This year’s Lewa Safari Marathon that is powered by Huawei Technologies Kenya and Safaricom PLC will now be held in person and virtually on June 25 at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Meru County.
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy chief executive officer, Mike Watson disclosed Tuesday that the event that seeks to raise over Sh 40 million for conservation, health and education projects, will have a limited entry of 1,000 participants.
Watson disclosed that even though their fundraising venture was affected when the 2020 and 2021 editions were held virtually due to the outbreak of Covid-19, US$ 200,000 (Sh22.6m) was raised from each of the two events.
It was a significant drop considering that over US$ 360,000 (Sh36m) was realised from the 2019 event
Watson, who was accompanied by Lewa Wildlife Conservancy community development manager John Kinoti, was speaking during this year’s media and sponsorship launch event at The Sarova Stanley.
A total of Sh30m was raised with Huawei Technologies, Safaricom, Kenya Breweries Limited and Tetra Pak Limited pledged their financial and material support.
Fiona Pan, Huawei Technologies Kenya deputy chief executive officer and Paul Kasimu, Safaricom PLC human resource officer, handed over cheques of Sh 10m each.
KBL Sustainability Manager, Maryanne Nderu said that the beer company will avail hospitality services worth Sh8m, while besides Sh2m cash, Tetra Pak Limited Marketing Director, Jackline Kittony disclosed that her company will be the events’ hydration partner, providing drinking water and energy drinks.
Watson said that registration opens on March 23 online at https://www.lewasafarimarathon.co.ke.
Registration goes for Sh20,000 per participant at 42km (full marathon) and 21km (half marathon), while children’s 5km race will attract an entry charge of Sh3,500 each.
Participants for the newly introduced 10km race for executives will part with Sh50,000 each. Watson said there will be prize money but the structure will be released in due course.
“The limit is at 1,000 but we shall give opportunity to any elite athlete who would like to compete,” said Watson, adding that this year’s event aims to be the most environmentally friendly.
“This drive is inspired by the urgent need to reduce our carbon footprint, which aligns with our ethos and standards as we strive to be a model for biodiversity and ecosystem preservation,” said Watson.
Pan noted that environmental sustainability is a key pillar of Huawei’s sustainability strategy.
“That is why this marathon is and continues to be a key activity that we support together with our partner Safaricom,” said Pan.
“We believe in purpose and we shall continue to support programs that aim to transform lives,” said Kasimu.
Kinoti said the pandemic helped them reflect on other avenues to raise funds for the noble course.
“Running virtually cut off that human interaction, but we all understood that the world was fighting a pandemic,” explained Kinoti.
“We still ensured that development related issues continued but at short pace.”