Lonely Planet Writer

Train like a Kenyan; runners can test their endurance in these unique running events

With two Kenyan runners sweeping the board at Monday’s Boston Marathon, many athletic eyes are on the country, hoping to emulate their phenomenal success. Now two events will have you training with, and competing against some of the toughest in the sport, as well as giving you a chance to enjoy the incredible Kenyan landscape.

For those who want to challenge themselves, Train in Kenya offers two-week itineraries for the High Altitude Training Camp in Iten, a small town in the Great Rift Valley which is home to a staggering number of Olympians. Here, at 2400 metres above sea level, you can test and strengthen your endurance while training with some of the best athletes in the world.

As well as endless soft dirt trails to explore, top class training equipment and meals from professional chefs, runners can partake in seminars and specialised practical workouts, as well as visit local markets, workshops and schools.

The marathon is one of the toughest Kenyan running events.
Runners at the marathon photo-op in 2016, one of the toughest Kenyan running events. Image by Martin Nyakabete

When you’re confident about your skills, you can put them to the test in the annual Safaricom Marathon, running through the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Regularly voted one of the most beautiful and toughest races in the world, 1300 runners are expected to take part in the endurance test through the Unesco World Heritage Site which is also one of Kenya’s most densely populated wildlife areas.

Their participation will also help improve and protect the local community. Since beginning 17 years ago, the Safaricom Marathon has raised US $6.1 million for clean water, medical equipment and education. While many professional athletes take part, amateurs and running clubs are also welcome to join the challenge and a half-marathon is also available. While registration for the 2017 event on 24 June is now closed, you can join the waiting list online or keep training to take on the challenge for next year.

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