A Marathon through the Kenyan Bush to Save Precious Wildlife from Extinction: SafaricomImagine running a marathon in the Lewa conservancy in northern Kenya, a somewhat hallowed sanctuary surrounded by the lush Ngare Ndare Forest, with thick dirt roads meandering through wild grass.
This June, Safaricom, considered one of the top-10 most challenging races in the world because of the intense heat and altitude, cuts through this area of Kenya and will see some 1,300 avid runners racing to the finish. As romantic as the movie "Out Of Africa," the race takes place on a game reserve, with plenty of opportunities to spot graceful cheetahs, elephants, and even the elusive black and white rhino.
Runners can take in the majesty of savannah plains, river banks and acacia woodland. Half-marathon runners would complete one loop, and full marathon runners would do two.
Don’t be surprised to see armed rangers during the course: they’re just doing their job to make sure the runners are safe and no crazy wildlife incidents are reported.
This race has played host to several celebrity runners including Pippa Middleton, and Eliud Kipchoge, who was the Kenyan who won the Olympic gold medal for long-distance running in 2016.
It is also a fundraiser for a great cause: Tusk, the sponsor, partners with local organizations to combine conservation, education and community programs. Its education efforts have reached over 350,000 children. Some proceeds of the $250 entry fee will go towards construction of clinics, water projects, roads, airstrips and schools.
After soaking in the sun and recuperating, head south to the Masai Mara and enjoy the great migration on safari.
The race takes place on Saturday, June 25th, and the registration deadline is February 22, 2016.