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Run a route you'll share 'with several large African predators, including lion, leopard, hyena and wild dog'
Isiolo, Meru, Kenya | Saturday, June 24, 2023
“We’ve been trying to train the lions to become vegetarian but we haven’t succeeded,” the organizer of this once-in-a-lifetime race told a crowd of slightly nervous runners who were then about to set out on the course through Kenya’s Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a 62,000-acre preserve located just north of Mount Kenya and roughly a five-hour drive north from the country’s capital city, Nairobi. You’ll run entirely on dirt roads through savannah plains and acacia woodlands, along a course that features “spirit-crushing hills” at an elevation of more than 5,000 feet above sea level, along with the occasional “visitors” you’ll likely meet along its sometimes rocky trails — everything from rhino and antelope to zebras, giraffes and lions. In addition to the entry fee, participants are asked to raise at least £1,750 (just over $2,100), which is donated to Lewa’s conservation efforts.
£150 and up
Words to run by
“Well-known running columnist and ‘penguin runner’ John Bingham has a funny way to describe how he feels when the marathon starting gun goes off. He says he wants to take his time and take it all in. “I didn’t train all that time just to come here and get it over with as fast as I can,” he says. There’s something to that. Good things shouldn’t be rushed. Running your best is important, absolutely, and I think every runner should try pushing as hard as she can in a marathon at least once in her life. It is incredibly satisfying and memorable. But taking the time to savor every minute is powerful as well.”