By Lyamuya Stanley in Moshi
KILIMANJARO Extreme Marathon is underway, a unique race of its kind to be staged in the country. Unique as it would be, this marathon will take place within Mount Kilimanjaro located within Kilimanjaro National Parks (KINAPA) in early December this year.
Revealing this was a Poland national, Michael Gawron, the Initiator and organiser of this event in an exclusive interview in Moshi. Describing this run, he said the event will begin at the Kilimanjaro Uhuru Peak Summit at an altitude of 5,985 metres above sea level whereby competitors have to cover a distance of 42.2 kilometers.
“This will be the first successful attempt to organise an official international run within Mount Kilimanjaro. At first, all competitors should trek the said mountain for five days up to Uhuru Peak and thereafter start the run” he said.
Comparing this run with the famous similar marathon, the Kilimanjaro Extreme Marathon will be held at the highest altitude on Earth as it will begin at 5,985 metres above sea level more than 500 metres higher than the marathon on Mount Everest the highest Mountain on Earth which starts at an altitude of 5,363 metres above sea level.
“The marathon, not only will go to the records as the highest marathon on Earth, it will also officially apply for the first place in ‘Guinness World Records’ in this specific category” he said adding that in order to organise the event he had to get in touch with the local partners, guides and organisers of the mountain trekking, Kilismile Trails Limited based in Moshi town.
He further said the management of KINAPA and TANAPA had to issue a consent (permit) to stage the run something which took him two years to accomplish.
“It required unbelievable patience and persistence. For almost two years I was forcing my way through the maze of regulations and any possible complications related to obtaining the Park’s consent” he said adding that he wouldn’t have made it without the help of his local partner, Hamadi Gao,who is the Managing Director of Kilismile Limited.
On the importance of this run, he said the inaugural event is aimed at attracting and promoting Kilimanjaro Mountain to tourists as the event will not only cover the run, but also a five day trekking to the Crater Camp located at an altitude of 5,730 metres above sea level.
On the number of participants to this event he said so far a total of fifty (50) competitors from different countries across the globe have already confirmed their participation to the marathon.
He named the country whose citizens are coming for the run as Poland, Russia, United States of America, China, Hong Kong and members of the European Union.
On his side, the local partner to this event the Managing Director of Kilismile Trails Limited, Hamadi Gao said he was happy to be part of making the dream of staging Kilimanjaro Extreme Marathon into a reality, adding that the event will serve effectively in promoting the mountain, Moshi town and many other beautiful tourists attractions found across Tanzania.