‘Rhino Dave’ praises North Herts community after fantastic fundraising effort

PUBLISHED: 13:02 05 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:53 05 October 2020

Rhino Dave and Stephen and Ric from Hitchin Hares pose in Hitchin. Picture: Jake Amos

Rhino Dave and Stephen and Ric from Hitchin Hares pose in Hitchin. Picture: Jake Amos

Archant

A Hitchin-based runner has praised the “incredible support” of the North Herts community after he raised more than £2,000 while completing his London Marathon effort in an iconic replica rhino outfit.

Dave Wardle or 'Rhino Dave' battled through adverse weather this year for Save the Rhino. Picture: Ric PasseyDave Wardle or 'Rhino Dave' battled through adverse weather this year for Save the Rhino. Picture: Ric Passey

After more than five hours of gruelling weather, with his 10kg rhino suit soaked, Dave Wardle completed his 26-mile effort after traversing through many of our North Herts towns and villages.

A member of the Hares of Hitchin, and accompanied by Ric Passey and Stephen Hague from the club, ‘Rhino Dave’s’ route took them through Hitchin, Letchworth, Baldock via the A505, Charlton and Gosmore.

'Rhino Dave' ran the equivalent of a London Marathon in a full rhino suit. Picture: Jake Amos'Rhino Dave' ran the equivalent of a London Marathon in a full rhino suit. Picture: Jake Amos

This was his second marathon effort donning a replica rhino suit, but Dave admits this year’s dire weather made it a significantly more challenging run.

“This is a Gen 2 suit, but it wasn’t the easiest thing to run in,” he said.

Rhino Dave in Baldock on his London Marathon effort in 2020. Picture: Jake AmosRhino Dave in Baldock on his London Marathon effort in 2020. Picture: Jake Amos

“Visibility is poor, you can see a little bit ahead and your feet. Jumping up and down pavements is really difficult and I did actually go over in the suit.

“I was struggling to get back up, but thankfully Ric and Steve were there to help me back to my feet, and their support was absolutely brilliant.”

You may also want to watch:

Inspired by the work of a friend in the Umfolozi/Hluhluwe Game Reserve in South Africa, Dave wanted to play his part in helping to raise awareness and funds for Save the Rhino.

As the reserve’s budget fluctuates month to month, funding for anti-poaching efforts in the area can rise and fall accordingly.

One telling statistic that Dave is keen to refer to is the fact that two rhinos are poached every day for their horns.

With such a small rhino population globally (less than 30,000), that would be the equivalent of more than 500,000 humans dying each day.

This year, Dave hopes to raise more than £3,000. His online fundraising total is already at more than £2,000 and you can support him by searching Dave Wardle on Virgin Money Giving.

“By the end of the run, I was thinking that the finish line couldn’t have come sooner. There were so many people waiting for me to finish in the town centre, and that was very nice of them,” Dave added.

“I was so pleased yesterday, the amount of support I had from everyone was amazing – people were shouting encouragement, cars were beeping and stopping to let me cross roads, it was brilliant.

“I didn’t expect it, but I really appreciate everyone and the North Herts community for looking out for me.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Comet. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the The Comet