Safaricom, Tusk Trust and Lewa Conservancy have launched the Safaricom Marathon 2016, which is scheduled to take place on June 25th 2016 at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Isiolo County.

Now in its 17th year, the Marathon has grown from a comparatively small event with only 180 runners in the year 2000 to over 1,400 participants from 35 countries across five continents in 2015. The event has also gained recognition as one of the toughest and most unique races in the world as it cuts through one of East Africa’s most scenic conservancies.

“For close to two decades now, the Safaricom Marathon has had great impact on the lives of communities that live within and around Lewa conservancy. What began as an idea to save endangered species has transformed thousands of lives, as communities are now able to benefit from health, water and community projects, thanks to funds raised through the marathon,” said Joe Ogutu, Director for Strategy and Innovation – Safaricom.

In 2015, the Safaricom Marathon raised over Kshs.60 million, bringing the total amount raised so far to over Kshs.445 million.

In 2016, Safaricom has given Kshs 30 Million shillings towards the marathon.

These funds have been used to support various initiatives in wildlife conservation, education, water and sanitation, agriculture and health within and around the conservancy.

“We appreciate the role our partners have played in this journey, and acknowledge the participants who endure the tough terrain each year to ensure we are able to conserve wildlife while making life better for communities more comfortable,” said Mike Watson, CEO, Lewa Conservancy.

“Last year(2015) our theme was “Run for a good cause” and our focus was on raising funds for wildlife protection and supporting community projects around the conservancy,” he added. “This year (2016), our theme remains the same, because we feel it is important that participants and sponsors understand and participate in this noble cause,” said Mr. Watson.

Registration for the Safaricom Marathon 2016 opens on 25th February 2016.

As has been the tradition, the Marathon will have three categories which include: 5km children’s fun race, the 21km half marathon – which will include team races – and the full marathon (42km).
Last year, Robert Wambua and Lucy Karimi won the half marathon, with Elijah Mbogo and three-time winner Fridah Lodepa being crowned winners of the 42km race.

Gaston Wabomba
Editor

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