Close to 1,400 people participated in this year’s Safaricom Marathon at the Lewa Conservancy. Defending champion Philemon Baaru retained his title as he won the men’s 42 KM Safaricom Marathon in a time of 2:22:21 for a record sixth time.
Jane Ngima finished first in the women’s 42 KM in a time of 2:51:36 followed by Esther Macharia at 2:53:41. Mary Mwaniki came in a distant third finishing at 3:29:31.
“I am very glad to have clinched my sixth title in the Safaricom Marathon. The race was tough and I faced stiff competition, but given that I usually train in such terrain, I managed to emerge victorious. I thank God and all the organisers of this event,” said Philemon Mbaaru.
In the men’s 42 KM race, Peter Wahome came in second clocking 2:22:33 while Silus Mutari was third with 2:23:23.
Munene Moris won the 21 KM men’s category at 1:05:39 followed by Kiprono Kipkemboi at 1:06:07 and Kimutai Sylus following closely at third position in a time of 1:06:23.
Mary Ng’endo clinched the women’s title in the 21 KM race at 1:15:14 beating the defending champion, Lepekana Lodepa who finished second at 1:16:34. Esther Wangoi was third at 1:20:01.
The races were flagged off by Her Excellency the First Lady of Kenya, Margret Kenyatta flanked by Nicholas Ng’anga, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Safaricom.
The marathon has grown from a comparatively small event to one of the toughest races and a must-do for marathon enthusiasts, raising over KES 675 million since inception.
Funds raised by the marathon are geared towards wildlife conservation and development initiatives among them; Lewa Conservancy, Northern Rangelands Trust, Mt. Kenya Trust, Ngare Ndare Forest Trust, Space for Giants, Koiyaki Guide School, Olare Orok Conservation Trust, Lamu Marine Conservation Trust, Watamu Turtle Watch, Bongo Surveillance Project, Kibodo Trust, Tsavo Trust, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Big Life Foundation and Borana Conservancy.