A Lion Delays Start of 2008 Lewa Safaricom Marathon

Lewa Marathon is the only marathon in the world where spectators include wild animals. The start of 2008 Lewa Marathon had to be delayed by 15 minutes because a lion was sunning itself on part of the marathon circuit. The tight security team had to use a helicopter to evacuate  the king of the jungle.

Elephants also came close to the route but the security team was swift to push them back. Sounds like a lot of fun! Just a note, since the marathon started no runner has been unfortunate victim of an hungry leopard or lion. Its a private Ranch and I bet the animals are well fed.

The winner of 2008 Lewa Safaricom marathon, Benson Kaptikou finished in a slow time of 2.21.39 to win a cash prize of US$2,000. He admitted he had sold his only goat for US$20 to raise bus fare to travel to the ranch.

“I have always believed that life is a gamble and that is why I did not have second thoughts about it” he said.

The marathon is held inside a wild life ranch located in Kenya on the slopes of Mt. Kenya.  Its run on dirt roads 5,500 feet above sea level. Lewa Ranch offers a camp site with entertainment. The money raised from the marathon goes to wildlife conservation.

Feeling like running wild! Visit Lewa marathon official site to see how you can participate. Participation is limited to 750 runners.

If you are from North America and around the world you may also try the following site: http://www.tusk.org/safaricom-marathon-2009.asp

4 thoughts on “A Lion Delays Start of 2008 Lewa Safaricom Marathon

  1. Stuart Westfield

    Having just completed the Lewa Safaricom Marathon, I can honestly say it has to be one of the best races of my life. The wildlife is kept safely away from the couse and is the least of your worries. This is no ordinary marathon, at altitude, the air hotter than burning fuel, it demands respect. But to compete and finish, whatever your level, is intensely satifying. Each entry fee contributes to the ongoing sucess story of Lewa and the Northern Rangelands Trust in repopulating northern Kenya with endangered species, such as Rhino, Grevy Zebra and Cheetah. Will you be Running Wild in June 2009 ?

  2. Jane Anderson

    Hi…. Hope you don’t mind me contacting you. A friend and I plan to run the Lewa Marathon in June this year. I’ve emailed a couple of months ago for more information and had no reply from the contact email details on their website. Can you tell me if the entry fee/donation is per person or per team (it states per team on their website, but not sure how large a team can be??) Also do you have any info on accommodation @ Lewa and any transportation from Nairobi? Also the website says registration for 2009 is open, but unsure how to register as no details!! Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many Thanks. Jane

  3. Joanna

    Yeah, it’s really difficult to get information on how to enter this marathon. I’m also training for it, and they keep mentioning that only 750 people can take part, so I’d rather register sooner rather than later, but I’m not getting any feedback!

  4. Stuart Westfield

    If you’re travelling from the UK or the USA there are two companies which offer organised trips, including race entry and excellent acclimatisation / game watching itineraries:
    USA -contact Thom at Marathon Tours
    UK – contact Mike at 2:09 Events
    (both can be found using a Google search)

    Unfortunately I have no experience of ‘independent traveller’ entry. If you are flying into Nairobi, it’s a good few hours drive to Lewa.

    If you are interested raising sponsorship, I can recommend Tusk Trust as a very worthy cause which purposely has low costs, maximising the benefit to wildlife and community programmes. I ran for them in 2008.
    Good Luck


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