The Event.

Situated south of the equator – in Tanzania – at 5 895 metres, Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain, and the highest free standing mountain in the world. Permanent glaciers flow down from the summit, and the sheer presence of this huge mountain dominates the entire area. “Kili” as she is affectionately known, is one of those iconic sights every person should see at least once in their lifetime.

Every year, at the end of February/beginning March, a standard 42.2 km marathon, 21.1 km half marathon and 5 km fun run are held in the town of Moshi, in the shadow of Kilimanjaro. This AIMS registered race has been set up to promote the sport in Tanzania, and has the official backing of the Tanzania Tourist Board, the Tanzania Amateur Athletics Association and the IAAF.

The marathon route leaves Moshi stadium and heads down towards the town, joining the main road to Dar es Salaam for approximately 8-9 km. This section of the route is relatively flat, with plenty of enthusiastic spectators along the road.  Turn around, heading back to Moshi and past the stadium, before beginning the long, steady ascent towards Mweka.  The uphill climb is gradual, but with Kilimanjaro towering above and all the local villagers out to cheer you on, the time passes quickly.  The highest point of the route point marks approximately 32 km and the last section is a fast downhill run back toward the stadium.  Regular water tables as well the odd ‘shower’ keep runners refreshed and cool along the entire route.

The route passes through parts of town, many smallholding farms and villages, banana and coffee plantations and patches of forest, providing great excitement to local residents who give ample vocal support.

For those running the half marathon, the route starts just outside the Moshi stadium and follows a steady incline to Mweka as per the full marathon – at approximately half way (10 km) the fast descent begins to the finish.  The atmosphere in the stadium is electric with local bands and entertainment, crowds of local enthusiasts to cheer the runners and plenty of refreshments for sale.

If these two distances are a little intimidating, we have a 5km Fun Run.  Fantastic for families and those starting their running careers, or simply to get out there on a Sunday morning, and be part of the vibe of the Kili Marathon.

The logistics of the operation are run under the Kibo Marathon Club (Reg  No. 446682),  and members of both the Tanzania Amateur Athletics Association (TAAA) and the local Kilimanjaro Amateur Athletics Association (KAAA).

The Kilimanjaro Marathon may be used as a qualifier for the Comrades Marathon.