Safaricom in partnership with Tusk Trust and the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy has today launched the 20th Edition of Safaricom Marathon scheduled to take place on Saturday, 29th June 2019 in Lewa. 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 KES 750 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. We are particularly proud that the Safaricom Marathon has become a valuable shop window for Kenya – attracting numerous overseas runners to Lewa each year”, said Tusk CEO Charlie Mayhew.
The Marathon has also enabled over 10,000 children to 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 KES 100 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. In the last few years we have expanded to support projects in Northern Kenya and the Coast,” said Mike Watson, CEO, Lewa Conservancy.
Three-time winner of the ladies’ full marathon category Ms. Frida Lodepa is a household name in Kenyan Athletics having bagged a number of international titles including the Penang marathon, Kilimanjaro marathon and has featured in the Safaricom Athletics series. Six-time defending champion Philemon Baaru currently holds the record for the highest number of wins.
Registration opens on 27th February 2019 via www.safaricommarathon.co.ke