Our goal is to travel the world with you, from Peoria to Peking, in search of the most unusual, fun, and interesting races.
Today we travel to Kenya Africa for the Safaricom Marathon on Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. What Makes this race so special is that you get to run and race through the the African Bush and wildlife park.
Just think of it as the world's only running safari. And while the notion of combining running and a safari may seem strange and odd to some, it was a way of life for many of humanities ancient ancestors.
Plus, the marathon is run for a worthy cause. Since its inception in 2000, the Safaricom Marathon has raised over KSH 70,000,000 (US$1,000,000) for a range of projects in northern Kenya.
Last year's event raised KSH 14,490,000 (US$210,000). Every team is asked to raise a minimum of KSH 100,000 in sponsorship, which is then distributed to conservation, education, health care and community development projects in Northern Kenya .
From the marathon's web site:
The marathon is run on dirt roads, over two 21km loop for the half-marathon- through the Conservancy.
Over time, the Safaricom Lewa marathon has gained reputation as one for being one of the ten toughest marathon events in the world. Run on a rough terrain and under harsh climatic conditions, it is an enticing experience which has continued to inspire distance runners and athletic fans alike.
The grueling marathon is also unique in that it is run within a game reserve located at an average altitude of 5,500 feet above sea level.
The date for 2009's Safaricom Marathon on Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is the 27th June 2009.
The Safaricom Lewa Marathon kicked off in 2000 with the aim of raising funds for conservation and community projects around Samburu, Isiolo, Laikipia and Meru areas.
The marathon attracts competitors from all over the world. Big groups of runners enter from the United States and United Kingdom. Runners from Australia, India, Europe and Canada also participate.
Over 650 runners take part in the full and half marathon with an additional 100 children competing in the 5km fun run. Already, over 30 corporate organizations have also confirmed participation in this year's event.