Frequently Asked questions
I’m a first time runner: can I still compete?
Absolutely. This is a community race, you are running with others, for others. If you need to walk then walk, take in the sites enjoy the atmosphere, this is about the power of running not the power of a fast time. There are easier courses but if you take on the challenge forget about your mile splits and soak in that finishing line feeling you’ll have the experience of a lifetime. And don't forget, if a full marathon seems daunting we're also offering 10k and half marathon routes.
What if I’m unable to finish the race?
We will give each marathon runner 8 hours to complete the course. This equates to running at 18 minute per mile. At this time we will collect any runners who are still out on the course and bring them back to HQ with plenty of water and hugs. If at any point you wish to stop, just make it to the next aid station to inform one of our marshals or, if you want to stop right there, let a fellow runner know to inform a marshal. There will be marathon staff roving the course to ensure everyone’s well being.
Do I get a medal?
Naturally! In fact, we're hoping to work with our of our microfinance clients to produce some very special Kenyan medals. We'll keep you posted! And that's not all. Each runner gets a pack with a high-quality (and if we don't say so ourselves, particularly stylish) Kenyan Impact Marathon t-shirt along with other local goodies.
Will there be medical support?
We have partnered with heroic medical teams. We aren’t exaggerating here - these guys are fully qualified doctors working in the UK, they use their own holiday time and pay their way to be involved in the experience. Not only will they be there for you on race day but throughout your time in Kericho. They’ll also be using their skills to benefit the local community. See.. real heroes!
In the worst cases, we have both ground and air support to get you to the nearest appropriate medical facility.
Are there water stations along the way?
Water stations will be at least every 2.5kms and often more. They will be stocked with water and bananas. If you have particular energy bars and drinks that you love then bring them along with you. Needless to say, the remote villages of Kenya are not stocked up on those tasty Rhubarb & Custard Torq energy gels!
What will the weather be like during the race week?
October's a great time to run, not too hot and not rainy! In 2017, the mid-day October temperature is in the early 20s and humidity is around 30%. Kericho sits in the Kenyan highlands, so it's isn't too humid or hot. We expect clear skies and cool evenings, so do bring warm clothes for the evenings.
What will the course be like?
We'll give more details nearer the time but expect the course to be a mixture of tarmac and off-road conditions, with some undulation and absolutely stunning scenery and atmosphere. You'll pass the small businesses of some of the micro-entrepreneurs your sponsor money is supporting, and you'll see sights you've never seen before as you run through rural Kenya - truly a race like no other! The full marathon will be a 2-lap course so those opting for the Half will experience the full beauty of the course. Kericho is a little off the tourist track, but you can rest assured that it's a safe, friendly place. We've been going there for almost ten years and greatly look forward to introducing you to a truly beautiful place.
Will the course have chip timing?
Due to the location of the race, it won't be possible to have official chip timings. We can promise an official time on an accurately measured course, but it's more about the experience of running in Africa across totally unfamiliar landscapes.
Can I bring my spouse / partner / children / friends, even if they are not runners?
Absolutely! If the 10k, HM or full marathon options are not for you, please come along for the ride; we're expecting a number of non-runners to accompany their runner and cheer them on, so you won't be alone, and of course you'll still be able to enjoy all the other activities besides race day. Because most of the costs of the ticket relate to domestic travel and accommodation costs, we are only able to waive 5% of the total price.
However, you won't need to raise sponsorship if you're not running, but we're sure you'll help your runner smash through her/his target. Because non-runners won't be raising money for Five Talents, we do ask that each runner is accompanied by a maximum of one supporter. This said, perhaps you might like to take on a sponsored challenge of your own, such as the option to trek up Mt Kilimanjaro afterwards?
Funds raised by the Kericho Marathon will enable us to support thousands more microentrepreneurs in Kenya with our unique combination of savings, loans and business skills training - and you'll get to meet some of the remarkable women we already work with so you can understand the impact for yourself, first-hand.
Is there a minimum fundraising target?
We suggest that each of our marathon runners raise £1000. For runners opting for shorter distances, we're happy to relax this total a little, but you will hit this and far more! We’ll teach you how to exceed this target, your connection directly to the results and the nature of the challenge will ensure you are blown away by the support from your community back home!
What else is there to do in East Africa?
That’s a big question; it is truly the most remarkable country and no amount of time is enough to see everything on offer. So, we’re taking the hard work out of this for you.
After race day we will have a number of add-on packages for you to choose from to make your trip to Kenya even more exceptional. Please see the 'Experience' section of the main page for details.
When should I book my flights then?
You will receive information on our recommended flights in the spring of 2017. On arrival on a recommended flight we will have arranged an airport pickup to take you to the location included in your package. One of the team will be there with a smile and a massive hug to welcome you. If there are a couple of flights arriving at a similar time we might stop for a drink at the airport whilst we wait to get everybody together. if you choose to arrive in Kenya before our recommended flights, you can meet us at the airport to join the in-country transfer to Kericho.
Where is Kericho?
It is located in the west of Kenya and more than 7,000 feet (2100m) above sea level - meaning it is not too hot and there are few mosquitoes! The area is also home to many of Kenya’s elite international runners and their training grounds. Because Five Talents seeks to work in rural communities where people have little access to banks, Kericho is not easy to get to; it's a good 5 hour bus journey from Nairobi. We at Five Talents have travelled that long and windy road many times before but this will be a great opportunity to see the work of our newest Kenyan partner organisation, Kericho Community Development Trust (KCDT).
Where are we staying?
Depending on whether you've opted for our Platinum (£895), Gold (£765), or Silver package (£645), for the four nights in Kericho you'll either be in shared two or three person rooms or have a private room to yourself.
There will be a mix of both local cooking as well as some of your old Western favourites. If you've got any dietary requirements, don't worry. Just let us know and we will sort it.
Other important details
Visas can be obtained either on arrival into Kenya or, even more easily, as an e-Visa online prior to travel. Single-entry visas (business or tourism) are US$51. The four-step e-Visa procedure is completed through the immigration website: www.ecitizen.go.ke and requires visitors to submit an application form and passport-sized photo. e-Visas can take around seven working days to process. Visitors will then be required to present their printed e-Visa upon entry to Kenya. Check here to see if you can apply for an e-visa based on your nationality [http://evisa.go.ke/eligibility.html]. The IMS team is very happy to talk you through the application process and discuss any questions you might have.
Do I need travel insurance?
YES! Do not even think about stepping on that plane without it. We’ve made this nice and easy though as we have teamed up with Sports Cover Direct so that you are fully covered for the Kenyan Marathon (The package is specifically designed for your activities with us...It’s rare to find standard travel insurance cover you for a full marathon). We’ll let you know when this is available as they are designing it just for you!
All our packages are covered and regulated by ‘ABTOT’ through our partner Inspire Ventures Limited. However, as stated above, it is obligatory for you to arrange your own personal travel insurance.
We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation and that your insured activities include marathon running.
What is not included in that amazingly low price of yours?
- International airfares
- Personal travel insurance cover
- Personal spending money & tips
- Drinks and beverages taken in the hotels
- Meals not included in the above itinerary
- Extra optional services not mentioned in the itinerary
What does your refund policy look like?
- 9 months prior to Oct 1st: Full Refund (minus non-refundable deposit payment) or Transfer to another person or race in the Impact Marathon Series
- 6 months prior to Oct 1st: Half Refund (minus non-refundable deposit payment) or Transfer to another person or race in the Impact Marathon Series
- Within 6 months of Oct 1st: No Refund but Transfer to 2018 race, another race in the Impact Marathon Series or another person are all possible
Do I need lots of jabs?
Please consult your travel nurse and/or your GP for relevant vaccination.