Come Sunday, February 26, just two weeks from now, thousands of runners and spectators from sporting, travel, and tourism backgrounds will observe the fabulous annual Kilimanjaro Marathon.
The popular tourist cum sporting event enters its tenth edition this year and has attracted 3,200 runners over 50 countries. Set up to promote tourism in Tanzania, the Kilimanjaro Marathon has been growing yearly, pulling runners and non-runners to participate in the 42.2-kilometer race.
Ranging from professional runners and those enjoying jogging, the Kilimanjaro Marathon takes place in Moshi town on the laps of the fabled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania’s northern tourist circuit. Unlike Olympic or other sporting events, this marathon is organized to raise funds for disadvantaged people in Tanzania.
Runners in this marathon pass through some of Tanzania’s most beautiful landscapes, including many small banana and coffee farms in real African villages on the mountain slopes.
It is known as one of the most scenic races in the world, with Kilimanjaro’s white peak looking over the runners as they run throughout both urban areas and rural farmland and villages.
The event attracts both top athletes running for big prizes and a chance to prove themselves on an international stage, from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia, as well as social runners from around the world, coming to Tanzania to enjoy their sport and take in Tanzania’s top attractions such as the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Zanzibar, as well as climb Kilimanjaro, of course.
Kilimanjaro Marathon organizers said a new category of runners has been introduced with the help of sponsors, which is a disabled category. Sponsors of the event include a range of top industries in Tanzania, including the Tanzania Breweries Limited, Vodacom Tanzania (mobile phone company), and the Tanzania Tourist Board.
The Kilimanjaro Marathon is organized by South Africa-based Wild Frontiers and coordinated by a section of Tanzanian corporate companies such as Tanzania Breweries and Bonite Bottlers, which produce beer and bottled water with a brand mark of Mount Kilimanjaro.