Old Mutual Wild Series kick-starts endurance season

The popular Old Mutual Wild Series, brought to you by Wildlands, starts 25 February with the fifth edition of the Three Cranes Challenge.

The event also signals the start of South Africa’s “endurance season”, a sports phenomenon strongly supported by Old Mutual.

Road running, trail events, mountain biking and triathlons have increased in popularity, and today South Africans are spoilt for choice, with an annual line-up of endurance events that includes  the Old Mutual Om die Dam marathon, the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the Cape Epic, Old Mutual joBerg2C, Comrades Marathon and Old Mutual Soweto Marathon.

The Old Mutual Wild Series taps into this passion, while also providing participants with the opportunity to run or ride for more than their personal best times. With a focus on community and conservation, the Wild Series gives nature lovers and outdoor enthusiast who take on these challenging events the chance to make a real difference –either by supporting worthy charitable causes or providing funding to various wildlife conservation initiatives. For example, during last year just under R900 000 was raised from Wild Series events, with a significant portion contributed by Old Mutual ‘More than Yourself’ fundraisers.

The Three Cranes Challenge is a three-day track and trail run in the Karkloof area of KwaZulu-Natal, which is the breeding ground of South Africa’s endangered crane species: the blue crane, grey crowned crane and wattled crane. A portion of the entry fee of the race goes towards their conservation.

The route takes runners through beautiful misty forests and across grasslands with magnificent views along the Gilboa escarpment and the opportunity to view the magnificent cranes in their natural habitat. Other race highlights include the incredible hospitality and atmosphere of the race village, as well as the now customary “night start” on Day Three – actually, a very early morning start with headlamps.

The next event after Three Cranes Challenge on the Wild Series calendar is the Old Mutual iMfolozi Challenge, a mountain bike event in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve.