Kilifi is quickly becoming my favourite destination on the Kenyan Coast. The beaches are sandy white, aren’t crowded plus there’s the creek you can explore and enjoy a boat ride as well, the bioluminescence at the creek is also a must see which happens to be just a 5-minute walk from where I was staying at Distant Relatives backpackers.
Distant Relatives are behind arguably the biggest New Year’s Eve festival. Kilifi New Year’s Eve. It lasts a couple of days and this year the location is totally new. Word is an entire stage is being built in the middle of a forest. Sounds like it’s bound to be a good time. The tickets are now on sale so you better cop tickets for you and your crew.
I spent the last weekend of September in Kilifi and it happened to be the weekend of the Kilifi Gold Triathlon event. The Triathlon involved a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run. Just writing that makes me break out in a sweat. Competitors came in from across the world to participate in the scenic competition that takes place within the Kilifi Plantations.
The Kilifi Gold Triathlon began in 2003 slowly growing over the years with the main aim being raising money of charities within the region. The Kilifi Gold Triathlon is a charity event with that supports local charities and community organisations with financial assistance on a range of projects
The night before the triathlon I got to talk to Kilifi Gold Triathlon Chairperson Laura Brooks while enjoying pizza night at Distant Relatives.
‘They’ll be hundreds of people at the triathlon itself but then we’ll go to all of the schools within a kilometre of the creek, we’ll go to Pwani university which has thousands of students and we’ll give talks there.’ Said Laura Brooks on how many people they hope to reach with their programs ‘Pwani University students are a real risk group because they come, they are young they are 18, they are starting to drink, trying to impress the girls then they jump in (the creek) and they get in trouble.’
This year Kilifi Gold triathlon partnered with key stakeholders around the creek to implement the Creek Safety Initiative. Following a number of tragic accidents in the creek, particularly involving children over the past few months, including a need for water safety awareness.
Curious to see if anyone would hack Swimming, Running and cycling in the grueling Kilifi heat the next afternoon I hopped on a tuk tuk and headed to Mnarani Beach Club where the triathlon was to take place.
The triathlon began promptly at 2.30pm with the swimming leg then on to the biking leg and finally finishing off with the running leg.
Suleiman Said, Mohamed Shamuty and Alistair Barnes took position 1,2 and 3 in the men’s competition respectively. Jessie De Boer, Kate Crowley and Lindsey Round Turner took positions 1,2 and 3 respectively in the women’s competition. While in the team competition Kivukoni Natural Gas, The Desert Roses and Creek Club Team took the three top spots.