NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 26 – The 20th edition of the Safaricom Marathon will run June 29 at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Organisers announced on Tuesday.
Registration for the annual marathon will open on Thursday, February 27 via www.safaricommarathon.co.ke.
The marathon has seen elite athletes compete in the tough course over the years with Philemon Mbaaru holding the record wins for the men’s 42km event, taking the title six times.
He is the defending champion while Jane Ngima is the reigning champion in the corresponding women’s race.
The partnership between Safaricom, Tusk and Lewa has over the years positively impacted communities and wildlife from Mount Kenya to the coast; across two world heritage sites; protecting species as large as the elephant and as small as a baby turtle.
“Over the last 19 editions we have seen Safaricom Marathon in Lewa transform the lives of the communities it serves. It has given them access to health, clean water and education, and we are motivated to continue supporting the marathon because we have seen the impact on over 500,000 lives that are touched through the various initiatives,” said Charles Wanjohi, Safaricom’s Director of the Consumer Business Unit.
Since inception, the annual marathon has raised over Sh750 million which has gone into wildlife conservation, construction and equipping of schools, provision of equipment at health facilities and engaging in sustainable harvest and use of water.
“We’re immensely proud of all that has been achieved in partnership with Safaricom. Thanks to their invaluable support Tusk has made a real difference to the lives of the many thousands of Kenyans living alongside their wildlife,” said Tusk CEO Charlie Mayhew.
“We are particularly proud that the Safaricom Marathon has become a valuable shop window for Kenya – attracting numerous overseas runners to Lewa each year.”
The Marathon has also enabled over 10,000 children get education, while 40,000 people now have access to healthcare and 50,000 people annually benefit from agroforestry, irrigation and infrastructure initiatives.
To mark its 20th edition, the marathon seeks to raise Sh100 million ; 20 times the amount it raised in the year 2000.
The Marathon will have three categories of runners which include; 5km children’s fun race for children aged 10 to 17 years, the 21 km half marathon which will include team races and the 42km full marathon.
“We are grateful to Safaricom for supporting us since we started the Marathon 20 years ago. We have seen the communities around Isiolo, Laikipia and Meru grow as a result of the money raised from the Marathon,” Lewa Conservancy CEO Mike Watson stated.
“In the last few years we have expanded to support projects in Northern Kenya and the Coast,” Watson added.