Race for the Rainforest Update!

Posted on 30th September 2020 | Race for the Rainforest – Borneo 2021

Following a recent Zoom-call with runners and subsequent dialogue with Chester Zoo, I'm pleased to announce that we have some new plans for Race for the Rainforest.

We know that whilst the 2021 Borneo Ultra Trails Marathon is still open for entries, there is a chance it may be cancelled if Covid restrictions are imposed and with the ongoing uncertainty over travel, we've been working hard to determine contingency plans. In trying to find an equivalent UK race, we've realised that there isn't anything with quite the variety of race distances, nor the generosity of cut-off times over here. Also, given the difficulty in predicting what UK restrictions will be like in 2021 (by date, geography, numbers allowed to gather etc), we've come to the conclusion that selecting one race to replace the BUTM is not viable, however...

Far from scaling down our efforts to raise funds for this HUGELY important cause (even more important now that Covid has impacted conservationists' funding), we've decided to do the opposite and go big... REALLY BIG!

In a bid to make Race for the Rainforest as inclusive, accessible and flexible as possible and to attract the most runners possible, we're opening the project up to anyone who wants to raise funds - however they want. We're in the process of organising a list of UK races who support our cause which we'll be publishing in November, so we expect runners who were previously racing in Borneo will group up and choose a races / races that work best for them. Equally if you want to fundraise by running a different race or doing something else entirely, then that's perfectly fine and we're hugely grateful. 

The most important thing here is that we raise as much for this cause as possible, so that Chester Zoo can secure land, rewild and reforest that land and create the desperately needed habitat for critically endangered species on which our planet's ecosystem so depends. Whilst it's extremely frustrating that racing in Borneo may no longer be possible, we now have an opportunity to have an even greater impact on this issue by pivoting the concept to allow a far larger group of fundraisers to engage in a much wider selection of UK based challenges. 

Anyone who's watched the Attenborough documentary 'Extinction The Facts' that was broadcasted earlier this month, knows how urgent this appeal really is... this really is a race for the rainforest. The Race for the Rainforest project has the potential to have a transformative impact for endangered wildlife in Borneo. and we believe scaling-up and making it more inclusive is the way to have maximum impact. To that end, we'll be suggesting that fundraisers set their own fundraising target, rather than the original £2,500 for those running in Borneo, meaning we'll attract a greater number of fundraisers and raise even more awareness in the process. 

A huge thanks to the runners who've stuck with the cause thus far and to all of our sponsors. I'm incredibly grateful for all of your ongoing support and will be in touch again in early November once we've confirmed the list of supporting races. Keep clocking those miles...