The Great Run XVII - Phoenix Edition

Ejoka, Great Runners!

Torimakinai, please forgive us, for starting this off in Turkana; but we cannot contain ourselves. It is once again approaching the middle of the year and that can only mean one thing: a tarmac event is in the works.

As usual, the event has to bear an outstanding name, and the latest instalment in our long tradition and rich history is titled "The Great Run XVIII: Eighteen & Over". Worry not, the naming does not imply the imposition of age limits, it simply means we will soon be eighteen events old, and we hope to go over that number, way beyond, if destiny allows. The Great Run has no age limits, anybody is welcome to attend.

And it is in that vein that we cordially invite you to join us on the next one.

Kingarakinai, please help us on our next project, as you always do. Without spending too many words, below is the event outline in a nutshell. There is some detail that needs close observation, because, if you recall The Chalbi Challenge, then Eighteen & Over has some rather familiar details...


June 11th - 14th


Day 1: Nairobi - Nakuru - Eldoret - Kitale.

This will not be as direct as indicated, there will be a few detours involved that will be shared with participants as they register

Day 2: Kitale - Kapenguria

Kapenguria is the location of the children's home, where the definitive stopover donation ceremony will take place. From the children's home, there will be a brief visit to the Kapenguria Six Museum where the post-colonial history of this country began. At this stage, the Great Runners will experience the first of two pleasant surprises that we have lined up for them.

From the museum there is a dilemma in wait. We said there are similarities with the Chalbi Challenge and this is where the similarities start. The Great Runners have a choice to make, and are in under no pressure to pick one over the other.

Option 1: turn around and head back to Kitale to spend the night, then head back to Nairobi on Day 3

Option 2: make a sacrifice, but boy, is this sacrifice worth the outcome! The sacrifice is an extra day in the itinerary, and this is what will it will involve. While the takers of Option 1 head back southwards to Kitale, the brave ones will continue north.... to Lodwar. In Lodwar, a second pleasant surprise awaits. The details behind this extension to Lodwar will be given to participants as they register to enable them make a decision, but the sharp ones among you will realize that this here is the second similarity to The Chalbi Challenge: heading north towards Lake Turkana.

Day 3: Heading back

Those who go for option 1 are free to drive back to Nairobi at their own leisure, or wait for the Lodwar adventurers to come back, because those who take Option 2 will wake up to their pleasant surprise after which they will head back down to Kitale. Along the way, there may be a slight detour for some sightseeing, but we are keeping that under wraps for now. A little mystery never hurt anyone now, did it?

Day 4: Nairobi

This should see the last of the Great Runners return to their homes from Kitale.

Let us just say this: the road to Lodwar is very scenic. It's all tarmac... at least most of it is; as we did the recce, a 35km section around Lokichar was still under construction, and this is the sacrifice that we are referring to. It is not intractable - we did the recce in a tiny little 1300cc Proton Saga saloon car and suffered no difficulties, but it is a wee bit uncomfortable and we hope that in the one month between now and the event, they would have completed the road.

And what a road! Between Kapenguria and Kainuk lies the twistiest, windiest, steepest, greenest, lushest most breathtaking ribbon of tarmac you will ever see. From Kainuk to Lokichar is generally flat but still verdant, though the edge of the mountains against which the Turkwell Gorge lies is one of the most Instagrammable locations in the country. From Lokichar you will now begin to get a sense that you are now in the desert, mostly because you will start to see camels, but you may not notice this because filling your windscreen will be a road that you have never imagined would ever lead to a place that was once referred to as remote. It is not so remote any more, thanks to that road

That's enough for now. For more details, stay tuned for the usual updates that will follow this announcement, but for now, let's wrap this up with registration details....


The entry fee has not changed, it is still KES 6000. The payment is made via Buy Goods option from the Safaricom M-Pesa menu to


TILL NUMBER: 5151021

Please note: this is a TILL NUMBER (Buy Goods) and NOT a Pay Bill number. After payment, Great Runners will be added to a WhatsApp group where we will handle any questions you may have as well as provide further updates involving details that may not be posted on Facebook.


Etama ayong ng'aturkana, we are learning Turkana, because that is where we are headed. You have a month to wallow in anticipation before we leap into our cars and point them towards the hills in the north west.

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Great Run XVIII. Alea Jacta Est

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