•Mike Watson, CEO of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, said organisers had hoped for an in-person marathon but for the Covid-19 pandemic.
•Participants will have the option of running their desired amount of kilometres including 5Km, 10km, 21km and 42km.
•Rain Zanghyu, deputy CEO of Huawei Kenya, said the pandemic has somewhat increased the popularity of the marathon globally.
This year's Lewa Marathon will be held virtually on June 26 once again due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has forced a stop to all sporting activities in the country.
Mike Watson, CEO of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, said the organisers had hoped for an in-person marathon but that was not to be.
"We had hoped for an in-person marathon but this year will be virtual as was the case last year. Every one of us knows and has been affected by what is happening in the country as well as elsewhere in the world. We hope that next year's event will be in-person as the current situation abates," Watson said.
He further assured that this year's virtual event will be bigger and better than last year's.
"Last year, the marathon took place in 20 countries and 70 cities across the world, with participants recognising the critical need on the ground and giving it their best. Lewa is encouraged by these positive moves and with one virtual marathon under our belt, we look forward to Version 2.0 — an amplified and stronger event," he said.
Watson was speaking on Thursday morning during a virtual press briefing to launch the marathon.
Speaking at the same briefing, Rain Zanghyu, deputy CEO of Huawei Kenya, said the pandemic has somewhat increased the popularity of the marathon globally.
"Transitioning to the virtual event opened up the marathon to more participants and, as such, invited more people to donate towards conservation and raised awareness of conservation — which is the primary goal of this marathon," Zanghyu said.
Established two decades ago, Lewa Marathon brings together athletes and running enthusiasts worldwide in a race to raise funds for a range of community groups, clinics, schools and wildlife conservancy projects in and around the Lewa Conservancy.
Zanghyu encouraged running enthusiasts worldwide to register for the marathon to enable local communities to recover from the socioeconomic effects of Covid-19.
"Last year our 'preparing for tomorrow' campaign online highlighted the rangers’ hard work day in, day out as they work for a better future for Lewa’s wildlife and surrounding communities. The virtual marathon’s funds will be important in ensuring there would be a future for the conservancy after the pandemic," he said.
During this year's edition, participants will have the option of running their desired amount of kilometres including 5Km, 10km, 21km and 42km.
Those who complete their selected distances will receive an e-certificate and medal.
Organisers and sponsors of the event include Safaricom, Tusk, Huawei and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.