June 28, 2010 – As the drive to the Lewa Conservancy took much longer than I had initially thought it would! (The roads are smooth all the way till the turn off to the conservancy).
All of a sudden I was welcomed by an unusually large crowd and lots of noise, right in the middle of nowhere mind you! I was pleasantly surprised to find such a wonderful turnout for the 11th edition of the Safaricom Lewa marathon.
The marathon saw its largest participation yet, with an estimated 1,200 runners. They woke before the sun in the chilly Mt Kenya weather on Saturday morning. Competitors as young as six years old and as old as 80 years old were up in time, ready to run among the gazelles.
Local musician Jua Cali was there at the end of the race, entertaining the ever growing crowd that would reside at the two campsites for the evening.
At the Safaricom Village; for a tent shared with all meals included, you would have to cough up Sh8,000 a night (most spectators stayed here).
The second campsite, Maridadi (for those with deeper pockets) was going at Sh16,900 a night, inclusive of a double bed with a personal bathroom and toilet. There was a waiter at hand for them ready to serve snacks such as samosa, crisps with fresh cottage cheese and chives, throughout the day.
The Maridadi camp was the place to be, beautifully set up and quiet with monkeys and other wildlife running around you as you take in the spectacular views.
Amazing venture, as always, every year! The marathon ended with Benson Loshareng, of Kapenguria winning the 42km race (2:20.23). Loshareng did not only win the race but managed to better the previous time of 2:24.16 that was recorded by Benson Kaptikou last year.