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Safaricom Marathon: Run Wild Through Kenya

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Photos by Safaricom Marathon
Safaricom Marathon: Run Wild Through Kenya

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Run wild through Kenya in the annual Tusk Fund Safaricom Marathon. The race is held at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, who heavily guard and watch over the wildlife within 25,000 hectares of savannah plains, river banks and acacia woodland.

Safaricom is well-regarded for its physically demanding course (altitude is 1700 metres, the temperature is 30-35 degrees Celsius), and racers will likely spot wildlife while pacing out the course kilometres. Each entrant is also contributing to the hard work Tusk Fund puts into conserving Africa’s wildlife and supporting the local communities. Runners are required to raise over US$1400 prior to race day, as well as pay a US$150 entrance fee for either the half or full marathon legs. Since the first race in 2000, Tusk Fund has raised over US$4.9 million for wildlife conservation.

Regarded by Runner’s World as one of the world’s top 10 marathons, this is not the usual pavement pounding spectacle. The point of difference becomes immediately clear when a group of curious giraffes turn up to spectate alongside the usual crowds.

WORDS OF WISDOM

  • Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is located in Northern Kenya, a four-hour drive or 45-minute flight from Nairobi.
  • Lewa’s Maridadi luxury tented camp is a popular place to stay during the race. There are many other exceptional lodges nearby perfect for those wanting to shift gears post-race and go on safari. Aardvark Safaris (Safaricom’s official tourism operator for 2016’s race) can help in all matters of trip planning, and will take wishes and requirements into consideration when recommending accommodation and wildlife experiences.
  • Safety comes first. The route is watched over by a large and experienced team of rangers, along with two helicopters and a spotter plane, to ensure wildlife do not stray too close.
  • Stay hydrated. Water stations are positioned every 2.5 kilometres, alongside misting areas and first aid points, complete with orange slices and isotonic drinks.

Visit Safaricom Marathon

An aerial view of the many competitors lined up at the start line and spectators lined up by the fences on either side in Kenya in the Safaricom Marathon
Close up of runners in single file running through the thigh-high brown grass at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in the Safaricom Marathon
A group of antelopes crossing the plain with runners in the distance during the Safaricom Marathon
Three men running through almost waist high grass with one doing a thumbs-up in the Safaricom Marathon
Solitary man running through thigh high grass and the empty plain stretching out behind him in the Safaricom Marathon
A long line of runners on a dusty track weaving through trees on the plain in Kenya in the Safaricom Marathon
An aerial view of a few scattered runners on a long straight dirt road through the plain at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in the Safaricom Marathon
A runner grabbing refreshments at a rest stop from a group of Africans in local dress in Kenya during the Safaricom Marathon
Safaricom-Sunset
Helicopter hovering over people running through brown grass in Kenya in the Safaricom Marathon
A group of four zebras running through the grass with runners in the distance in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy during the Safaricom Marathon
A gazebo and Tent with seating outside and trees in the background for the Safaricom Marathon
Published on July 25, 2016
Country: Kenya ›
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