Another memorable Safaricom Marathon has just finished on Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. The 16th in fact! The usual participants were there – an exciting mix of world famous professional marathon runners (most of the best ones being Kenyan of course), celebrities and international and national runners of all shapes, sizes and abilities.
Certain competitors caught the crowd’s attention for their individuality or outstanding achievements. Of particular note was the wildlife rangers team led by Sam Taylor (who was ‘fresh’ from the Marathon des Sables) who were running in full combat gear while carrying 20kg packs and heavy G3 rifles. This inspiring group of men raised over US$115,000 for Running for Rangers, which supports ranger units that are affiliated with Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Space for Giants, Borana Conservancy, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy, Northern Rangelands Trust, The Mara Elephant Project and Big Life Foundation.
Meanwhile, John Ruengu, the oldest runner at 85 years, has been running these marathons since 2000, and completed this one with his usual flair.
This annual event, organised by Tusk Trust and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and supported by Safaricom, is regarded as one of the toughest marathons in the world due to the rough terrain, altitude and heat.
Runners and spectators revel in the stunning beauty of this 61,000 acre conservancy with Mount Kenya as a backdrop. They have also often had close (but never dangerous) encounters with animals. This year the race was slightly delayed whilst four rhinos, eight lions, three herds of elephants and ten buffalos were blocking the course!
The funds generated by this event are used by Tusk Trust to support conservation, education and community projects in Kenya.
Sirikoi was proud to be hosting two groups of runners, all intent on completing the tough course and raising funds for such a worthwhile cause.