NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – The 2020 edition of the Lewa Safari Marathon has been cancelled as Kenya and the rest of the world grapples with the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers announced on Thursday.
This year’s edition was slated for 27th June allowing participants from all over the globe to compete whilst running through one of Africa’s most breath-taking conservancies.
“Despite our great willingness to push on, having weighed all factors, we have come to the very difficult decision to cancel this year’s race,” said the CEO of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Mike Watson.
“While we’re sure all efforts are being made by the Kenyan government to contain the spread of the virus, it is paramount we heed the presidential directive to avoid all non-essential public gatherings and play our part in flattening the curve until all of this is behind us,” Watson added.
“The safety of runners, supporters and local communities amid this global crisis is paramount. We will return next year, stronger than ever, and meanwhile we are committed to continue supporting our partner projects as best we can,” TUSK Chief Executive Officer Charlie Mayhew noted.
With increased travel restrictions all over the world and Kenya having closed its skies to international flights, most of the overseas athletes would have found it tough to travel to the country.
Despite the race being almost three months away, there is uncertainty on juts how long the battle to combat the virus might take.
On Wednesday, Kenya confirmed three more cases of the coronavirus taking its caseload to 28, with one already recovered. The government has also laid out an indefinite 7pm-5am curfew which will only be lifted when the condition improves.
The event organisers will offer the participants the chance to defer their entries, as well as claim full or partial refunds.