The 2020 edition of the Lewa Safari Marathon has been cancelled as Kenya and the rest of the world grapples with the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s edition, powered by Huawei and Safaricom PLC was slated for 27th June 2020 allowing participants from all over the globe to compete whilst running through one of Africa’s most breath-taking conservancies.

Hosting a race in a wildlife conservancy comes with a unique set of challenges. For the past 20 years, we have worked to mitigate these challenges and offer all 1400 of our annual runners what we hope is an optimum running experience. Having all of you at Lewa has always been the highlight of our year. In spite of our great willingness to push on, having weighed all factors, we have come to the very difficult decision to cancel this year’s race.

Several reasons have informed this decision prime of which is the health risk that this would pose. To date, the Kenyan government has announced 25 cases of COVID19 within the country. While we’re sure all efforts are being made by the government to contain the spread of the virus, it is paramount we heed the presidential directive to avoid all non-essential public gatherings and play our part in flattening the curve until all of this is behind us.

Secondly, it would be difficult to put on the race without the support and financial backing of our co-sponsors, whom in this tough business climate, will struggle to support us as they have done before. This would therefore mean that we are not able to hold the event to our normal high standards.

Additionally, we are all aware that international travel has almost come to a grinding halt. This means that our overseas runners, most of whom come from the UK and USA, will by and large at this difficult time struggle to make any travel plans, given the severity of the situation. Their contribution to the fundraising efforts is essential for the success of the event and the support we can give to the beneficiaries.

In terms of a way forward, we have come up with a cancellation, refund and deferral policy which you can view in full here  https://www.lewasafarimarathon.co.ke/cancellation-policy/

In order to let us know how you would like to proceed please log on to: https://lewasafarimarathon.co.ke/register/my-account. Here you will have three options – you can defer your entry to 2021, ask for a full refund or ask for a partial refund

  1. Deferral

If you select ‘deferral’ you will essentially have pre-registered for the 2021 race, and will not have to log in to the portal to re-register when registration opens in 2021.

  1. Full refund

We will make a full refund of the entry fee including AMREF cover and self-catering camping fees. If you have made a payment for either the Safaricom Village or Maridadi Camp please liaise with Location Africa [email protected]

  1. Partial refund

If you select partial refund, you can choose how much of your entry fee to donate to the critical conservation work that the Lewa Safari Marathon raises funds for. Organisations such as Lewa have been critically affected by the tourism downturn occasioned by COVID19 and will now struggle to fund critical conservation work without tourism income. We urge you to consider this if you feel able to.

We hope that this information is clear but as always, we are reachable on [email protected] or +254 0717 117 223 if you have any questions at all.

Our best wishes to you and your loved ones at this time. We look forward to seeing you on the course in 2021, when we will return rejuvenated, fitter and ready for a great running wild experience.