Following Sunday’s conclusion of the ten-day 2016 Kenya Peace Torch Relay around the UK (www.run4peace.co.uk), Adam Holland – the only athlete to run all 1000km, accompanied for 10k segments by members of the public – yesterday returned the torch to H.E. Lazarus Amayo, Kenya’s High Commissioner in London.
Backed by sponsors including Up & Running and White Rose, the relay was part of a drive to raise funds for the Aegis Trust to establish a peace school in Northern Kenya, where since 2014 ethnic violence has left hundreds dead and driven thousands from their homes.
Adam Holland was accompanied to the High Commission by Dr James Smith, Chief Executive of the Aegis Trust, who last year took part in the start of the torch relay in northern Kenya with athletes including Wilson Kipsang, Tegla Loroupe and Ezekiel Kemboi.
“On behalf of the Government and the people of Kenya, and the Kenya High Commission, may I take this opportunity to thank you most sincerely for these efforts you made towards supplementing the Government of Kenya’s initiatives for harmony in the northern part of the country,” High Commissioner Amayo said to Adam. “It is not easy to get one like you who dedicates his life to promotion of initiatives of this nature. We thank you most sincerely, with the Aegis Trust, for contributions both in creating awareness, and even monetarily, that will go a long way in helping the communities in northern Kenya to live in harmony, to reconcile, to have tolerance for one another, and promote that very unity which is a prerequisite for any meaningful development in the region. We thank you and look forward to continued collaboration with you and Aegis towards this noble cause. And we are longing to see you in Kenya, the home of long distance runners. Thank you very much.”
“I’m just happy and proud to be part of this, and help raise awareness,” said Adam Holland, thanking the High Commissioner for his kind words. “I want to continue next year, and hope to raise lots more, and I definitely want to go over and see everything first-hand. So I’ll continue to help.”
“High Commissioner, we really do want to thank you for welcoming us today, and giving your time,” added Dr James Smith. “We know that our contribution is very modest, but we feel honoured and privileged to be able to work with you, with the Government of Kenya and with other partners. If we all work together in the challenge, whether this is peace in the north of Kenya, in the region, or even more so across the borders of Kenya, then many of us playing a small part can together make a very big difference, and we’re grateful for you to give us the opportunity to play our role. Thank you.”
Though the torch relay may be over, the challenge isn’t quite finished yet for Adam Holland. In support of the cause, just over a week from now he will attempt a course record for the toughest 5 marathons in 5 days – with an elevation gain over 20,000 feet (comparable to running up Kilimanjaro) – before trying to reclaim the World Record for the fastest 10 marathons in 10 days.
By the time he finishes on 4th December, Adam will have completed over 1,000 miles running to promote the cause of peace in Kenya. If you feel inspired by his determination, and would like to help Aegis’ life-saving work, please sponsor Adam’s continued efforts here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/magic10days