Safaricom extends Kshs 25 million sponsorship to Lewa Marathon as annual event marks 25th anniverssary




The Lewa Safari Marathon is one of the world’s most breathtaking races, notorious for its challenging yet captivating terrain and incredible wildlife experiences. Voted as one of the top ten races to take on in your life by Runner’s World, the Marathon is on countless bucket lists.

The event’s vast network of participants and beneficiaries spreads throughout Kenya and beyond, connecting those from more that 40 countries in a common purpose; making lasting change for a brighter future for Kenya and Kenyans.

(TOP: From left- Safaricom Brand and Marketing Director Zizwe Awuor, hands over a dummy cheque of Safaricom’s sponsorship towards Lewa marathon to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Programs Manager John Kinoti and Director of programs, Tusk Trust Sarah Watson, during the launch of the 25th edition of the Lewa Marathon at Sarova Stanley).

And the Lewa Safari Marathon’s legacy spans decades, with connected generations at its heart. From beneficiaries of Lewa’s education programme who are now leading the initiative, to intergenerational race participants and staff teams, the event’s impact has come full circle.

25 Years of Impact 

The Lewa Safari Marathon is not just a personal challenge. This unique event has supported conservation projects across Kenya for decades. By taking part, every single participant plays a huge role in helping local communities and raising awareness of the threats facing Africa’s incredible biodiversity.

25 years of impact from funds generated by event participation has led to impressive conservation successes with black rhino, Grevy’s zebra, leatherback turtle, mountain bongo and elephant, as well as exponential growth in effective community conservancies and protected areas.

Our ambition is that the event will continue to contribute to biodiversity protection for the next 25 years. As the threats and pressures on Kenya’s natural heritage continue to build, the Lewa Safari Marathon and its connected communities will play a vital role in their mitigation.

A World Class Field

The annual event has hosted runners of all abilities over the past 25 years, from elite professionals like sub-two-hour marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge, to amateur runners and walkers alike.

Kipchoge said: “To me, a running world is a happy world. We are all part of the human family and we must keep strong and stay fit for our wellbeing. By running together, we can also conserve our environment, empower our communities, take care of our wildlife and support those at Lewa working for a future for us all.”

Headline sponsored by telecommunication giants Safaricom and Huawei, the Marathon continues to be a force for good.

“Since the very beginning, Safaricom has been an integral partner of the Lewa Safari Marathon, demonstrating our commitment to the well-being of our environment and ecosystem. The marathon provides a platform for us to showcase the impact of past, current, and future technologies driven by the Safaricom brand in contributing to the development and creation of sustainable initiatives in the Lewa Landscape. We take pride in our 25-year involvement with the marathon, as it has not only offered sparks of inspiration but also provided solutions to thousands of Kenyans, enabling them to shine and transform their dreams into reality. This year, we are equally excited to extend our support for the event, committing Kshs 25 million to its success,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.

Sheng Kaifu, Deputy CEO, Huawei shared: “Huawei is delighted to have supported the Lewa Safari Marathon for the past 16 years as part of our commitment to supporting the environment and local communities in Kenya.  The conservancy is home to some of the rarest wildlife and we know through our support, a difference has been made in preserving these iconic species for future generations as well as the surrounding communities”.

Kenya’s iconic Lewa Wildlife Conservancy has played host to the event for a quarter of a century and the marathon is notoriously one of the world’s most challenging and rewarding. The Conservancy is a UNESCO world heritage site, known for its diverse habitats of pristine forest, extensive grasslands, numerous springs and woodland which provide a stunning location for this event.  With an early start to avoid the heat of the day, you’ll be running at a mere 5,500 ft above sea level along rocky trails interspersed with welcome intervals under the shadow of giant acacia trees.

Reflecting on the event, Mike Watson, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy CEO said: “As we face unprecedented threats to our planet, it is essential that we take action to protect our wildlife and their habitats. The Lewa Safari Marathon is not only an opportunity to challenge yourself and connect with nature, but it is also a way to make a positive impact on the communities and wildlife of northern Kenya and beyond. I encourage everyone take advantage of this unique opportunity to disconnect from our screens and connect with nature on June 24th, in Kenya’s most spectacular wildlife conservancy.”

Since its inception in 2000 the race has raised over $8.5 million dollars in support of conservation and community initiatives throughout Kenya. Over $4 million dollars have been invested in the direct protection of endangered species, other wildlife and their habitats.

Registrations will open March 14, 2024, at 8.00 am on the event’s website.

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