In the words of our participants...
Travis, Bernhard, Aisling & Hugo celebrate with a few Tuskers (TAMU 2012)
Please sum up your experience in a line or two:
"Outstanding experience supporting a great cause. One of the best experiences I've ever had and definitely the best vacation."
"Truly an amazing race that is rewarding and inspiring in so many ways. A must do!"
"This race is life changing not just for those being sponsored, but also for those running. The best thing I've done in the past few years - simply amazing!"
(TAMU 2012 Participants)
What was your favourite moment during Race Week?
"Our team's sundowner at the top of the rock, two days before the race,
with a huge open space of Africa everywhere around you,
and you realize that you are going to run on this very special place."
Zvoni Grobenski, 42km Finisher (2011)
"My most memorable moment was running by myself looking across
to see miles of beautiful wilderness. At that moment I could see a
small light aircraft had just taken off in the distance.
I could have stayed there forever."
Sean Staunton, 75km Finisher (2011)
"Running (or more accurately walking) the last 5 or so kilometres with the children."
"Living and running into the wild with so many animals was amazing.
The mutual respect that exists between the locals and the wildlife
is simply unbelievable."
Noureddine Sahibi, 75km Finisher (2011)
Molly, Sean & Sam on a pre-race safari
Race Report by Dave Dudek
(2012 Ultra Marathon)
Click here to read Dave's account
Race Report by Bec Sage
(2011 Ultra Marathon)
In the words of our youngest participant...
Bec Sage had been living and studying in South Africa before she came to Kenya for The Amazing Maasai Ultra 2011. Below she recounts the story of the race, her first ultra marathon (incidentally also her first ever marathon):
"My first marathon was scheduled to take place in the middle of North West Kenya. I would be running through the Kenyan wilderness, completely vulnerable to all of nature’s creatures and conditions. So scenery alone automatically guaranteed the satisfaction of any amazing expectations that I had formed in my mind. However, there were a few other factors that transformed my marathon from a race to an experience of a lifetime.
"Firstly, my fellow competitors were Maasai warriors – local men and women from across Kenya. And I want to take this opportunity to clear up any rumours you may have heard about the natural running skills of the Masaai people – they are all TRUE! They are AMAZING runners! Probably the most unbelievable moment indicative of this fact came at the starting gun – the Masaai runners were crouching as if to start a 100 meter sprint... It was then that I realised how marvellously out of my league I was...The winner of the marathon would finish in 2 hours and 40 minutes on a pre-race meal of tea. But it is not every day that one can say the first few seconds of their first ever marathon were spent watching the Masaai disappear over an African horizon while a red sun rose beyond them...
"Secondly, the race was organised to raise money for girls' education in Kenya. In Masaai culture, girls’ education is not prioritised, and they are more often than not denied access to basic schooling. This severely undermines their potential for growth, development and independence. So the race generated much needed funds and awareness towards the importance of empowering and fostering women through education. This extended the value of the race for me and transformed it from a personal running goal to a life altering experience.
"Thirdly, the organisers, Molly and Sarah (previous competitors on the infamous travel program, The Amazing Race), created an atmosphere comparable to no other race I have ever experienced. While there are many potential dangers that come with running a marathon generally, they are amplified when the location is as harsh as the African wilderness. However, never once did I recognise such threats – Molly and Sarah flawlessly combined protection of competitors with protection of wildlife and local areas. Never did I feel endangered, and never did I feel like my presence was intruding on the community or environment. Because, in the end, this was the most important consideration I had to make – I knew I wanted to leave more than a footprint in this secluded area of Kenya, but I wanted to make sure that footprint left an enduring, positive contribution, not a negative mark.
"Molly and Sarah made that possible – they facilitated an amazing experience which not only saw 15 girls receive scholarships to complete their entire High School, but would see me go above and beyond my own expected potential.
"I should mention at this point that I didn’t run the marathon... I ran 75km instead. That’s right, I added an ULTRA to my marathon! And what, might you ask, possessed me to skip the 42km and head straight onto the 75km mark? Pure inspiration – and a few energy gels. We were there to inspire people to recognise the potential of these young girls to make something more of themselves through education. I was there to realise my own potential too, as a runner. I worked tirelessly towards this goal, as my roommates in South Africa can begrudgingly attest to as they were the ones woken up by my 5am coffee and pre run munchies. So there was no way I could stop... And I still haven’t stopped... I will keep running for the rest of my life.
"But this race has made me realised the need to run towards something... Towards a cause, a goal – by the end of each race, we should hope to make the world slightly better than it was at the start line. That is the greatest thing I have taken from running this race - I have realised that running creates a transferable strength within all individuals – it can be passed on through shared experiences and races. And that is what Molly and Sarah have achieved. They have transferred their strength onto us, the competitors, to achieve amazing things for ourselves and for the Masaai Community. We, the competitors, transferred our own strength on to each other, and to the girls who need it most by giving them the opportunity to access an education. And finally, the local Masaai people have transferred their unwavering strength onto us all, proving that anyone can overcome adversity to achieve greatness. If only (for the sake of my marathon time) they could transfer their speed as well..."