NAIROBI, Kenya, March 1- Organisers of the Safaricom Marathon are expecting another bumper entry for one of the world’s unique sporting events.
Last year’s race helped to raise a record Sh47 million, further building the event’s profile as a major fund-raiser for community development in Kenya.
“We are extremely delighted by the continued success of this unique event and we are happy to lend it our name and support. Its founding mantra of running for a cause is well-aligned with our own pillars of community engagement, support and sustainability. We are glad that the Safaricom Marathon continues to make a real positive difference in the lives of Kenyans,” said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.
The marathon which will be held at the traditional Lewa Wildlife Conservancy venue on June 25.
Safaricom announced that it would continue to be the title sponsor of the event with a Sh8.8 million package this year, part of an existing five-year contract.
Since inception, Safaricom Marathon has helped raise a total of about Sh225 million financing a number of projects not just in the immediate neighbourhood of its idyllic Lewa Wildlife Conservancy venue, but in the rest of the country as well.
These interventions straddle Education, Healthcare and Conservation, among others. Last year for instance, some Sh3 million out of the cash raised was used in re-settling people displaced by the post-poll chaos of 2007/8.
The marathon, which has built an international profile based on its unique setting, punishing course and support for local communities will retain its 3-race format, a full marathon (42 km), half marathon (21 km) and a Children’s Fun Run (5 km).
Last year’s edition attracted a field of 1,150 runners, against 1,000 runners who took part in 2009, with enthusiasm for the event being capped only by its unique venue in a wildlife conservancy where human numbers have to be kept at a minimum.
Registration is now open with May 20, 2011 deadline. Registration is on a 1st come 1st served basis. Should entries fill up before then, registration will close.