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Lewa Safari Marathon to be ‘Held Virtually’

by Zablon Ondari
2 mins read

The 2020 Lewa Safari Marathon, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, will now be held virtually.

The marathon that had been planned for 27th June at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy was called off for the first time in 20 years.

Lewa and Tusk Trust, the race organisers, will instead host a virtual challenge on the same day and are encouraging their supporters to take part by running wherever they are in the world.

The annual Lewa Safari Marathon raises funds for Tusk Organisation for conservation, community development and education projects across Kenya and beyond.

According to the organisers, participants will be required to run 5km, 10km, 21km or 42km while observing social distance guidelines from anywhere in the world to help raise funds for conservation projects.

On Saturday, World Marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, who is also Lewa Marathon ambassador, had a practice session at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to help gather support for the Virtual Lewa Marathon.

Speaking about the virtual challenge, Eliud Kipchoge said: “I urge everybody to participate and just run where they are. We are all part of the human family and we must keep strong, stay fit, observe directives from our government[s], and know this situation is not permanent. It means a lot to me to run with rangers. To run with the people who watch over wildlife when we sleep at night and take care of rhino and elephant, is actually an honour.”

Kipchoge was joined on the run by half-marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor, as well as two other elite athletes Philemon Rono and Jonathan Korir, who travelled from Eliud’s training base in Kaptagat.

The athletes joined forces with rangers working on conservation’s frontline and Tusk’s Director of Programmes, Sarah Watson, and Edward Ndiritu, Lewa’s head of anti-poaching in undertaking a training run within the famous reserve, running alongside some of Kenya’s most iconic wildlife including elephant, rhino and buffalo.

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