The entry fee for the 20th edition of Safaricom Lewa Marathon due June 29 has been increased from Sh15,000 to Sh20,000 owing to the cost of hosting the event.
Safaricom’s Director for Consumer Business, Charles Wanjohi disclosed on Tuesday that as they target to raise Sh100 million from this year’s race, noting that the cost of transport and security had gone up.
“We shall need to raise more if we are to remain with some funds for the community and conservation purpose. More so, we haven’t raised the entry fee for the last six years,” said Wanjohi, adding that the entry will once again be limited to 1,400 participants.
Entry for the full (42km) and half marathons (21km) is Sh20,000 per person, while Sh3,000 for the children’s 5km race.
Entries open online on Wednesday on www.safaricom.co.ke/safaricomnarathon.
Wanjohi said that they raised Sh65 million from last year’s race for wildlife conservation, construction and equipping of schools, provision of equipment at health facilities and engaging in sustainable harvest and use of water.
The amount raised brought to a total of Sh 750 million raised since inception in 2000.
“Safaricom Lewa Marathon has transformed the lives of the communities it serves. It has given them access to health, clean water and education and we are motivated to continue supporting the marathon because we have seen the impact on over 500,000 lives that are touched through the various initiatives,” said Wanjohi.
The marathon has also enabled over 10,000 children get education, while 40,000 people now have access to healthcare and 50,000 people annually benefit from agroforestry, irrigation and infrastructure initiative.
Lewa Conservancy Chief Executive Officer, Mike Watson said the initiative has continued to transform lives and the impact has been much higher than expected.
“We have seen the communities around Isiolo, Laikipia and Meru grow as a result of the money raised from the Marathon. In the last few years we have expanded to support projects in Northern Kenya and the Coast,” said Watson.
Last year, Philemon Mbaaru lived up to his expectations when he cruised to his sixth Safaricom Lewa Marathon men’s title, recording 2:22:21.
The 37-year-old beat his close contender Peter Wahome, who was second in 2:22:33, while Silas Gichovi settled for third in 2:23:23.
Jane Ngima took the women’s title in 2:51:36 after flooring Esther Macharia, who came second in a time of 2:53:41, as Mary Mwaniki completed the podium finish in 2:59:31.