Ndakaini Half Marathon
Organizer UAP Insurance Kenya
When Annually in September
Where Ndakaini Dam, Gatanga
Distance 21km, 10km and 5km
Type Road Race
Duration 2-3 hours
The Ndakaini Half Marathon event, which includes a 21km race, 10km race, and a 5km family fun run, is held every year in September around Ndakaini Dam, the source of over 70% of Nairobi’s water supply. Started 10 years ago, this event has steadily grown to a participation of over 4,200 runners this year (2013), compared to 2,700 in 2012, and smaller numbers in previous years. It’s organizers use the event to sensitive the public on water conservation, with most of the proceeds raised going towards planting more trees in the catchment area around this vital resource, and maintenance of the dam.
For recreational runners, the hills, river crossings, and forests along the Ndakaini Half Marathon course make this race a uniquely enjoyable experience. Its beautifully green surroundings and views of the blue waters of the Dam make it so pleasantly different from any other run in the city, while the challenging hills are hard to resist taking on.
The undulating course fluctuates at an altitude of between 1950m and 2150m above sea level, with an elevation gain of over 400m over the distance. Some of the climbs and drops on the course have gradients of about 30 degrees, providing an excellent test of strength and endurance for runners.
The Ndakaini Dam is located about 80km from Nairobi in Gitanga Constituency, Muranga County, at an altitude of 2040m. Due to its proximity to Nairobi, most runners typically drive there in the morning, and return after the event. If using public means from Nairobi, take Thika Matatus from Ronald Ngala Street, then look for Ndakaini Matatus in Thika.