One el of a challenge
Monday 19 April 2010
Elephant keepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo put their fitness to the test when they took part in the mammoth Brighton Marathon yesterday.
Amongst the 7,589 runners at the start line were keepers Lee Sambrook, Gary Hampson and Andy Durham. Running in aid of ZSL, they had been training hard for the 26-mile race but with the Chilton Hills on their doorstep the trio were lucky enough to have a ready-made track to clock up vital training miles.
Before the race senior keeper Andy said: “Our first-ever Marathon is going to be a huge challenge - luckily walking our elephants for a couple hours every day has given us a good head-start on our fitness levels. To get up to Marathon fitness we’ve been hard at work training, which hasn’t been made easy by the weather and all of us being struck down by colds! Nonetheless we’re feeling confident that we will all make it round the course in one piece.”
And their hard work really paid off - as their speedy times show:
Lee: 4 hours 57 minutes 7 seconds
Gary: 4 hours 19 minutes 11 seconds
Andrew: 4 hours 19 minutes 50 seconds
They have raised £1160 through www.justgiving.com/elephantkeepers already but further donations will be very much appreciated as all money goes towards funding ZSL’s scientific and conservation work.
The keepers are having a day off from looking after the elephants to recuperate after their mammoth efforts yesterday. We’re sure they'll get a huge pat on the back from their fellow keepers for their impressive times and effort in the lead up to and during the marathon.
Everyone at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is very proud of them.