Event benefits endangered African wildlife

May 16, 2019

runners lining up for a charity race

Regis University will host the fifth-annual Running Wild 5K and 1-mile fun run on Saturday, June 22, at its Northwest Denver Campus, 3333 Regis Blvd. Both races begin at 8:15 a.m.

Awards are presented to the top male and female 5K finishers, while all children under age 12 will receive a finisher’s medal. All paid entries receive a free T-shirt featuring this year’s logo.

Last year, 170 people attended the races. To register for this year’s event, go to www.runningwildrace.org.

Running Wild events are dedicated to raising awareness about endangered African wildlife and to fund African wildlife conservation and anti-poaching efforts. Elephants, rhinos, lions, cheetahs and giraffes are at particular risk for extinction. For example, among the 400,000 elephants that remain (from 1.3 million in 1981), more than 33,000 are killed every year.

“Human behavior is the main cause, including poaching, illegal wildlife trafficking, and habitat erosion,” said Race Director Janet Rumfelt, Ph.D., chair of the Liberal Arts Department at Regis.  “Our race helps because it provides funds to organizations that on are on the ground in Africa working to protect animals and ecosystems.”

Running Wild races are family-friendly. It is a project of the Denver nonprofit Wildlife Protection Solutions. Race proceeds will be divided among these organizations: Wildlife Protection Solutions, The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust USA, the Cheetah Conservation Fund and the Big Life Foundation.

After the race, the party gets started with awards, race fare, a beer garden, games, face painting, and children’s activities. Vendors representing wildlife conservation groups will be on hand where you will be able to go on a virtual safari using VR googles, meet the Anatolian Shepherd Livestock Guarding Dog Ambassadors and learn more about conservation.

During the past four years, Running Wild has raised more than $29,000 for wildlife conservation.

“I started this race because I could not sit on the sidelines while some of the planet’s most iconic species were in danger of extinction,” Rumfelt said. “The race is a way to help fund organizations that are directly involved in ensuring that these animals are protected for generations to come.”

Established in 1877, Regis University is a premier, globally engaged institution of higher learning in the Jesuit Catholic tradition that prepares leaders to live productive lives of faith, meaning and service. One of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation, Regis has four campus locations in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs and extensive online program offerings with more than 11,000 enrolled students. For more information, visit www.regis.edu.