November 25, 2010 – More than 500 people turned up to take part in the second edition of the Kenya airways Masai Mara marathon last week, which took place at the Masai Mara Game Reserve, which I have now coined as ‘Mara-dise’.
The run, which includes a 21km and 5km event, took off from the Fairmont Masai Mara Safari Club under the theme “Let the Rivers Flow”.
Geoffrey Kipsang and Alice Timbilil emerged the big winners of the 21km race earning them Sh250,000 each.
The Marathon, which is the only other run within a wildlife sanctuary, (apart from the Lewa marathon) is sanctioned by Athletics Kenya and is run under the IAAF rules.
The run mainly seeks to raise funds for conserving the Mara ecosystem, particularly the Mara River among other objectives.
Among those who participated this year include former Miss Kenya Fionah Konchellah accompanied by Miss Sudan 2009, Ajaa Alaak Garang and Miss Egypt 2009 Samah Shalaby in support of the Going Green Youth campaign.
“This marathon’s objective is to improve conservancy, literacy, water and sanitation and health in the region,” said John Konchellah who is the race director.
“We want to give back to the community so they view wildlife as an economic resource and not a menace to their lives.”
Billy Konchellah, chairman and technical director of the marathon, said their aim is to see athletes develop and become world beaters. “It is possible that one day this Marathon will be in the same league as the Boston marathon,” he said.
The event attracted both professional runners and those running for fun. The event was not devoid of side-shows!
Results and rewards
1. Leornard Ole Koiseyie 14:00:13 Sh10, 000
2. Bernard Kiplagat 14:01:73 Sh8, 000
3. Raphael Ole Kei 14:02:83 Sh7000
1. Susan Kiplagat 14:40 Sh 10,000
2. Viola Kimeto 14:40 Sh8, 000
3. Leah Cherotich 14:51 Sh7000
1. Geofrey Kipsang 1:3:40 Sh250, 000
2. Enock Mitei 1:3:58 Sh100, 000
3. Benson Nakeri 1:4:06 Sh50, 000
1. Alice Timbilil 1:10:20 Sh250, 000
2. Diana Chepkemoi 1:10:50 Sh100, 000
3. Giogina Rono 1:11:00 Sh50, 000
(Pictures provided by Murage Gichobi).