The county number represents Kakamega county which is located at the western part of the country.The county comes with a share of unique features that helps the county stand out among the 47 counties.

Did you know that Kakamega forest is the only rainforest in the country with some of the rare birds and butterflies found in the world?Over the weekend our team Versatile Adventures received an invitation from Kakamega Forest Heritage Foundation and Athletics Kenya Western Region to participate in the third edition of Kakamega Forest Marathon.

The theme of the marathon was running to restore and conserve the environment of this county.The event started on Thursday with Isukuti dance which identifies the luhyia community then followed the bullfighting where 8 bulls participated in the competition. Later in the day there was tree planting at Solyo playgrounds as well as giving the residents tree siblings to foster the conservation.

On the 24 November there was bicycle racing that started at Solyo playgrounds where there were two categories the 30 kilometers and 70 kilometers.The participants were both men and women,surprising enough the aged cut across all people.

Despite the slippery terrain the participants managed to finish both races though there were slight injuries.All those who took first positions of both races walked away with 60,000 shillings while from positions two to ten were awarded different amounts.

Saturday marked the last day of the Kakamega forest marathon with a42 kilometers marathon both men and women,a 21 kilometers marathon again both men and women and Ingo challenge 15 kilometers run.The participants run across the forest withstanding the muddy terrains and finished the races at the marathon village, Ileho Chirobani.

The Cabinet Secretary, Environment and Natural Resources Judy Wakhungu graced the occasion also present was the speaker of Nairobi County Assembly Beautrice Elachi.The message to the residents is that they conserve the forest and avoid cutting trees,those that wouldbe found doing so will face the law.

Turkish government who also sponsored the Marathon donated more than 200 bicycles to school girls as a way of empowering them.The bicyles would help them commute from their homes to school as most of them walk long distances to school.The Government also assured to support the foundation in the coming years and also donate more bicycles so that no one have to walk those long distances.

The event ended with awarding the athletes who won in both 42Km and 21Km of the marathon. The winner of the 42 Kilometers walked away with 500,000 thounsand shillings while the winner of the 21 kilometers won 250,000 thounsand shillings.The first and the second runner’s up won different amounts of money as a way of motivating them to do better next time.

Kakamega Forest Marathon and the Heritage Foundation said that they will continue to create awareness among the residents of the county. They say they want to set the pace as the best conserved county in the Country as well as preserve Kakamega Forest which is very unique not only to them but to the country too.They hope to host the 4 edition of the Kakamega Forest Marathon some time next year and they expect more participants.

Tyson Kiiru
Versatile school of photography