My journey to the Kenya Airways Marathon in Kenya’s Masai Mara began back in December – before I even knew about the event. My mate Blake suggested I come and join him for a 5km time trial run in Modderfontein sometime, my initial response was “5 kms, are you mad?” but I soon changed my tone and said that I would try anything once.
Surprisingly I enjoyed the run and the crew of people and started to take part in the weekly time trials and eventually in the Park Runs which took place in the Modderfontein Nature Reserve. Now, 10 months down the line I am sitting back in the office after participating in my first official running event and having completed my first half marathon (21 km’s). Throughout the event I carried around my trusty GoPro Hero 3 (using the “chesty” chest strap for the actual run) and have put together a short video to give you an idea of what went down in the open plains of the Masai Mara:
Whilst I am happy with my time of 2:08 I have to admit that I was a little off the pace of the winning time of 1:03 by Leonard Kipkoech! There is no doubt that kenya still continues to produce some of the worlds greatest long distance runners!
Kenya Airways have sponsored what has become a highlight in the annual sports calendar for the country and this year the event will saw more than 600 runners taking part in either the 5km or 21km runs. The first Masai Mara Marathon took place back in 2009 and ever since then has been aimed at raising funds for the Lemek Conservancy community to address shortages in education facilities, enable access to medical aid, improve sanitation facilities and provide clean drinking water to the residents of the Mara. They event also donates funds towards anti-poaching efforts in the region.
I loved every minute of the event and was fortunate enough to meet some great people from Kenya, Canada, The United States and Denmark. The camaraderie amongst the running community (which is huge in kenya) is something that i had always heard about but had never really experienced until this event.
Wild Eye runs migration safaris in the Mara Triangle during the peak of the migration season and we believe that this event would be a great offering to add to our existing general travel and photographic offering. Lets be honest, how many runners out there would love to experience the great migration and be able to participate in a half marathon aimed at raising funds for charity?
I feel incredibly privileged to have run my first ever official race and half marathon in the Masai Mara and am even more excited about being able to participate and contribute to this charitable event for years to come! Next years goal will be to break the 1:50 barrier.
Join me for the 2014 Kenya Airways Masai Mara Marathon!
So, who will be joining me in 2014? We already have 6 people out of a possible 12 that are interested in joining us for this event in 2014, if you would like more details then drop me an email. Dates are still to be confirmed but the month of August has been mentioned in passing by the event organisers.
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