a distinctive quality found at no other running event.

There was a huge variety of local and non-local involvement and support on Sunday. Runners came from the local village and surrounding villages, from Songkla and Nakorn Sawan, as well as from other parts of Kanchanaburi and Bangkok. There ware also many foreigners competing in the race from France, England and Australia. The Sueb NGO and the Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary rangers, as well as a great number of students from Baan Thamanao School, Baan Samlang School and Sri Sawat primary school showed great support for the event.

Honorable guests to the event included Mr. Cherdsak Champathed, the Vice Governor of Kanchanaburi; Belinda Stewart-Cox, the Director of ECN; Mr. Thin Pisuth, the representative from DNP’s protected Areas Regional Office 3; Mr. Khanchit Srinoppawan, the Chief of Salakpra; and Mr. Jarin Pornbandhitpattama and Jumbo Chatupornpaisan, the representatives of the Tourism Promotion Society of Kanchanaburi. Mr. Sing Purahong, the representative from Tourism Authority of Thailand, also kindly took part in the awards ceremony.

“Run for Elephants 2010” was a great day for everyone involved, and ECN hopes that it will become bigger and better. In 2011, it will take place at the same venue on the 18th of December and it is likely to become the province’s most unique annual event for many years to come.

For more information about the Run for Elephants 2011, please contact ECN.

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