|Forest Ranger Wilson Mwangi who won the 9km event appreciates applause from the crowd after receiving his award|
|One of the young participants who took part in the race|
|The Head of Conservancy for Nairobi Mrs. Charity Munyasia addressing the Marathoners after the race|
Karura Forest played host to a unique cross country championship organized by private security group G4S Kenya in partnership with Friends of Karura (FKF) on 30th July. The challenge saw over 600 participants take part in five, nine and 16 km races inside the forest in what is billed as one of the most enchanting races in the world. Joel Melly and Pauline Waruguru won the men and women 16 kilometers races with the winning times of 47:60 minutes and 59:49 minutes respectively.
In the men’s 9km race, Kenya Forest Service’s very own Wilson Mwangi won with 29 minutes and 59 seconds beating Jeremiah Maina at second place. Japan-based Lucy Kabuu, the 2006 Commonwealth 10,000 winner clocked 32:55 to win the women’s 9km race. The 5km race saw Peter Mwangi and Hellen Wanjiku win for both men and women respectively. Winners of 16km received a cash reward of Kshs50, 000 each with the winners of 9km bagging Kshs25, 000 each.
More than 15 corporate teams participated among them, Access Kenya, Tribe hotel, Lucozade, EABL, Magnate Ventures, Fairview hotel, Mathare Youth Association, Kenya Shell and British High Commission which entered a team and contributed Kshs 250,000 towards the Karura conservation efforts. AON Minet also contributed Kshs 100,000 and entered a team of 10 participants.
Apart from organizing the race in partnership with Friends of Karura Forest to raise awareness and funds for conservation efforts, G4S has also offered to provide professional risk management services worth Kshs3.4million. They are also targeting Kshs20 million to be used to improve various infrastructures in the forest.
Speaking at the ceremony Head of Nairobi Forest Conservancy Ms Charity Munyasia thanked the organizers for participating in the inaugural Karura Forest Marathon that will now be an annual event. Also present was the Kenya Tourism Board chairman Mr. Michael Joseph, Nation Media Group CEO Linus Gitahi and the Chairperson Friends of Karura Ms Alice Macaire among other dignitaries.
Article by Carolyne Kahuria