A runner from Wolverhampton has enlisted the support of Game of Thrones and Ripper Street actor Jerome Flynn as part of her team tackling the Morrisons Great Birmingham 10k on Sunday 3rd May, in aid of an animal conservation charity.
Ann Fowler, from Essington in Wolverhampton, is running a total of 111 miles this year in a bid to raise awareness and funding for the Global White Lion Protection Trust, (WLT, whitelions.org), a registered charity which aims to help the critically endangered white lions of South Africa.
Jerome Flynn, who is patron of the WLT, and musician David Chabeaux, a strong supporter of the Trust, are running the Birmingham leg alongside Ann to show their continued support for the charity. Jerome will also be officially launching the race.
It's all part of ‘Ann's 111 miles for White Lions', which will see the 39-year-old mother of two complete 15 runs, including all the UK runs in the Great Run Series. Ann started her challenge in January with the Great Winter Run and is finishing in October in Portsmouth with the Great South Run. Her daughters Poppy aged 10 and Jessica aged 7, are joining their mum on a number of the challenges.
The WLT is appealing for more people to get involved in the cause by entering one of the 15 races to run alongside Ann, creating a lion's pride for each race.
Ann said: “I had read a number of books about the Trust's founder Linda Tucker and I was really touched by the plight of the lions out in South Africa; I am a keen runner so I decided I would take on the Great Run series to raise the profile of the charity and as much money as I can, to help save them from extinction.”
Ann has an individual target of £2,000, while the WLT team is aiming to raise in excess of £10,000.
After the race, Jerome will be meeting fans in the Marmalade Bar & Bistro within the Birmingham Repertory Theatre at 12pm to sign autographs and give them the opportunity to have their photo taken with the star, in return for a donation to the lions. The bistro will also host a BBQ and refreshments for the runners.
Jerome said: “Ann's challenge to run 111 miles to raise money to help save the white lions of Africa is truly inspirational. The white lions are astonishing creatures; magical, regal and powerful, but globally there are only 500 left in captivity and less than 10 in the wild.
“If we do not fight to save them, they are likely to become extinct in the next decade, meaning future generations will not be able to enjoy these fabulous animals.”
Jerome, a lifelong animal lover, was just 18 when he met his first lions in South Africa. Last year, he went back to the country to visit the WLT's operation in the Timbavati region.
He added: “Linda has worked hard to secure 2,000 hectares of the lion's homeland in the Timbavati region as a protected area in South Africa, which is fenced and guarded and maintained by a security team, but they need our continued support to protect these beautiful creatures from poachers.
“Myself and David are joining Ann for the Birmingham leg to represent a pride, and we are appealing for others to get involved too to create more prides for each of the runs that Ann is taking on.”
Participants of the Morrisons Great Birmingham 10k can opt to run in different waves of musical decades, so Jerome has signed up for the 90s wave to mark his musical debut with Robson Green for their rendition of ‘Unchained Melody'; the fastest selling single of the Nineties.
To support Ann, Jerome and the team, go to: www.justgiving.com/Ann-Fowler111miles/
Entries for the Morrisons Great Birmingham 10k are now open at www.greatrun.org/great-birmingham-10k.