The Nature Conservancy today announced that ultra-distance runner Scott Jurek will lead its Team Nature in Kenya at the 2012 Safaricom Marathon, one of the world’s most challenging races. Organized by Tusk Trust with support from Safaricom, the 13th Annual Safaricom Marathon and Half Marathon will take place June 30, 2012, at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, with proceeds supporting community development and conservation programs across Kenya.
Named a “Hero of Running” by Runner’s World magazine, Jurek has earned victories in nearly all of ultrarunning’s elite events, including a record seven straight wins in the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. He is the star of the best-selling book Born to Run and is widely respected as an ambassador for the sport and for healthy living. Jurek’s first book, Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness, will be published this June. He is pleased to help raise awareness and funds in support of wildlife protection and community conservation efforts in Africa.
“I’ve raced all over the world and been involved in a number of deserving causes,” Jurek said. “I’m looking forward to visiting northern Kenya and running this race as part of Team Nature. I’m especially pleased that I will have the chance to meet the people of the region, whose lives are so intertwined and dependent on the very lands upon which we will run.”
“We’re really excited to have the opportunity to run with Scott,” said Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “Scott’s reputation as a world-class endurance runner and advocate for healthy living will help shine a light on northern Kenya’s people and wildlife and the serious conservation and community development challenges we’re tackling in Africa.”
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy hosts the events, and the Tusk Trust manages the races. More than 1,000 runners representing some 20 countries are expected to participate. The challenging dirt course follows Lewa’s undulating hills at an average altitude of 5,500 feet. Adding to the thrill of competition is the fact that runners share the ground with Lewa denizens such as elephants, cheetahs and lions.
Team Nature runners, including Jurek, will work to raise awareness and funds to support important conservation and community development work in northern Kenya. Supporters can learn more about Team Nature and donate funds via Crowdrise.
Support for Team Nature will help the Conservancy protect critical habitat for iconic African wildlife such as elephants, lions and rhinos. Funds raised will also help people in northern Kenya by directly supporting schools, clinics and microenterprises — community projects important to The Nature Conservancy, Tusk Trust, the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and other local organizations.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.