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Ian with GentilOne of the world's leading great ape conservation experts Ian Redmond ran the Flora London Marathon on Sunday April 18th 2004 in aid of the Ape Alliance and Born Free Ape Projects - from Gentil and other chimp orphans at Lwiro Sanctuary in Congo, to the UN Great Apes Survival Project.

Born Free monitored his progress prior to the race as he juggles his vital conservation work with preparation for the great race and Caribzones is proud to be associated with this worthy cause.


April 18th 2004

Celebrating his 50th birthday, Great Ape ambassador and all round favourite conservationist, Ian RedmondCelebrating his 50th birthday, Great Ape ambassador and all round favourite conservationist, Ian Redmond, completed the London Marathon for the first and only time on Sunday 18th April 2004 in a time of 4 hours 47 minutes.

"It exceeded all my expectations but was harder than I ever managed" said Ian seconds after arriving at Born Free's encampment at the end of Bird Cage Walk. The furthest I had run in training was 8 miles so the last 18 miles was uncharted territory".

Born Free Ian is recognised by conservationists and animal lovers around the world as one of our leading Great Ape experts having introduced Sir David Attenborough to gorillas for his famous sequence in Life on Earth. Ian is also the United Nations Environment Programmes Great Ape Survival Partnership Technical Team Director and has spent the last two years criss-crossing the globe promoting the conservation of our nearest non-human relatives.

Ian Redmond runs for Born Free to save Gentil"Born Free had made me a super big banner with an ape on it", said Ian "Originally I had thought I would run for a few miles and then discard it but the public's reaction everywhere I ran was immense and shouts from the public to keep going for the apes made me stick with the banner!! It slowed me down and was positively a hazard to other runners as whenever the wind caught it it threatened to decapitate several other competitors at a single go but in the end I became very attached to it".

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Ian is also a leading light within the Orang-utan Foundation so no great apes species on earth is left outIan and his colleagues at Born Free are fighting for Great Apes in a number of African countries. Uganda, Cameroon and DRC. Ian is also a leading light within the Orang-utan Foundation so no great apes species on earth is left out.

In recognition of his achievement Born Free is keeping open Ian's Just Giving website to receive donations and gifts to help the apes so if you would like to reward Ian for completing the London Marathon 2004 (he was on his back unable to move with a spinal injury just two weeks before!) then please go to http://www.justgiving.com/redmond and if you are UK tax payer, simply hit 'Gift Aid' and we can recover more from the Government at no cost to you.

To find out about Born Free's work, please go to www.bornfree.org.uk

Tel 00 (0)1403 240170
Fax 00 (0)1403 327833

Keep Wildlife in The Wild
Web: www.bornfree.org.uk

Join Born Free's fantastic trek through Sri Lanka this September to visit the baby elephants at the orphanage in Udawalewe. Enjoy the experience of a lifetime AND raise funds for the orphans' daily food and care.

To find out more, call Sam on 00 44 (0)1403 240170, email sam@bornfree.org.uk
or visit our website at http://www.bornfree.org.uk/srilanka.shtml

Diary of a Marathon Ape Man

1st February - OK, today's the day. No more procrastinating - now is the time to begin serious preparations. I spent the day at the Flora London Marathon Golden Bond Training Day in London, but found that it was a day of talking about training rather than doing it. This fitted well with my current track record of thinking about training rather than doing it!! The lectures did include some useful tips, however, and brought home the sobering realisation that it is a mere 11 weeks today from 'M-day'.

They say that even a long journey begins with a single step. Today's small step was the purchase of my first pair of fancy cushioned running shoes, (last year's Adidas model at a knock-down price) - my how I bounced across the sales hall… shame they look so flashy though - like something my teenage sons would wear (I asked if they came in black or brown, but the sales chap just looked bemused). This was after running over a computerised pressure pad that informed me my feet were 'neutral' and that I can run in a straight line.

Also on the positive side, I thought I'd scarcely begun my marathon training (having just jogged to and from the office a couple of times), but it turns out I've been 'Cross-training' without knowing it. This doesn't involve training in a skirt and frilly top, or being very irate - it just means that the few laps around the hotel swimming pool at midnight last week can be counted (I was in Jakarta, Indonesia for a conference on orangutans - see press release - but didn't fancy jogging through the choked-up streets dodging traffic). Cross-training, I now know, is using other sports to increase your fitness, so my running up escalators or cycling between meetings is legit. Nevertheless, I also now know that my target is no longer just to run 26.2 miles on 18th April… I must be able to run 18-20 miles by the end of March!! The experts reckon that if I can do that, I should take it lightly for the final three weeks.

The other tip was that I should find out for how long I can comfortably run (without worrying so much about the distance run). Still, its early days yet - I've still got 11 weeks to go…

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Born Free is increasingly receiving donations from supporters who have run in other national races including the Great North Run, the Great South Run and the Flora Light Marathon for Women - all raising money for wildlife projects.

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