This year, the weather was perfect; the rains had poured a little the night before and the morning air brushed gently on our faces. We had descended Mt. Kilimanjaro about 24 hours ago and were super pumped. At first it seemed like a suicide attempt but that morning, my body felt great and lighter. Maybe I had lost some weight in the course of attempting to summit Kibo :-).
Moshi is fairly low, about 800m, and coming from the 5,700’s we were bound to suffer. Sometimes after hikes I feel like I have oxygen overdose…yeah I know that sounds crazy. It’s always a hive of excited runners; some have crossed oceans with friends to be here, others like us have been hiking and decided to take home a medal, others are running the marathon then attempting summits. It’s always a mix of beautiful cultures represented; why we love the outdoors.
The first half of the marathon is uphill and that’s what really drains my energy. I prefer the descents. Her majesty the mighty Kilimanjaro is smiling at us today. She’s not shy as she shows off her snowy peaks and clouds hangs over her like a pearl necklace. The lush vegetation greets you as you make your way along the winding road as the children cheer you on.
During my runs, I always identify a pace-setter from the crowd. This way, I’m able to run at an almost comfortable yet constant pace, slightly above my comfort zone. When the identified target slows down, I quickly identify another and this way I remain focused for the entire duration. Looking back at the photos, there’s this lady who was behind me, for the entire run! I bet several of us use this pace-setter tactic.
If you are interested in the Kilimanjaro premium lager marathon or half marathon for that matter, it’s an annual event, on the first Sunday of March. Ensure to book your hotel months before (early planning always helps) and get one that’s close to the Ushirika stadium (start point) for convenience purposes. Also, carry some money with you during the run. You will need it afterwards.