Wangari Maathai Marathon to be held annually

Athletes taking off during the start 21km category of the inaugural Wangari Maathai Marathon held at Karura Forest, Nairobi. [Courtesy]

Organisers of the inaugural Wangari Maathai Marathon have laid down plans to make it an annual event after a successful event held at the Karura Forest in Nairobi last weekend.

Over 2,000 runners took part in the inaugural race that was used to mark the Africa Environmental Day which has since been renamed the Wangari Maathai Day.

The organisers also plan to introduce the full 42km race in future.

The run which attracted runners from 38 countries, was used as a fundraiser for the Wangari Maathai Foundation (WMF) which is expected to go a long way in honouring the legacy of the late professor Wangari Maathai as well as promote values that were embodied by the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate such as climate change and environmental sustainability, human rights, peace, international solidarity as well as women and children empowerment.

Speaking after the race, Wangari Maathai Foundation, chairperson Wanjira Maathai said the race was a noble course that brought people together for a worthy mission which was to promote the concept of the power of one and that everyone can make a difference.

“We had a very good and fair inaugural race, a lot of people turned up to show solidarity with our missions and visions which is honouring Wangari Mathaai. She fought tooth and nail so that we can enjoy such places and we hope we will continue preserving our forests. We are planning to have this event annually and in different forests across the country. We hope to see it grow bigger and better in future," said Wanjira.

"This Marathon is part of the Late Wangari Maathai legacy and we want to celebrate what she meant to the world. I would like to thank all Corporates who have stood with us in cash and in kind.”

Subsequently, one of the oldest runners to take part in the run, Caroline Nduta, 65 years acknowledged the marathon was of health benefits to a lot of Kenyans.

“I have been practicing since 2016 and it is very fulfilling to have finished the 21km race. Running in such a beautiful forest is very breathtaking and relaxing, we should have more of such events because it will help people get fit and stay in shape and be healthy,” stated Nduta, who hails from Gikambura, Kiambu County.

Meanwhile, Franklin Ngelel and Lydia Nyasikera both received Sh100,000 after emerging victorious in the 21km Men and women categories respectively.

While Nehemiah Kipruto and Fridah Ndinda each pocketed Sh75,000 after clinching the 10km race in the male and female categories. 

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