NAIROBI, Kenya, February 12 – Last year’s Safaricom Lewa marathon raised a record Sh29.5 million up from Sh18 million the previous year.
The amount brings to Sh130 million the amount raised since the marathon’s inception ten year’s ago.
So far communities leaving around Lewa have benefited from funds raised through past marathons, such as the Isiolo district hospital, Nanyuki Cottage hospital and local schools,” said Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph.
A record 750 runners participated in last year’s marathon with 600 taking part in the half marathon while 15 runners took part in the full course.
About 800 runners are expected for this year’s event which will be held on June 27 at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Samburu district.
“I would like to appeal to runners, sponsors and corporate companies to register for the marathon which has helped in reducing human wildlife conflicts and raising funds for community development,” said Joseph.
Other benefactors have included local women groups who have received funds to initiate small and medium scale enterprises which can uplift their living standards.
Boreholes and water tanks have also been put up, from funds raised through the marathon.
Among the elite runners will be five time world cross country and former world marathon record holder Paul Tergat and world marathon champion Catherine Ndereba who will lead a pack of local and international athletes in the marathon famously known for its rough terrain.
Benson Kaptikou and Emma Muthoni were the winners of last year’s marathon which is the only one that is run in a game reserve.