It was the perfect day to run the 17th annual Safaricom LEWA Marathon, cool and crisp with the sun rising slowly to warm up the course. The Mara Elephant Project’s team of 10 comprised of rangers, CEO Marc Goss and board member Trey Fehsenfeld was ready for the half marathon’s grueling dirt-road course across the wild LEWA Conservancy.
Excitement was in the air as two-time London Marathon winner Eliud Kipchoge was in the pack of 1,300 runners in his home country launching his bid for the Rio Olympics. In the end Kenyan Philemon Baaru won the race for the fourth time with an overall time of 2 hours and 22 minutes.
“I had an injury last year that prevented me from finishing the race, but this year, even though I had a slight cramp on my left leg, I was determined to reclaim my title. I’m glad the race went well and happy to once again be the full marathon winner. It is hard work, but all very worth it.” Philemon Baaru
There were 1,256 participants in the half marathon and MEP’s fastest runner, Joshua Karia, placed 50th with a time of 1 hour 20 minutes, besting his time from last year. The winner of the half marathon, Peter Wambua, from Ngare Ndare Forest Trust, finished the course in 1 hour 5 minutes.
MEP Ranger John Kentuyia (Leshan) said the second time around was easier than the first because you knew what to expect with the altitude and course condition. Most of the MEP team was running for their second time in the marathon. They trained for 2 months prior to the race and placed 8th overall in the team competition.
MEP is proud to of raised $1,500 for our partner Tusk Trust that will go to benefit a wide range of conservation and community programs across Kenya.