Dear friends, as you may remember two years ago I was lucky enough to have been chosen by my company (BlackRock) to run the Safaricom Marathon in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya and then climb Mt Kilimanjaro (19,341’). It was a tough sell at the time, because my wife was due with our third child six weeks prior to the race. I remember uttering things like, “… this will be a once-in-a-lifetime trip”. Well, it wasn't, because I’ve been chosen again and will be heading back to Kenya in late June to run the Safaricom Marathon on June 29th and then climb Mt Kenya (17,057’). This time it will be in the midst of a home renovation. Yes, Heather is a saint…. but she’ll be doing the race with me this year!!!
The race is run in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, which is approximately 140 miles north of Nairobi and is considered one of the ten toughest marathons in the world. It is run on a dirt jeep track, at 6,000 feet, and amidst an abundance of wildlife....hopefully no lions this year!
As you may also remember I did this as part of a fund raising effort for Tusk Trust, which is a U.K. based charity that is focused on conservation and education in Africa and one that BlackRock works closely with. The partnership between Tusk Trust and the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy uses wildlife conservation as a catalyst to alleviate poverty, reduce conflict, and improve education and livelihoods in rural areas rich in biodiversity.
Our funds in particular have helped, among other things, to build two new schools and two new water projects in the Samburu area of Kenya. It has also helped in conservation efforts and anti-poaching efforts.
Two years ago when I did this race and raised funds I did it knowing that 85% of those funds would go towards education and conservation, but I had no idea the impact those funds would have on the communities, the children, and the wildlife. I do now, and I can tell you that that is not only why I’m doing the race again this year, but that is also why I’ve stayed involved with Tusk, why I’ve volunteered to captain the team this year, and why I’ve convinced Heather to do the race as well. Below are some pictures of the race, the schools, the water projects, and more importantly the children that these funds help. To say that these funds have a profound and positive impact on these children and the communities is an understatement... they are life changing
We are currently in our 7th year of participating in the Safaricom Marathon and are approaching $1million dollars raised. As I mentioned 85% of the all the money raised is spent in the field on these types of projects. I’d be incredibly grateful if you would consider supporting me and Heather by making a contribution.