The Mount Kilimanjaro Marathon: Amateurs Only
To run a marathon is a feat by almost anyone's standards. The Mt. Kilimanjaro Marathon actually takes place at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro in the town of Moshi, Tanzania. But even though the course doesn't actually go up Africa's tallest peak, the race is no joke.
What makes this race unique is that it is the only marathon that does not invite any professional runners. Amateur runners, locals, and tourists run together around (and around and around) the 10.5 k loop that makes up the track. Along their way they pass numerous elaborate water stations that are run by local seminaries.
The race, which started in 2003, has since grown in size. Today it attracts over 6,000 runners from 40 different countries. Yesterday, March 1 these runners flooded Moshi and line up for the race. Many of these runners travelled thousands of miles to run an international marathon as well as reach the 5,895-meter summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Despite the lack of professional runners the Mt. Kilimanjaro Marathon has not gone without recognition. Runner's World magazine gave it the #2 Award as "Wonder of the World Marathon". Forbes Magazine also recognized it as the #4 "Best International Marathon".
Oh, and one more thing – the oldest runner to run this marathon AND climb the mountain was 75 years old. What are you waiting for?