Safaricom Limited has launched the 16th edition of the Safaricom Lewa Marathon in partnership with Tusk Trust and Lewa Conservancy. It will take place on the 27th of June 2015, at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. The theme this year is ‘‘Run for a good cause’.
At the launch of the Safaricom Marathon 2015 Bob Collymore talked about a Rhinoceros being shot in the chest and running for her life. She had a little 4 month old child with her but she eventually died in one of the bloodiest massacres of rhino’s in Kenya’s recent past. She left behind a baby Rhino who would have probably have nobody to teach him or her how to survive in the wild and to stay away from poachers. That Rhino may sound like a statistic but there are only around 1000 rhinos left alive in Kenya.
Why should it matter to you?
Rhinos are part of our national heritage and also a part of the cycle of life. They have their place in the ecosystem and they deserve to be protected. Not just because of tourism dollars but because they are part of our priceless heritage. If our Rhinos are killed no amount of money will bring them back to life.
2014 was not a good year for wildlife as we witnessed the highest level of poaching with up to 4 rhinoceros being killed in one incident. Bob Collymore remarked that “It is often said that what a country chooses to conserve is a reflection of what it values. ” We should join in the fight to save our Rhinos.
Safaricom and the Lewa Marathon
Safaricom is passionate about conservation and that is why the Safaricom Lewa Marathon was started. Last year Lewa did not lose any Rhinos to poachers and this was party due to tight security measures put in place. 15 rhinoceros were also born at the conservancy making it the highest number since Lewa was launched.
The Safaricom Lewa marathon has grown from 180 runners 16 years ago to becoming one of biggest marathons in Kenya and it has become a global event. This is due to Safaricom’s commitment not just to conserving the animals but also investing in the community through projects, health care, and education programs.
“Safaricom Marathon amplifies Safaricom’s spirit of transforming lives and for the past 15 years, the marathon has had a huge impact on the lives of communities in Lewa and the conservation of the endangered species in the conservancy, we are happy with the progress and success of the marathon so far and we expect this year’s event to be even more successful” said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.
In 2014 The Safaricom Lewa Marathon raised over Ksh. 58 million which was the highest amount ever raised for the marathon. The event had over 1,200 runners in the half and full marathons, 180 in the kids’ race and over 5,000 spectators. There were also 43 nationalities at the event.
The marathon has raised over USD 4.9 million since it started. It is one of the 10 must do marathons and it is also the toughest in the world. These funds have been used to improve the lives of the community in Lewa. The funds have been used for education, to improve livelihoods, reduce conflict, and alleviate poverty in the area.
Registration for the marathon kicked off on 25th of February. The Marathon will have three categories of runners which include; 5 km children’s fun race of between 10 to 14 years and 15 to 17 year olds, the 21 KM half marathon which will include team races and the 42 KM full marathon.