The Lewa Marathon will now change its name to Lewa Safari Marathon. The marathon will take place on June 27.
Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph (center) shakes hands with Lewa Wildlife Conservancy CEO Mike Watson (left) and Huawei key account manager Stanley Shenlei (right) during the Lewa Safari press launch Marathon at the Norfolk Hotel.
Safaricom and electronics company Huawei will jointly sponsor the 2020 Lewa Marathon for Sh30mn with this year’s event slated for June 27.
Considered one of the most difficult marathons in the world, runners of all skill levels have participated – from elite professionals like the world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge to amateur runners and walkers and this year the marathon will change title to attract more partners.
This year, the marathon is expected to attract 1,400 runners and registration is expected to start Thursday morning. The winner of this unique marathon will pocket 150,000 shillings.
Speaking at the launch, Mike Watson, CEO of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy thanked Safaricom for its presence in the marathon for two decades: “They have been partners with us for 20 years and former CEO Bob Collymore had already alluded to the decision to gain momentum down sponsorship this year. But we are delighted that they would be around and have now called on one of their Huawei partners to sponsor this year’s edition, “said Watson.
As such, the Marathon will now be renamed Lewa Safari Marathon in order to attract more participants and business partners from outside the country.
“We thought it would be good to put a safari there because it is synonymous with Kenya. The international community knows him as Kenyan and that should also give him a name rooted in Kenya and give him an international perspective, ”added Watson.
Meanwhile, Huawei, which has helped increase the Sh100mn since the start of its partnership with Lewa, said it would continue to strengthen the improved partnership.
“The positive impact Lewa Conservancy has on wildlife and surrounding communities is truly incredible, and the marathon plays a crucial role in achieving this,” said Stanley Shenlei, director of key accounts for Huawei.
Last year, the race rose close to Sh500mn which was reinjected into the community to help with conservation, education and health care.
There was a directors’ fundraiser two weeks ago when Sh10mn was raised.