'Eskimo' braves tropical heat to win 5th Sierra Leone Marathon
- Mustafa ‘Eskimo’ Kamara crowned 2016 Sierra Leone Marathon Champion
- More than 600 runners compete in the world’s most ‘worthwhile’* marathon
29th May 2016: 118 British and international runners traveled to Sierra Leone to join over 500 Sierra Leonean competitors in the 5th Street Child Sierra Leone Marathon.
Laid out over four distances – 5k, 10k, half and full marathon – the runners wove their way through the parched streets of Makeni in the north of the country. Braving hot and humid conditions, the surrounding communities were out in force to provide boisterous support for competitors from more than 15 countries worldwide, including those as far afield as Finland, Australia, China and Chile.
Mustafa 'Eskimo' Kamara as he crosses the finish line as the winner of the 2016 Sierra Leone Marathon
But it was the Sierra Leonean nationals who swept the field, winning all four categories of the male and female competitions. Mustafa ‘Eskimo’ Kamara, 21, was the first full marathon runner across the finish line to take this year’s title.
“This is my first time winning here at the Sierra Leone Marathon at this distance.” Kamara said. “I’ve only competed in one marathon event before in Nigeria so it feels good to be the winner. I felt comfortable across all of the course and I’m so glad to be here now as the champion.
“This event is for children in our country so that makes it special for us and for me as the winner: children who are in the streets, children who need help getting into school, children who have very little – knowing they will be supported by this event, I am glad to have taken on those 26 miles for that.”
The winner of the female marathon was Isatu Turay, 18, from Freetown.
“I’ve just finished so I’ll just say I feel okay!” said Turay not long after powering across the finish. “I did my first marathon here in 2015 and I came second. I’ve trained so hard for these conditions and I trained to win this year; and now I’ve done it.
“Since the marathon is helping support girls into school, girls who maybe don’t have a family or are struggling to go to school, to compete here and win is very special for me. Education is so important for girls in our country. If you are educated, people will be careful with you, they won’t be foolish with you. Girls need that help.”
Street Child would like to say a massive thank you and a heartfelt congratulations to everyone who competed in this year's marathon. To those who have taken on this challenge and raised money to support the children, families, and communities that you visited ahead of the race, we are incredibly grateful for all that you've done - and continue to do - to support our work. We look forward to seeing you soon... and to welcoming you back next year!