Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation’s first peace race was held on 13th December 2003 in Kapenguria, West Pokot District.
This was a first of a kind event held in a region where intercommunity war was rampant, cattle rustling a norm and abject poverty a part of life.
The pastrolists communities from Northern Kenya,North Eastern Uganda,Southern Sudan and Ethiopia were the majorly affected parties by these conflicts.
The event was attended by many people who participated in the race.Some dignitaries who attended the event were sports personalities led by Tegla Loroupe herself,Ethiopia’s Haille Gebresalassie and Adere Berhane,Paul Tergat (fastest ever marathoner),Joyce Chepchumba and Catherine Ndereba.The Governments of the four countries were also represented by various officials.
After the race the leaders were able to talk with the people and make them understand the impact of the conflict and the need for peaceful co-existence.the event was a success as later most of the conflicts reduced.One of the major lessons learned wasthat sports has no boundary and can greatly contribute to nurturing a culture of tolerance and peaceful coexistance amongst different communities.
Second Kapenguria Peace Race
The second peace race organized by Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation was held on 20th November 2004 in Kapenguria,West Pokot District of Kenya.
Participation of pastoral and agro-pastoral communities including their conflicting cross-boarder neighbours. Several governments and heads of states in the region and beyond the continent were represented by senior officials.
The race also attracted the recognition and participation of the world’s sports governing council;the International Athletics Association Federation,which was represented by its vice chairperson Prof.Helmut Digel.The Prince of Monaco sent representative,the Swedish and British governments were also represented.
World leading athletes including world marathon Silver medalist Catherine Ndereba, Kenya’s Paul Tergat,Ethiopia’s Kenisa Bekele were among more than five thousand people mainly from traditional cattle rustling communities in Kenya,Uganda,Ethiopia Southern Sudan and Somalia who turned up to participate .
The peace race attracted global attention for its innovative approach towards peace building process in the conflict prone pastoralist communities of East and the horn of Africa region.
Besides the success of the race in cultivating an enabling environment for peace building among warring communities,it enabled local people to identify and exploit their exceptional sports talents and use them as a means to earn a living thus improving their livelihoods.