Lewa Safari Marathon 2023 edition reverts to traditional format

Lewa Safari Marathon 2023 edition reverts to traditional format

From Left: Brand and Marketing Director at Safaricom Zizwe Awuor, Chief Human Resources Officer at Safaricom Paul Kasimu, Lewa Conservancy Chief of Programmes, John Kinoti and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy CEO, Mike Watson during the cheque handover and the official launch of the 2023 Lewa Safari Marathon at Sarova Stanley Hotel, Nairobi - on March 14th. Photo/Courtesy.

Up to 1,400 individuals will take part in this year’s Lewa Safari Marathon, powered by  Huawei Technologies Kenya and Safaricom PLC.

This was revealed by Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Chief executive officer Mike Watson on Tuesday, in a press briefing on the event slated for June 24 at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Meru County.

The will thus revert to the traditional field of 1,400 from 1,200, with no Covid-19 restrictions which had necessitated the changes.

Registration for the event, whose theme is “Ditch the Desk, run in the Wild” starts at 8.30am Wednesday, and will be offered on a first-come-first served basis.

“This year’s event will be bigger and better considering that it will be held in-person and not last year when it was staged in-person and virtually. The pandemic has eased and people are keen to get out and back to nature,” explained Watson.

During the media and sponsorship launch at the Sarova Stanley, Safaricom PLC gave out a cheque of Sh10 million with Huawei Technologies Kenya handing a cheque of Sh13 million.

According to Watson, an estimated Sh31.2 million was raised from last year’s venture after the 2020 and 2021 editions were held virtually due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

This year’s event is projected to hit Sh65 million, according to the organisers.

Registration goes for Sh20,000 per participant at 42kilometre (full marathon) and 21km (half marathon), while children’s 5km race will attract a reduced entry charge of Sh3,000 from 3,500 each.

Participants registering as a group of 10 for the wildlife conservation fund drive event in and community service, will have a discount of Sh2,000 each.

All proceeds go directly to conservation efforts at Lewa Conservancy and Community empowerment projects.

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa recounted that since its inception in 2000, over US$ 9m has been raised for wildlife conservation and community projects.

"This is not about money, but what the noble course stands for. The event means a lot to us as a company because we aim to support the growth and development of sports talents, while conserving the country’s environment and wildlife...” read Ndegwa's statement.

Huawei Technologies Kenya deputy chief executive officer, Sheng Kaifu said that environmental sustainability is a key pillar of Huawei’s sustainability strategy.

“Huawei is delighted to have supported the Lewa Safari Marathon for the past 16 years. The conservancy is home to some of the rarest wildlife and we know through our support and that of Safaricom, a difference has been made in preserving these iconic species for future generations as well as the surrounding communities.”

The World’s fastest marathon runner and Lewa Ambassador, Eliud 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.”


Lewa Safari Marathon Peter Ndegwa Safaricom Huawei Technologies Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Ditch the Desk Sheng Kaifu

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