Sierra Leone|30 April 2025

THE SIERRA LEONE MARATHON & CYCLE CHALLENGE

Sign up today to receive our early bird offer!

Join us in Sierra Leone from the 30th of April for an epic three or five-night adventure. Choose to run or cycle off the beaten track discovering the beauty that Sierra Leone has to offer. Winding through tropical jungle and local villages, the varied routes will take you through some of the most stunning scenery in Northern Sierra Leone. From a full and half marathon course to a 10km or 5km option, there is something for all running abilities. For those of you who want to take on a different type of challenge, we also have an incredible 75km cycle. Regardless of the distance you complete, each race will provide you with a unique perspective on this beautiful country, all whilst challenging your body and mind. 

  

This trip is so much more than just an awesome event. You will have the opportunity to explore Northern Sierra Leone with like-minded individuals, attending workshops and discovering more about Street Child's work. Your epic racing adventure will begin at dawn, finishing back at Wusum stadium in Makeni to a hand-carved medal!  

  

After a well-deserved rest that evening you then have the option to take a triumphant flight home or continue your journey to one of Sierra Leone’s tropical beaches. Here you can spend time relaxing or take the opportunity to get to know your fellow heroes from around the world. However you design your trip, one thing is for certain: the Sierra Leone Marathon & Cycle Challenge will provide the adventure you are looking for. 
 
Register for the Sierra Leone Marathon 2025 through the link below! 

Sign up before the 30th June 2024 to receive our Early Bird offer! Use the discount code 'SLM100' for £100 off either the 5-night Standard and Premium package.
The Cost

We have a variety of different packages available, ranging from £499 - £1299! Discover more about our various options, exciting add-ons, and detailed pricing through the link below.

Fundraising for street child

100% of the money you raise is going towards supporting Street Child’s work. We ask that every participant fundraises a minimum of £1,500 to support our work. During the trip, you will have the unique opportunity to see the impact of your fundraising and learn from the Street Child teams about our work. 

  

Not sure you want to run a marathon but still want to fundraise for Street Child? 

View our routes

Find out more about the exciting running and cycling routes for the Sierra Leone Marathon and Cycling challenge 2025. All routes are available for download. 

MAKE A LASTING POSITIVE IMPACT

The Sierra Leone Marathon is your chance to have the experience of a lifetime while making a lasting positive impact!

 

This is your opportunity to become part of the Street Child story. Since 2008, Street Child has supported over one million children into education and 157,929 families through our programmes, including support setting up businesses so they can afford the cost of educating their children long-term. We have grown from our first project in rural Sierra Leone to now working in over 25 countries worldwide and our Sierra Leone Marathon participants have played a crucial part in making this happen.

DON'T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT

At Street Child, we are so proud of this event. You've heard it from us so why not hear it from some other people?

Check out some inspiring blogs, testimonials and photos from past participants to found out what all the hype is about! Who knows, next year we could be featuring your story on our page...

Get in Touch

If you have any questions regarding our Sierra Leone Marathon or want to find out more about how you can get involved, contact our Sierra Leone Marathon Team at slmarathon@street-child.org. We are here to help!


Not convinced? Watch our highlights video, or sign up to hear more about the Sierra Leone Marathon through the link below!

FAQS
  • The Sierra Leone Marathon and Cycle Challenge will take place over the first May bank holiday. 5 night packages run between Wednesday 30th April – Monday 5th May 2025. The Premium 3 night package will run from Friday 2nd May – Monday 5th May. Beach Add Ons are available on Monday 5th May and Tuesday 6th May 2025. 

  • Terms and conditions can be found here 

  • All distances (whether the marathon, half marathon, 10km or 5km or cycling challenge) will take place around a city called Makeni, the economic centre of northern Sierra Leone and the capital of Bombali District. It lies about 120 miles east (a 2-3 hour drive) of Freetown.

  • Races will start early to avoid the worst of the sun, usually around 6am.

  • The Sierra Leone Marathon takes place on some seriously stunning routes, with a mixture of epic trails down hard-packed mud roads and gentle glides along the tarmac roads passing through the neighbouring villages. You will explore parts of Sierra Leone that not many other people get to see, including the jungles surrounding Makeni and the vibrant backstreets leading to the finish line.

  • You can register for the Sierra Leone Marathon and Cycle Challenge 2025 here 

  • An experienced team of Street Child’s UK and local staff will be organising the event along with other volunteers from UK and Sierra Leone.

  • We ask participants to check and understand any travel restrictions or COVID-19 requirements from their country of residence. Street Child are happy to provide support on this. Please see the UK governments advice on travelling to Sierra Leone here. Street Child staff in Sierra Leone will provide guidance on the local COVID-19 rules when in Sierra Leone

    • Regular water stations (some with re-hydration sachets/food/drinks)

    • Fixed and mobile medical support

    • Sports marshals and Street child staff cheering you on

    • Live music at certain points

  • Other than covering your costs to take part, we ask that you raise as much as you can! We ask every participant to commit to fundraising a minimum of £1,500 per person.  

    Street Child's experienced fundraising team and mentors will work with each participant to ensure they reach, and go beyond this target. Part of participants’ experience will be seeing where their money will be going and meeting some of the children we have already helped. 

  • The cost of your package covers the cost of your accommodation, transport, food and race costs. The charity does not make a profit on your package. Additionally, the money you spend on your package will go into supporting the local community, funding local food vendors, hotels and many more!

  • Yes, flights are available. Participants will receive information on flights and travel. Please contact our team at slmarathon@street-child.org for further advice on booking your flights.

  • This event is first and foremost about raising money for our critical work with vulnerable children. If you think you could raise a great amount of money we really want you there, no matter what! Contact us to discuss this option further.

  • All in-country transport is provided. This includes transport to and from the airport in Sierra Leone.

    If you are interested in arranging a private transfer, you can request this on your booking form and a member of the team will be in touch.

  • Unless you have a West African (ECOWAS) passport, you will need a visa to enter Sierra Leone. Itis best to apply as early as possible. Unless you are returning to Sierra Leone, it is best to apply fora single-entry visa which costs $80. Please follow this link to apply: Sierra Leone E Visa 

    Please note that the landing visa you will receive is valid for entry anytime within 3 months and for stays of up to 1 month. You can apply for extensions, multiple-entry and business visas whenin Freetown or through the relevant High Commission or Embassy. Sierra Leone Immigration eVisa Website


    You will also need to purchase a security pass for airport transfers, this is $25 each way.

  • See a travel nurse and doctor at least 6-8 weeks before travel. You should visit your local GP for advice if necessary. 

    Unless you traveled recently to a similar destination, it is almost certain you will need a few vaccinations. Two absolute must-haves are a vaccination certificate for yellow fever which is required for entry into the country and anti-malarial medication. 

    Please bring your yellow fever certificate with you to Sierra Leone. 

    Please see the previous question regarding COVID-19, for further info on COVID-19 travel requirements.

  • This is the responsibility of every individual participant. Make sure you are covered for sporting events of this nature and that it covers Sierra Leone. We ask that you make sure you are personally covered for your trip and will not allow you to take part in the event without travel insurance. 

  • Bring cash. Sterling notes are easily changed, as are dollars. Credit card use in Sierra Leone is very limited, and it is worth bringing a credit/debit card strictly as a back-up only (the banks in Makeni have chip and pin machines for emergency withdrawals).

    Big denominations of cash get better rates - but avoid pre-2006 series Dollars as they are rejected by many businesses and some banks.

  • We offer a range of travel packages from local guesthouses to hotels depending on your preferences. Packages (non-inclusive of flights and visa) include all meals, in-country travel, race entry and medical support. 

    • Torch and batteries

    • Umbrella and a rain coat

    • Mosquito repellent with 50% DEET

    • Favourite food and snacks

    • Anti bacteria hand gel 

    • Face coverings

    • Printed proof of all COVID-19 vaccinations and any other essential documents 

    • Mosquito net (a double one is recommended as there are few single beds) and a sleeping bag liner

    • Swimming costume/shorts

    • Towel

    • An old unlocked mobile phone - so you can buy a Sierra Leone sim and use the top up cards out here (considerably cheaper than using your UK phone)

    • Rehydration Salt (Dioralyte)

    • Immodium - your digestive system is likely to be a bit unsettled, prepare in advance!

    • Insect bite cream

    • Antiseptic cream and plasters

    • Cards, games, activities for the evenings (electricity is not guaranteed)

    • Money belt (not essential but a good idea)