Nick Butter, world record holder
Join us from the 1st of June 2022 to take on the 10th edition of the Sierra Leone Marathon. Dubbed ‘the craziest and most worthwhile marathon’ by Runners World Magazine, the Sierra Leone Marathon is back better than ever
Winding through tropical jungle and local villages, the marathon route will take you across some of the most beautiful scenery in Northern Sierra Leone. From a full and half marathon to a 10K or 5K option there is something for all running abilities and regardless of your distance, each will give you a unique perspective on this beautiful country.
Sign ups for 2022 are now closed! Keep your eyes out for 2023 applications opening soon...
Beginning on 1st June 2022, the Sierra Leone Marathon is a five-day adventure which will take you off the beaten track and show you the beauty Sierra Leone has to offer.
This trip is more than just a marathon. You will have the opportunity to explore Northern Sierra Leone where Street Child are based and attend workshops with our teams to discover more about our work. Your epic racing adventure will begin at dawn, finishing back at Wusum stadium in Makeni to a hand-carved medal and a cold beer. After a well-deserved rest that evening you have the option to take the triumphant flight home or continue your journey to one of Sierra Leone’s tropical beaches.
Since 2008 Street Child has supported over 650,033 children into education and supported 75,996 families to set up businesses so they can afford the cost of educating their children long-term. We have grown from our first project in rural Sierra Leone to now working in 16 countries worldwide and our Sierra Leone Marathon participants have played a crucial part in making this happen.
We ask that Sierra Leone Marathon participants cover their own costs, separating costs and fundraising so that you and your sponsors know that 100% of the money you raise is going towards supporting Street Child’s work. The Sierra Leone Marathon starts at only £449 per person and this includes all your accommodation, travel within Sierra Leone, food, race entry, and race/medical support for the duration of your trip. We ask that every participant fundraises a minimum of £1,000 to support our work. During the trip, you will have the unique opportunity to see the impact of your fundraising and learn from the Street Child teams about our work.
Currently Sierra Leone is off the UK travel red list. However certain COVID-19 travel requirements remain in place.
We ask participants to check and understand any travel restrictions or COVID-19 requirements from their country of residence. Street Child are happy to provide support on this.
Please see the UK governments advice on travelling to Sierra Leone here
Street Child staff in Sierra Leone will provide guidance on the local COVID-19 rules when in Sierra Leone.
Packages for the Sierra Leone Marathon start from £449 per person. Find out more about what each package provides.
The Sierra Leone Marathon will take place between the 1st-6th June 2022.
All distances (whether the marathon, half marathon, 10k or 5k) will take place around a city called Makeni, the economic centre of northern Sierra Leone and the capital of Bombali District. It lies about 120 miles east (a 2-3 hour drive) of Freetown.
Races will start early to avoid the worst of the sun, usually around 6am.
The Sierra Leone Marathon will be run on both urban and rural roads. The majority of these are hard-packed mud roads, but also some tarmac. The route will take in some of the most beautiful scenery of Northern Sierra Leone.
An experienced team of Street Child’s UK and local staff will be organising the event along with other volunteers from UK and Sierra Leone.
Currently Sierra Leone is off the UK travel red list. However certain COVID-19 travel requirements remain in place. We ask participants to check and understand any travel restrictions or COVID-19 requirements from their country of residence. Street Child are happy to provide support on this.
Please see the UK governments advice on travelling to Sierra Leone here.
Street Child staff in Sierra Leone will provide guidance on the local COVID-19 rules when in Sierra Leone
Regular water stations (some with re-hydration sachet/drinks)
Fixed and mobile medical support
Live music at certain points
Other than covering your costs to take part, we ask that you raise as much as you can! We ask every participant to commit to fundraising a minimum of £1,000 per person.
Street Child's experienced fundraising team and mentors will work with each participant to ensure they reach, and go beyond this target. Part of participants’ experience will be seeing where their money will be going and meeting some of the children we have already helped.
The cost of your package covers the cost of your accommodation, transport, food and race costs. The charity does not make a profit on your package.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declared Sierra Leone free of Ebola on 7th November 2015. The Sierra Leone Marathon is confident that the marathon poses no risk to runners in the areas we will be travelling to.
This event is first and foremost about raising money for our critical work with vulnerable children. If you think you could raise a great amount of money we really want you there, no matter what! Contact us to discuss this option further.
All in-country transport is provided. This includes transport to and from the airport in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone has a tropical climate, warm temperatures and high humidity. The run will be hot - but with a dawn start (to avoid the worst of the heat) and regular water and re-hydration stops, hopefully not too hot!
You will need a visa, unless you are from West Africa. Street Child can help organise this and once you are registered we will issue a letter of invitation to accompany a visa application form. You can obtain a single visa in person or by post from the Sierra Leone High Commission in London. Visas are valid for 3 months from date of issue.
See a travel nurse and doctor at least 6-8 weeks before travel. You should visit your local GP for advice if necessary.
Unless you traveled recently to a similar destination, it is almost certain you will need a few vaccinations. Two absolute must-haves are a vaccination certificate for yellow fever which is required for entry into the country and anti-malarial medication.
Please bring your yellow fever certificate with you to Sierra Leone.
Please see the previous question regarding COVID-19, for further info on COVID-19 travel requirements.
This is the responsibility of every individual runner. Make sure you are covered for sporting events of this nature and that it covers Sierra Leone. We ask that you make sure you are personally covered for your trip and will not allow you to take part in the event without travel insurance.
Bring cash. Stirling notes are easily changed, as are dollars. Credit card use in Sierra Leone is very limited, and it is worth bringing a credit/debit card strictly as a back-up only (the banks in Makeni have chip and pin machines for emergency withdrawals).
Big denominations of cash get better rates - but avoid pre-2006 series Dollars as they are rejected by many businesses and some banks.
We offer a range of travel packages from local guesthouses to hotels depending on your preferences. Packages (non-inclusive of flights and visa) include all meals, in-country travel, race entry and medical support.
Torch and batteries
Umbrella and a rain coat
Mosquito repellent with 50% DEET
Favourite food and snacks
Anti bacteria hand gel
Printed proof of all COVID-19 vaccinations and any other essential documents
Mosquito net (a double one is recommended as there are few single beds) and a sleeping bag liner
An old unlocked mobile phone - so you can buy a Sierra Leone sim and use the top up cards out here (considerably cheaper than using your UK phone)
Rehydration Salt (Dioralyte)
Immodium - your digestive system is likely to be a bit unsettled, prepare in advance!
Insect bite cream
Antiseptic cream and plasters
Cards, games, activities for the evenings (electricity is not guaranteed)
Money belt (not essential but a good idea)
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