Marathons and road races in Kenya
Kenya is well known for conquering the world in long distance races. This has developed the misconception that all Kenyans run. In reality, the country is so good and has represented Africa in Rugby 7s, volleyball, and boxing. We recommend the following marathons and road races in Kenya 2022, save the dates:
Must attend marathons in Kenya 2022
Eldoret City Marathon 2022
Date: Sunday, April 10
Place: Eldoret Town
The Eldoret City Marathon has grown and become a popular lynchpin for budding athletes who want to conquer the world. The categories are the 42km men, 42km women, and the 5km fun run for nonprofessional runners.
Uhuru Classic Nairobi City Marathon
Date: Sunday 8 May
Venue: Nairobi City
The Uhuru Classic Nairobi City inaugural marathon is billed to be the most lucrative in Africa, poising t to compete with the world renowned marathons such as Boston, London and Tokyo, among others. A larger part of the marathon will be run on the elevated Nairobi Expressway which will also be inaugurated and officially opened for public use. Winners will receive millions of shillings, with those finishing in the top ten being awarded cash. To check out how to register, visit the official Nairobi City Marathon website.
Lewa Safari Marathon 2022
Date: Saturday, June 25
Place: Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
Lewa Safari Marathon is one of the most breathtaking marathons in Kenya which attracts participants from across the world. Runners are allowed to savour the wildlife in the conservancy during the run. There are categories for elite and amateur runners as well as family runs. The elite running category is competitive just like any other world marathon event. The marathon also acts as a fundraising event for wildlife conservation, dubbed Tusk’s Marathon and Half Marathon. This year it will be sponsored by telecommunication giant Safaricom.
To learn more and register, click HERE
Ndakaini Half Marathon 2022
Date: September (Date to be confirmed)
Place: Ndakaini Dam in Murang’a county
The Ndakaini Half Marathon usually happens in September. We will confirm the date for Ndakaini Marathon 2022. The amazing greenery and dam view around which the course runs is a major attraction for people of all ages and races. The dam is at the foot of the Aberdares mountain ranges about 70 km from Nairobi. The fun filled event has categories for children, men and women, and amateurs, as well as corporates. It also serves as an avenue for fundraising for tree planting and dam conservation. See how to register HERE.
Kakamega Forest Marathon 2022
Date: Saturday, November 26
Place: Kakamega Rain Forest in Shinyalu constituency
Kakamega Forest Marathon, dubbed Ingo Marathon takes one through the only surviving rain forest in Kenya, about 400km west of Nairobi. Held towards the end of every year, the race includes both the 42km full marathon and the 21 km half marathon. Other attractions include the bicycle challenge where cyclists use ungeared bicycles popularly known as the black mamba. Children and families compete in the Toto challenge for ages 7 – 10 years. Like all other nature-based races, the marathon works towards the conservation of the endangered rain forest that borders the quiet Kakamega town. Participants are also treated to a pre-race bullfighting event, a popular cultural practice among the Isukha people, as well as isukuti dance. For more information on how you can participate, visit the organiser’s website HERE.
Kass International Marathon 2022
Date: To be confirmed. Normally held in mid-November
Place: Kapsabet – Eldoret road
The Kass Marathon happens in the heart of the home of champions, taking you from the town of Kapsabet town and finishing in Eldoret, about 300 kilometres west of Nairobi. It is one of the most competitive marathons for elite runners as many use it for entry into international stardom. Kapsabet and Eldoret are high altitude areas where big names train before conquering the world, including the likes of Mo Farah. The 21km race was introduced to add to the traditional categories of 5km, 10km, and 42km. Family runs and corporates runs are also included. For more details on registration, visit their website.
Mombasa International Marathon 2022
Date: To be confirmed, usually held in September
Place: Mombasa City
Mombasa is a renowned tourist destination for both locals and foreigners. It is a city close to historical sites such as the Gede ruins in Malindi, and Fort Jesus in Old Town. Apparently, Mombasa International Marathon is one of the oldest marathons in Kenya.
This event offers an opportunity to take part in a marathon at the fringes of the Indian Ocean, where you can bask afterwards on the sandy beaches after a run along the long Nyali bridge that gives you a clear view of the Indian Ocean.
The temperatures here are quite high, hitting up to 29 degrees Celcius in September when the marathon happens, so you have to be adaptable. The event has been sponsored by Safaricom for the last 11 years and this year might be no different. Keep it here for registration details.
Note: In 2019, this marathon was cancelled after the usual main sponsor Safaricom decided to sponsor other road races instead. The Athletics Kenya will confirm whether this year’s event will take place.
Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon 2022
Date: Sunday, October 23 (expected)
Place: Nairobi City
The Standard Chartered Marathon also known as the Nairobi Marathon is usually held towards the end of every October. It is arguably the most popular event on the marathons and road races athletics calendar in Kenya. Apart from the 42km main race, there is the 21km half marathon, a 10km race and a 5km race. There is also a wheelchair half marathon and a family run in which amateur and corporate competitors can take part. The marathon now attracts more than 22,000 participants. For registration details, visit the event website HERE.
Mwea Classic Half Marathon 2022
Date: Saturday, September 17 (expected)
Place: Mwea, Kirinyaga county
The Mwea Half Marathon is still growing in its popularity in the rice growing fields of Mwea, in Kirinyaga county just about 150km from Nairobi. This may the perfect race for you if you are just getting into marathons as the course is flat and scenic, at the foot of the majestic Mount Kenya. Apart from the 21km race, there are 10km and 5km races as well as family and corporate races. For information on how you can participate, visit the website HERE.
Kisumu City Marathon 2022
Date: Saturday, September 10 (expected)
Place: Kisumu City
Kisumu City Marathon is among events in the Safaricom Athletics Series. It happens in Kenya’s third largest city on the shores of Lake Victoria. It is the biggest annual sporting event in the lakeside city. The temperatures here are also high so you would want to adapt before taking part. For more information on how to take part, keep it here for updates. The date for this year’s marathon is yet to be confirmed. The event normally happens in early December. Keep it here for more information.
This list is not exhaustive of all marathons and road races and half-marathons that happen in Kenya. You need to prepare well physically and mentally before taking part in these races. We give you tips on how to prepare for a marathon in this article.
UPDATE: Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, most of the Marathons were cancelled in 2020 and 2021. Organisers are coming up with new dates as the marathons and road races resume. Please keep it here to ensure you get the correct dates.
Fun Fact: Did you know in 2018, Marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge broke the world record at the Berlin Marathon by running it within 2 hrs 1 min 39 s, a record that was previously held by another Kenyan Dennis Kimetto (2.02. 57) set in 2014, who in turn had broken the record of another Kenyan Wilson Kipsang (2.03.23) who had broken the record set by another Kenyan Patrick Makau (2.03.38).