Imagine the Masai Mara in early light, with some 600 runners poised at the ready. The course has been cleared for the early morning start. The starting pistol fires and The Kenya Airways Masai Mara Marathon is ready to go.
The Masai Mara National Reserve is a legend in its own right; it’s not only the home of the famous “Big Five” but also the 7th new Wonder Of The World – the great annual wildebeest migration. The first inaugural Masai Mara Marathon was held in November 2009 with a total of 352 participants registering.
The first inaugural Masai Mara Marathon was held in November 2009 with a total of 352 participants registering; 214 took part in the 5km race while 138 participated in the 21km.
Organized by the Masai Mara Marathon Ltd and the Rotary Club of Nairobi, Kenya Airways, the marathon highlight of the marathon has been its ability to bring together legendary Olympian runners through the National Association of Kenya Olympians (NAKO), to mentor upcoming athletes. This is a partnership project between the Kenya Olympians and the organizers aimed at benefiting the community.
The Masai Mara Marathon will combine the allure of the Masai Mara and the fame of Kenya’s running tradition and spirit to attract local and international participants.
It is a charity event organized to raise funds the Lemek Conservancy Community to address shortages in Education facilities, access to Medical aid improvement of sanitation utilities and provision of clean drinking water to its residents.
The foundations main objectives are:-
To create a forum through which funds can be raised for the conservation of the Mara ecosystem. Funds and donations raised will be targeted at conservation efforts within the Olchorro Oirwa conservancy. The climate change challenges, the drying rivers, the famine and hunger and education are all included in the theme of this event.
The communities living in the Ecosystem have serious issues to do with water, sanitation, healthcare, food security and education.
Over the next two years, our main project focus will be on the plight of the Girl child in the Lemek Conservancy of the Mara where the run will take place. Here many young girls have to walk several kilometers to get to school where some of them are attacked by wild animals. Others are turned into herders by their parents. We want to provide the basic needs to enhance the education of the girl child and bring an end to their plight.
In addition to supporting the community, the foundation has identified two secondary objectives that are part and parcel of the events’ beneficiary system.
Kenyan sportsmen and women, performing in various sporting events in the world, have brought honor and glory to Kenya and have inspired others. Our aim is to create continuity of purpose for our Olympian legends by creating a mentorship forum where they can put their skills to good use and raise the next generation of Olympians in the communities where they live.
The Kenya Tourism board is focusing on promoting Kenya as a sports-tourism destination. The Masai Mara Marathon combines the allure of the Masai Mara and the fame of Kenya’s running tradition and spirit to attract local and international participants.
The directors of the Masai Mara Marathon Ltd are comprised of three past presidents of the Rotary Club of Nairobi who are all committed to the development of sport and the development of community through sport.
The Rotary Club of Nairobi’s main responsibility is to reach out to its global network of 1,2000,000 members to promote the event as well as being tasked with the administration and project oversight. The Masai Mara Marathon team will be primarily responsible for the technical and publicity aspects of the event.
A portion of the proceeds are pledged to fund Rotary projects in Kenya where Rotary has been operating since its founding in 1930.