By Scott Jurek
Running races has taken me to a lot of places around the world. So why Kenya, and why The Nature Conservancy?
In short, the Safaricom Marathon represents an intriguing combination of challenge and opportunity.
We’ll be running at over 5,000 feet in elevation on dirt roads entirely within the 62,000-acre Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. It will be a thrill to run on lands inhabited by so many iconic animals, including lions, cheetahs, leopards, and endangered zebras and rhinos.
Most importantly, though, teaming up with The Nature Conservancy gives me a unique opportunity. The funds we raise will make a real difference toward conserving wildlife habitat and improving people’s lives throughout the remarkable rangelands of northern Kenya.
That’s what I like about the Conservancy — every day they are making tangible progress in conserving special places around the world for people and nature.
In my home state of Colorado, I’ve personally seen the benefits of the Conservancy’s work. Just outside Boulder, where I live, the Conservancy helped conserve Heil Valley Ranch, a county open-space property where I just ran for the first time last month (see my photo above). They also helped protect many of the lands that are now part of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
These examples from my own corner of the world point to what we can accomplish in Kenya. The funds we raise as Team Nature will directly support urgent conservation and community-development needs. Needs like more game scouts to protect wildlife from poaching. Needs like schools and clinics for local families.
I hope you’ll consider sponsoring me or any Team Nature member running the Safaricom Marathon. Your donation will make a real difference for the wildlife and people who depend on the very lands where we’ll be running.May 31, 2012
Scott Jurek has won nearly all of ultrarunning’s elite events, and he is the author of the forthcoming book Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness. Scott shares thoughts and experiences about running with the Conservancy’s Team Nature on his nature.org blog Running Wild.