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Homa Bay ready for Roan Antelope half-marathon

A half marathon (21 km) is set to be held on May 5–6 of this year at Ruma National Park in Homa Bay County.

The County Governor, Gladys Wanga, said the marathon is being held to create awareness about the conservation of the rare roan antelope found only in Ruma National Park.

“This is a run for fun, a run to conserve the rare roan antelope found only in Ruma, and it is also a chance to enjoy the beauty of Homa Bay,” she said.

Speaking Saturday during a pre-event visit to the park, Governor Wanga asserted that the drive will foster the positioning of Homa Bay as a part of the Western tourism circuit.

“I want to urge travel agencies in the country to visit the tourism sites in Homa Bay and bring their visitors to sample out the rare gems that exist in Homa Bay County,” Wanga added as she urged both domestic and foreign tourists to visit the county to explore its gems.

On his side, Polycap Okombo, the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Trade, Industries, Tourism, and Corporate Development, said that the event also targets to market the park to boost revenues and thus promote economic growth.

“This event will mark the inauguration of the annual Roan Antelope Half Marathon, and this event will also market the national park and promote the local economic growth,” Okombo said.

Kenya Wildlife Service Assistant Director for Ruma National Park David Oyugi said the park came up with the sanctuary in 2021 to conserve the rare roans that are under threat of extinction.

Oyugi outlined that the park is home to buffalos, white and black rhinos, Nubian giraffes, and Oribi antelopes, alongside other species of birds.

The Roan Antelope Half Marathon has been organized by the county government in partnership with the KWS and Athletics Kenya and is open for participation.

By Brian Odhiambo and Davis Langat

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