Conservation marathon rebrands
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta at the start line of the 5km run, which was flagged off by Cabinet Secretary of Sports, Culture and the Arts Amb. Amina Mohamed during the 2019 Safaricom Lewa Marathon at the Lewa Conservancy, Meru County. [Courtesy]

The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy unveiled a new identity for their annual fundraising event which will now be known as The Lewa Safari Marathon.

The 21st edition due to take place on June 27 is now open for registration.

Speaking at the press conference, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy CEO Mike Watson said, “Entry will close as soon as all the available slots are taken up and as usual they will be issued on a first-come, first-serve basis.”

For 20 years, the marathon limited to 1400 participants, has allowed participants from all over the globe to compete in an internationally acclaimed event whilst running through one of Africa’s breath-taking wildlife conservancies.

Held on the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, it is regarded as one of the toughest marathons in the world. Runners of all abilities have taken part – from elite professionals to amateur runners and walkers. For a change, the marathon has added an executive 10km race charges at 50,000 KES to their previous 3 entries; 42km, 21km and 5km.

The revamped marathon, co-organised by Tusk, has received generous sponsorship from Safaricom PLC and Huawei Technologies (Kenya) Co., Ltd who joined forces to power the marathon to a tune of 15 million KES each. Above its identity as a sporting event, the marathon is a vehicle for the advancement of education, healthcare and conservation efforts in Kenya and across Africa, raising close to 800,000,000 KES for these causes since the year 2000.

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Acknowledging the boost, Charlie Mayhew, CEO of Tusk said, “We are extremely proud of how this unique event has captured the imagination of runners from all over the world and continues each year to raise very significant funds for a wide range of conservation, education and community initiatives across Kenya, we are immensely grateful to Safaricom and Huawei once again to have their generous support.”

In a bid to raise more funds as they increased their target, we held our inaugural fundraising dinner in Nairobi to support the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy’s work in protecting some of Kenya’s most endangered species and promoting the improvement of livelihoods for thousands of people. The money will go to support Lewa’s wildlife, security and anti-poaching, education and community programmes, among others.

The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy works as a model and catalyst for the conservation of wildlife and its habitat. It does this through the protection and management of species, the initiation and support of community conservation and development programs, and the education of neighbouring areas in the value of wildlife.

The conservancy has continually adapted to the rapidly evolving threat of poaching to protect the wildlife under its care. Due to their watchfulness, there have been only two cases of poaching of rhino on the Lewa-Borana Landscape in the past seven years.

Years of rigorous conservation efforts have resulted in booming populations and we’ve recorded increasingly stable and rising wildlife numbers. For instance, the rhino population in the Lewa-Borana Landscape is now a Key 1 black rhino population. 

Overall, Kenya is now home to just over 760 black rhinos and 620 southern white rhinos with Lewa holding 14 per cent of Kenya’s black rhino population.

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