Safaricom Lewa Marathon looks to impact on more lives
Organisers reflected on a successful 2016 Safaricom Lewa Marathon as they launched this year’s race at the Safaricom House, Nairobi on Wednesday with an aspiration the latest edition bears greater success.
Since its inception in 2000, Lewa Marathon – now in its 18th year – has raised over Ksh500m with 12,361 runners having featured across the years.
This year’s competition scheduled for June 24 at the Lewa Conservancy in Isiolo County has been earmarked to surpass the Ksh62m worth of fundraising owing to a projected increase in participation.
“I’m positive this year we will draw a larger crowd. We have taken great strides in the past 17 years through this global showpiece and as a company our focus is to reach many people as possible as we hope to change their lives,” Safaricom Director of Strategies and Innovations, Joseph Ogutu said.
The event which will be organized by Safaricom, Tusk Trust and Lewa Conservancy aims to preserve wildlife and impact on lives via community development programmes such as the construction of healthcare centers.
Ogutu was quick to highlight several key initiatives set up by Safaricom in from the proceeds they gathered during the previous race.
“We have been able to come up with the Big Life Foundation in Kajiando that educates morans on other ways of meeting their daily needs such as entrepreneurship and the Local Ocean Trust at the Coast that teaches residents on how to protect real endangered species,” Ogutu offered.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy CEO Mike Watson attributed the success of the global event to the ‘generosity’ shown by cooperate partners who have collaborated with Safaricom year after year to see it come to fruition.
“Standard Chartered, AMREF, Highland Waters and many more have been behind the continued growth of the Lewa marathon. They have helped elevate the competition to achieving a global stature as one of the biggest charitable event.
“Let’s join hands and make this event big. The fruits since its inception are evident through the countless projects that have been started all over the country. Remember that some of the investments being put into place will benefit future generations,” Watson implored.
Last year, Philomen Baaru and Faith Lodepa clinched the men and women titles to claim their fourth Lewa Marathon titles.
Organisers of the event maintained the customary format, with this year’s competition featuring the full marathon, half –marathon and the children’s 3km race with the theme; I run, you win.
-Report by Mwangi Githinji.
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