Mount Kenya to host first mountain running challenge

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 11 October 2019

Adventure-loving runners will be pleased to hear about a new mountain challenge coming to Kenya next year.

The Mount Kenya Mountain Running Championship is scheduled for 8 February 2020 and was launched recently by Kenya’s Energy Minister, Governor Kiraitu Murungi.

mount kenya

Adapted image by David Clode via Unsplash

Speaking to the Kenyan Star earlier this year, 1987 world marathon champion, Douglas Wakiihuri, who is a member of Meru County Sports Council said that the area for the race is mapped out within the forest.

‘[It] is about 2,800 meters above sea level—making it challenging for the competitors. With this beautiful mountain, we want to ensure Meru is marked as one of the places to be.’

Murungi stated that the 12km Elite race will have a cash prize of Ksh500,000 (about R72,000). There’ll also be 6km and 8km race events for amateur runners and Meru County residents and a shorter 2km race called ‘Keep the doctor away’.

According to Tourism Update, the theme for next year’s inaugural mountain race is ‘Challenging the Heights’, an apt name for the 5,199m peak, and the second-highest on the continent after Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

The new mountain running challenge, which will take place in Kenya’s Meru County, is meant to raise awareness and funds for cancer research at the local Meru Level 5 Hospital.

Referring to the Meru County Sports Council’s ’10-year plan to transform this county into a sporting industry’, Governor Murungi said that the the move was bound to generate revenue for the county.

‘Let us look at the broader picture. This will be for the benefit of our future generation and through this kind of event, we are bound to generate funds that will help conserve our forests.’

Governor Murungi confirmed that the designated route has been assessed for compliance with international mountain running standards.

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