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Greatest wheelbarrow race in the wild

Date Published: 17 Jun, 2010
Greatest wheelbarrow race in the wild

The 85 teams take off at the start of this year’s ‘To Hell's Gate on a Wheelbarrow 2010’. The event raised Sh7 million in favour of community projects around Hells Gate National Park.

A total of Sh7 million was raised during this year’s Hell’s Gate on a Wheelbarrow event in Naivasha surpassing last year’s event which raised Sh.2.8million. The fun filled and exciting sports-cum- fundraising event which began last year, provides an avenue for engagement between Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) other stakeholders and the surrounding communities.
Speaking at the event KWS Director, Mr. Julius Kipng’etich said funds raised during the event will go towards construction of a fully equipped conservation education centre which will be used to mobilize and educate members of the surrounding communities in conservation matters.
“Every year KWS spends Sh100 million in reaching out to communities through education and information centres which run various programs to promote and create awareness of conservation and the need to conserve wildlife,” he added.

KenGen, one of the many companies neighbouring Hell's Gate National Park supported the wheelbarrow race as the main sponsors of the event.  Other sponsors included Safaricom, Royal Media Services, Nakumatt, Oserian Flower Farm and Nature Kenya among others.
Through the rough and dusty route, participants in pairs struggled to push each other their partner in a wheelbarrow across a tough terrain that included pools of muddy water, rocky and dusty trenches over a distance of 5.5 km each hoping to cross the finishing line as winners. 
Michael Bore who came in second at last year’s event, emerged the overall winner along with his partner Eric Yebo both  sponsored by Maridadi Flower Farm. Jackson Cherop and his partner Barnaba Rotich came in second.
Pauline Narkalei and Susan Wacuka beat a strong field of male competitors on their way to scooping the overall title in the women category.
Brothers Jeff Okoth and Tony Omondi aged eight and six years respectively surprised many by emerging among the top finishers in the race overcoming extreme physical conditions and a competitive field that on average were nearly three times their age.
A total of eighty five wheelbarrows participated  in this year’s event consisting of eight teams which included; KWS, Sketchers Design Ltd, Kengen, Hot 96,Crayfish Camp ,Nature Kenya , Maridadi  Flowers and Shelter Group.
This year saw participants go a notch higher in terms of innovation with ‘pimped-up’ wheelbarrows being entered in the race. Some even had shock absorbers, motorbike wheels and exceedingly comfortable seats for a wheelbarrow.
Sketchers Design Ltd put their designing skills into good use and scooped the title of the “Most Pimped-up” wheelbarrow with their very attractive and comfortable wheelbarrow No. 108.
All those involved in the event were later hosted to a bush party in the park with revelers being treated to World Cup matches screened live on big screen at the site.
The Hell’s Gate on a Wheelbarrow race is part of a wider national initiative by KWS which aims at providing every park with a unique event that would increase community participation in conservation efforts.
Hell's Gate National Park which lies South of Lake Naivasha, habours a wide variety of wildlife including lions, leopards, and cheetahs. The park is also host to over 100 species of birds, including vultures, Verreaux's Eagles, augur buzzard, and swifts. The African buffalo, zebra, eland, hartebeest, Thomson's gazelle, and baboons are also a common sight in the park.
It also offers day-trip activities including horse riding, cycling, rock climbing and corporate team building exercises.

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