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The virtually 2020 Lewa Safari marathon powered by Huawei raises over $200,000 for wildlife conservation

The virtually Lewa Safari marathon powered by Chinese technology firm Huawei has raised over 20 million Kenyan shillings (about 200,000 U.S. dollars) for wildlife conservation. This year, Huawei has marked 12th anniversary on supporting the Lewa Marathon to boost the protection of iconic species at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy located in northern Kenya, executives said on Sunday.

Shen Lei, Huawei Key Accounts Director, said more than one decade of financial support towards the annual Lewa Marathon, has enhanced conservation of wildlife amid natural and human-induced threats.

“Over the years we have donated significant amounts of funding and in doing so we know that every shilling is making a difference inside and outside Lewa’s boundaries,” Shen said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

The 2020 edition of Lewa Marathon was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic on June 27, registering about 1000 participants from 70 cities that were represented by 20 countries and regions.

“Both Lewa and Huawei continue to forge tirelessly ahead with enhancing conservation and telecommunication efforts respectively despite the pandemic so that Kenya can be prepared for tomorrow,” he added.

Mike Watson, chief executive officer of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, said since 2008, when Huawei Kenya first got involved they have been able to inject an additional 100 million Kenyan shilling into the 800 million Kenyan shilling marathon kitty. “What this has done has allowed us to invest heavily in more than 80 projects across Kenya.”

He said that investing in wildlife conservation will unleash multiple benefits including job creation. Huawei’s financial support to the annual marathon has transformed the conservation of iconic species and rural livelihoods.

(07/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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Safaricom Lewa Marathon

Safaricom Lewa Marathon

The first and most distinctive is that it is run on a wildlife conservancy, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is home to a number of endangered and threatened species- and also a catalyst for community development for its neighboring communities. For the past 17 years, funds raised from the marathon have gone...

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Having been cancelled due to the pandemic, this year’s Lewa Safari Marathon will be staged virtually, with Eliud Kipchoge leading the way

On Saturday, Kipchoge ran in a practice session at the Conservancy alongside Lewa Rangers to help drum up support for the virtual race.

The fastest marathoner in the world teamed up with World Half Marathon giant Geoffrey Kamworor alongside two other athletes, Philemon Rono and Jonathan Rotich.

Kipchoge’s presence at the Conservancy located in Kenya’s North was a boost for the wildlife rangers and Tusk’s Director of Programmes in Africa, Sarah Watson who joined them on the run.

“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, and know this situation is not permanent.”

“I have never taken part in the Lewa (Safari) Marathon before, but it was very inspiring to run with the rangers today in this beautiful conservancy and motivate them. I would ask the rangers to continue doing a good job, because they are conserving our wildlife and environment.”

Kipchoge struck through the picturesque Lewa terrain, with a mouth-watering background of grazing elephants and buffalos as the Rangers struck in tow, looking to keep up with the pace of a world beater.

It was a win-win day for Kipchoge who also got to experience a different set-up from his Eldoret base where he has been training in isolation since all athletics camps were closed as the world battles to control the spread of the coronavirus.

“My team and I are honored and very excited to have run with Eliud and his team today. Eliud is our brother, friend and supporter who recognizes the challenges that we face as wildlife rangers. This run has boosted our morale and encouraged us to keep going in this difficult time,” said Edward Ndiritu, Lewa’s Head of Anti-Poaching.

Athletes who will have registered will run from wherever they are as they continue supporting the marathon which had hoped to raise close to Sh500mn this year to aid in Lewa’s conservancy projects.

This year’s race was set to be supported by Safaricom and Huawei, with Safaricom having stepped down their annual financial support and instead joined up with the Chinese electronics company to raise the annual budget.

 

(05/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Timothy Olobulu
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Safaricom Lewa Marathon

Safaricom Lewa Marathon

The first and most distinctive is that it is run on a wildlife conservancy, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is home to a number of endangered and threatened species- and also a catalyst for community development for its neighboring communities. For the past 17 years, funds raised from the marathon have gone...

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Lewa Safari Marathon planned for June 27 has been cancelled for the first time in 20 years

The Chief Executive Officer of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Mike Watson, on Thursday disclosed that the race organisers have been forced to cancel this year’s competition to help curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

The title sponsors of this year’s competition were Huawei Kenya and Safaricom PLC.

“Despite our great willingness to push on, having weighed all factors, we have come to the very difficult decision to cancel this year’s race,” Watson said in a statement, noting that on March 25, the Kenyan government announced 28 cases of Covid-19 in the country and banned all international flights effective from March 25. Also banned are public gatherings and sporting events.

“A significant number of the marathoners, whose contributions are key to the success of the event, are overseas runners from the UK and the USA. In light of the new travel restrictions and severity of the situation, they will be unable to participate,” said Watson, adding that the government has also issued a public declaration advising Kenyans to avoid all non-essential public gatherings.

“While we are sure all efforts are being made by the Kenyan government to contain the spread of the virus, it is paramount that we heed the presidential directive to avoid all non-essential public gatherings and play our part in flattening the curve until all of this is behind us,” Watson added.

(03/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Safaricom Lewa Marathon

Safaricom Lewa Marathon

The first and most distinctive is that it is run on a wildlife conservancy, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is home to a number of endangered and threatened species- and also a catalyst for community development for its neighboring communities. For the past 17 years, funds raised from the marathon have gone...

more...
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Huawei Kenya and Safaricom pump millions into Lewa Safari Marathon

Huawei Kenya have now joined Safaricom PLC as the major sponsors for this year's Safaricom Lewa Marathon that will now be known as Lewa Safari Marathon.

The 21st edition of the Lewa Safari Marathon, which will be held on June 27 this year, seeks to raise Sh50 million just like the previous year for community projects and wildlife conservation at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy chief executive officer, Mike Watson disclosed on Wednesday that Huawei Kenya and Safaricom have each coughed Sh15 million sponsorship for the event that has been limited to an entry of 1400 participants.

The funds have also helped support community conservation in Northern Kenya, protection of endangered species and other wildlife and their habitat and investing in ranger welfare.

Safaricom chairman Michael Joseph welcomed Huawei Kenya into the project.

However, Joseph noted with concern that the main wildlife conservation efforts in Kenya have been championed and financed privately by people mostly from abroad.

“There is is little support from the corporates locally and locals,” said Joseph. “I want to challenge the whole country and the corporates to join in conservation since this is our national heritage. We need to safe guard this for the generations to come.”

Huawei Kenya key account director, Stanley Shenlei noted that they have supported Lewa Safari Marathon for the last 20 years to a tune of Sh100 million. "We have seen the positive impact the Lewa Conservancy has had on wildlife and surrounding communities. It is truly incredible," said Shenlei.

(03/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Safaricom Lewa Marathon

Safaricom Lewa Marathon

The first and most distinctive is that it is run on a wildlife conservancy, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is home to a number of endangered and threatened species- and also a catalyst for community development for its neighboring communities. For the past 17 years, funds raised from the marathon have gone...

more...
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Huawei Technologies has renewed its commitment to the Safaricom Marathon by giving $100,000US in support of this year’s event

For the past 10 years, Huawei has contributed over 1,000,000 USD to Lewa Conservancy, becoming one of the top corporate donors of the marathon and contributing significantly to efforts to conserve wildlife, reduce human/wildlife conflict and provide clean water and education to communities in and around Lewa Conservancy.

The marathon which is in its 20th year saw about 1,400 runners from 30 different countries around the world participate.

Huawei had over 50 runners participate. As is the tradition, the Marathon had three categories of runners; 5 km children’s fun race of between 10 to 14 years and 15 to 17 year olds, the 21 KM half marathon which will include team races and the 42 KM full marathon.

“We take corporate responsibility very seriously, not only in our operations and our world-leading ICT products, but also in supporting community development and environment conservation. Throughout our 21 years in Kenya we have contributed to conserving the wonderful flora and fauna in Kenya, and supporting the communities surrounding those areas.

We strongly believe and support the mission of the Lewa Conservancy and Tusk Trust whose impact has been across the world as a successful model for fundraising and conservation awareness. We are happy to see the transformation that the funds raised from marathon has brought to the community,” Stone He, CEO Huawei said.

Funds raised from Huawei and other donors have helped to run and operate Lewa Conservancy, support education projects around Lewa, provide water to over 20,000 people in communities around Lewa, support NgareNdare Forest Trust, support Northern Rangelands Trust and support projects across Kenya including Mount Kenya Trust, Lamu Turtle Conservation project, Borana Conservancy, Big Life Foundation, Bongo Surveillance project, Local Ocean Trust, Tsavo Trust, The Maa Trust For Rangers, Grevy’s Zebra Trust and the Mara Elephant Project.

Huawei has been active in Kenya for 20 years building voice, broadband and mobile money telecommunications infrastructure across the country, providing the most innovative and highest quality smartphones, and enabling leading ICT solutions for safety, transportation, energy, finance and health.

(07/03/2019) ⚡AMP
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Safaricom Lewa Marathon

Safaricom Lewa Marathon

The first and most distinctive is that it is run on a wildlife conservancy, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is home to a number of endangered and threatened species- and also a catalyst for community development for its neighboring communities. For the past 17 years, funds raised from the marathon have gone...

more...
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Kenyan Maiyo Kipkurui and Emma kiruki won the 2019 Safaricom Lewa Marathon

Kipkurui, the two time Brighton Marathon champion clocked 2:20.04, three minutes ahead of Samson Lemaiyan (2:22.52) who took the second position while Edward Nderitu finished third in 2:24.31.

“I have been in training for the past two months preparing for this particular race, it felt like I was running in London, the support was massive.” Kipkurui told Citizen Digital.

“I did not even now that I was leading because I was with the 21km runners but they dropped one after the other until I was left alone,” he added.

In the women’s category, the 2008, champion Emma Muthuni Kiruki returned to her winning ways 11 years Later, clocking 2:50.31, 13 minutes ahead of Daisy Kipsugut (3:03.03) and Mary Wairimu 3:18.50.

The 36-year-old finished third in 21km in 2017 after a nine-year sabbatical from the competition.

“The heat was too much and the track very difficult, following the half marathon runners helped me a lot in increasing my pace.

“I had prepared very well but the race got difficult towards the end now am going back to the drawing board to prepare for the next race,” Kiruki said.

In the 21km race Morris Munene easily defended his title in a time of 1:06.06 ahead of John Elimlim (1:06.29) and Mike Boit (1:06.53)

“The competition was stiff but I had prepared well, I wanted to use the race to prepare for the year’s Berlin marathon.” Munene told citizen digital

In the women’s category, fresh from pacing assignment in China Miriam Nakitare won the 21km women’s race in a time of 1:15.11.

“I had prepared well for the race although when I started it was a little difficult but after 10km I saw the weakness in other competitors who could not take the hills easily and that is where I won the race.” Said Nakitare

Paulin Wangui (1:16.14) was second while Coroline nyaguthii (1:17.30) was third.

With the first lady Margaret Kenyatta being the chief Guest she joined over 1400 participants who took part in the event celebrating 20 years since inception on 2000. She took part in the 5km race.

(06/29/2019) ⚡AMP
by Philip Muchiri
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Safaricom Lewa Marathon

Safaricom Lewa Marathon

The first and most distinctive is that it is run on a wildlife conservancy, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is home to a number of endangered and threatened species- and also a catalyst for community development for its neighboring communities. For the past 17 years, funds raised from the marathon have gone...

more...
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John Ruengo is an 88-year-old Kenyan Marathoner who will run Lewa Marathon for his 20th time

An 88-year old octogenarian is among more than 1,400 who are set to take part in the 20th edition of the Safaricom Lewa marathon set for June 29, this year.

John Ruengo, who is also pursuing the title as the oldest marathoner alive will be defending his title in the half marathon category for people above 52 years.

John Ruengo, who has also set his sights on becoming the oldest marathoner alive.

Speaking to Nation Sports during a pre-race competition meant to identify amateur athletes to represent the community living around Lewa Conservancy in the marathon, Ruengo said he has stepped up training for the race and was confident of performing well.

The retired community development officer from Mutunyi Village in Meru County has participated and completed in the 21km race in all previous 19 editions of Lewa Marathon.

The veteran athlete said he religiously jogs for five kilometres every morning and evening for four days a week to keep fit. He also observes a strict diet composed mainly of green leafy vegetables and camel bone soup.

(04/03/2019) ⚡AMP
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Safaricom Lewa Marathon

Safaricom Lewa Marathon

The first and most distinctive is that it is run on a wildlife conservancy, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is home to a number of endangered and threatened species- and also a catalyst for community development for its neighboring communities. For the past 17 years, funds raised from the marathon have gone...

more...
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Philemon Mbaaru wins the Safaricom Lewa Marathon for the sixth time once Rhinos were cleared off the course

Lewa master Mbaaru does it again! Winning sixth Safaricom marathon, Pre-race favorite Philemon Mbaaru lived up to his expectations as he battled tough conditions to clinch the title at the Safaricom Marathon as the 19th edition graced by the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta went down at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy on Saturday. The women’s category saw Jane Ngima take the title in 2:51:36 after flooring Esther Macharia who clocked second in a time of 2:53:41.  Being one of the toughest marathons in the world since its being run in the wilderness, the race delayed for almost five minutes to allow the organisers to clear the Rhinos and elephants on the course. However, that did not affect experienced Mbaaru who cruised to his sixth Safaricom Lewa Marathon men’s title, recording 2:22:21, dropping three seconds from the time he won with last year. The 36-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. Running under scorching sun in the event where wild animals are privileged to be among the spectators, Mbaaru had dismissed claims that he won the race because he clearly knows the course well but attributed stiff competition imposed by Wahome. “The competition was very tough because you never know what to expect from every athlete. The first loop was not bad because I was leading with a big gap but in the second loop the second placed kept me in check, running behind my shoulder but I put more effort to beat him,” Mbaaru, who trains in Nyeri, Nanyuki Highway said. (06/30/2018) ⚡AMP
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