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. “Kili” as she is affectionately known, is one of those iconic sights every person should see at least once in their lifetime.
Every year, since 2003, 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 atmosphere in Moshi over ‘race weekend’ is electric. With so much energy, people out running under the shade of jacaranda-tree lined streets, plenty of places to explore including lots of restaurants and pubs offering a full range of foods – from local fare including fantastic Indian, Italian and English menus. Lively pubs – even some live music / discos around town. There are a good number of hotels in the area, but book early as they get filled up over race weekend.
The three races all take place in the foothills of Kilmanjaro. All races are marshalled, with traffic control and medics along the way.
Sunday morning, the excitement around the event is enormous, with locals coming out to support the athletes. The event finishes in the MoCu stadium, in Moshi – with music, food and lots of Kili lager available.