Hello, on October 3rd 2015, you’ll be organizing the Kenya Wildlife Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?
The Kenya Wildlife Marathon 2015 will be held in the Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary in Kenya. Encompassing 280,000 acres of grasslands, rocky hills and riverbeds, the Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is a slice of natural paradise. Teeming with Zebras, Masai Lions, Elephants and more, humans remain the distinct minority at this veritably unspoiled reserve.
Match this with the reliably beautiful weather Kenya enjoys in lying by the equator, and it becomes quite clear why we chose Taita Hills as the setting for our Safari Marathon. Join us as we launch a thrilling new Marathon tradition, combining the majesty of the ancient race with the beauty of Kenya’s natural treasures.
How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?
The race will make its debut this year. It will be the first Kenya Wildlife Marathon and it was created due to several different but concurrently also interrelated reasons:
- The Kenya Wildlife Marathon is a sound opportunity to bring runners from all around the globe together with local Kenyan athletes who usually do not have the funds to afford participation in international marathons, which is very sad because there are many very talented athletes amongst them.
- The Kenya Wildlife Marathon gives athletes a unique opportunity to trail-run through a quaint wildlife reserve whose scenic beauty cannot be adequately described in words.
- The Kenya Wildlife Marathon has been established in order to support the local Wildlife. Thus, the entire profit from the Marathon-entrance fee will be donated to the world famous David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
- The Kenya Wildlife Marathon will foster the local economy and support the country’s tourism industry. In this context, the medals will be all made by local artist as well as craftsmen and a close collaboration with Kenya’s tourism authorities has been established to ensure sustainable packages and resources used.
What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?
The 42 km course runs across diverse habitats and undulating landscape, crisscrossing through open plain grasslands and forest edge ascending to elevated rock outcrops and descending to woodland.
The sanctuary holds incredible views from the hilltops of the expansive landscape that extends into Tanzania providing magnificent views of the Pare and Uluguru Mountains in Tanzania. Even the awesome snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro can be seen during the run.
A medical recovery tent is set up at the start / finish, with St. John’s Ambulance providing support. Basic first aid is available at all water stations which are situated every 2.5km along the course. Alternative to the 42km, there will also be a half-marathon and a middle-distance run (5k to 10k).
How many runners do you expect on Saturday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?
For this Saturday morning we expect not more than 100 runners since the location (game reserve) only allows a limited amount of people. Concerning the marathon’s target group it can be said that there are no actual limits. It is an event for everybody!
Offering a middle-distance run next to the marathon as well as half-marathon makes the Kenya Wildlife Marathon a great event for everyone who loves matchless sport and culture experiences. Generally saying, we are trying to attract all kinds of trail runners who are looking for scenic runs during which they can enjoy the beauty of Kenya’s nature.
At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?
October’s in Kenya are usually quite warm. People can expect temperatures of 75 – 80° Fahrenheit and an average of 30% rain probability per day. Thus, it is going to be cushy and dry (most likely).
Have you planned festivities around the marathon?
Yes. Due to the fact that the Kenya Wildlife Marathon is not only going to give participants the opportunity to run a scenic running competition in a game reserve but also to experience Kenya’s incredible cultural and natural heritage. Here are some examples of planned festivities around the marathon:
- Visitation to local villages and schools (cultural experience)
- Pre-Race Pasta Dinner and briefing
- Post-Race dinner and awards banquet where local Kenyan runners and volunteers are going to participate as well
- Opportunities to chat and exchange training tips with professional Kenyan athletes
- Numerous game drives are included into our packages
- An introduction to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which will be given by one of the trust’s representatives and became part of the agenda in order to educate and establish a conversation about local wildlife.
The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to the Kenya Wildlife Marathon before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing, a must-do activity?
I would definitely advise the runner to take a game drive to experience the country’s magnificent wildlife in its habitat. No zoo on this globe can keep up with an African game drive. Definitely a must-do activity!
In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Kenya Wildlife Marathon?
The Kenya Wildlife Marathon 2015: Unique scenery, unique location, unique athletes, unique wildlife-experiences – a truly unique and sustainable event for all types of people who are just as stoked for running as we are!