Kenya stages one of its most iconic marathons when the Amazing Maasai Marathon takes place in the bush of Laikipia North on 30 July.
The prospect of running alongside the legendary Maasai in stunning scenery draws people from all over the world – and the race, run over both 21k and 42k, has a fascinating story.
Founded in 2011, it is the brainchild of ‘ultra marathoners’ Sarah Edson and Molly Fitzpatrick who met Maasai warriors Paul Lebeneiyo and Francis Merinyi when they were contestants on the Chinese television show The Amazing Race: China Rush. Between them the four hatched a plan to create an endurance race in Kenya to raise money for girls’ education.
Since then the race has raised US$150,000 to help Kenyan girls through High School as part of the Amazing Maasai Girls Project. The race has since been rated as one of the top 25 adventure marathons in the world by Men’s Journal and takes place along unsealed roads and paths in the bush terrain of the lower Rift Valley, surrounded by wildlife.
As one runner said: “This race is life-changing – not just for those being sponsored, but also for those running.”
Kenyan running star Eliud Kipchoge has his sights set on gold medals and world records after winning the London Marathon in super-fast time.
Kipchoge defended his title in London by winning in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 5 seconds – missing the world record, held by Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto, by only seven seconds.
He said: “It was frustrating to come so close to the record but I believe in myself and I’ll have another chance. My next goal is a gold medal at the Olympics.”
Jemima Sumgong made it a Kenyan double by winning the women’s race.
Kenya’s victorious rugby sevens team, who won their first ever title in the HSBC Sevens World Series in Singapore, were invited to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta to mark their victory. The team and coaching staff, sponsored by Kenya Airways, attended a glamorous reception after beating Fiji 30-7 in the final. They are now preparing for the Olympic Games in Rio.
Nairobi’s Karen Country Club has been praised for the way it staged the Barclays Kenya Open. The European Challenger Tour event was won by Sebastian Soderberg who said: “The crowds and support were incredible. I’ve never known a Challenge Tour event like it.” Kenya’s 47-year-old veteran Dismas Indiza Anyonyi, who was in the top ten at the half-way stage, finished 38th.
July dates – don’t miss…
Tour de France
3 Formula 1
Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg
Victoria Falls Marathon, Zimbabwe
European Athletics Championships, Amsterdam
8-10 Formula 1
British Grand Prix, Silverstone
Knysna Forest Marathon, SA
Tyson Fury v Wladimir Klitschko, Manchester
Euro 2016 final, Paris
Open Championship, Troon
World Youth Championships, Poland
22-24 Formula 1
Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest
London Anniversary Games, Olympic Stadium
US PGA Championship, New Jersey
29-31 Formula 1
German Grand Prix, Hockenheim
Amazing Maasai Ultra, Kenya
One to one with Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt is returning to London, the scene of his 2012 Olympic hat-trick, to prepare for another crack at glory in Rio de Janeiro. Bolt won 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold medals four years ago – at the same venue where Kenya’s David Rudisha broke the 800m world record. Now he will race in the London Anniversary Games on 22 July as his final warm-up before heading to Brazil…
Q Usain, will London be your final race before Rio?
It will certainly be one of my last races before the Games. It will be good to return to the Olympic stadium; it’s a special atmosphere there and the UK fans always give me great support.
Q What’s your aim when you eventually get to Rio?
My biggest dream is to win three gold medals again. That’s my focus and that’s what I’m aiming for.
Q You’ve achieved so much. How long do you expect to go on before you retire?
Well, this will definitely be my last Olympics. The plan is to compete in the World Championships in London in 2017 and then we’ll see.