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The Safaricom Marathon - A Challenge in the Wild

July 30, 2012

Every year, top athletes, fitness enthusiasts as well as spectators come together to participate in what some have declared one of the toughest races on earth. This is the 13th year that Lewa has hosted the Safaricom Marathon, a unique fundraising event that offers an unparalleled experience and has raised over three million dollars since its inception. The funds have been directed to conservation and development efforts in and around Lewa. This year’s event was bigger and better, attracting a higher number of participants and spectators alike!

The annual Safaricom Marathon - organized by Tusk Trust, hosted by Lewa and sponsored by Safaricom - is a challenging and extremely rewarding adventure. The track is cut out through Lewa’s landscape of undulating hills and sprawling savannah, and runners have the privilege of enjoying the breath-taking scenery throughout the course of the race.

The marathon, which is also a highly publicized event, is like no other in the world, and has won accolades for being excellently organized, with this year’s event occurring almost flawlessly. Held on the 30th of June, the event, with the appropriate theme of “Run wild, for the wild”, attracted over 1,000 participants from 32 nationalities, reinforcing the marathon’s position as a truly unique race with global appeal. From Kenyans to Austrians, the elite runners united with amateurs, the young with the old to take on Lewa’s rugged terrain, all in support of conservation and community development. The Marathon also received a lot of media coverage including Kenya’s Citizen TV airing the event live.

The tremendous excitement that the marathon period creates on the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy does not dissipate until weeks after the event, and this year was no different. Not only was there an increase in the number of participants, but also the number of corporate teams raising funds. Deutsche Bank raised an astonishing USD 170,000! Security was also enhanced during the event, ensuring safety for all.

The winners of the full marathon received Kshs. 150,000 in cash and a 32’ LCD TV and winners of the half marathon received Kshs. 50,000 and 32’ LCD TV as well. Please visit our website to see the full list of winners, including categories such as the corporate challenge and children’s fun run.

For the first time this year, a joint security team from Lewa, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Ol Jogi, Borana Ranch and the Northern Rangelands Trust also successfully ran the marathon, carrying with them their full kits throughout the 21km course. Another pleasant surprise was the misting stations that helped the runners cool off after the invigorating race.

We hope that the success of this year’s marathon will be replicated in years to come, and that more people will come to Lewa to run the marathon and raise funds for a worthy cause!