Kilimanjaro Trail Run

Edition 4

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
31 Aug - 01 Sep, 2024 (Sat - Sun)

Trail running

10 km, 21.097 km, 42.195 km, 50 km, 65 km, 75 km

About the event

Experience the stunning views of the summit of Kilimanjaro and the surrounding National Parks on one of the most unique trail running events on the calendar. Take part in the Kilimanjaro Trail Run and take on the challenge of Africa’s highest peak.

Discover 6 different trail running events on the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. From 10 kilometers to ultra marathons of 50, 65, and 75km, there is something to satisfy every runner. Enjoy stunning views of the summit of Kilimanjaro and the surrounding National Parks on this one-of-a-kind event. Take on the challenge of a lifetime and discover the beauty of Africa's highest peak.

Races offered by this event

You have 6 weeks to prepare

Kilimanjaro Trail 50K

31 Aug, 2024 (Sat) - 05:30
Trail running
50 km
Solo
On site
Trail
Extreme
Point to point
Timed
Mountain range
Scenic
Beginner friendly

Kilimanjaro Trail 65K

31 Aug, 2024 (Sat) - 05:30
Trail running
65 km
2850 m of elevation gain
2850 m of elevation drop
Solo
On site
Trail
Extreme
Point to point
Timed
Mountain range
Scenic
Beginner friendly

Kilimanjaro Trail 75K

31 Aug, 2024 (Sat) - 05:30
Trail running
75 km
3030 m of elevation gain
Solo
On site
Trail
Extreme
Point to point
Timed
Mountain range
Scenic
Beginner friendly

Forest 10K

31 Aug, 2024 (Sat) - 08:00
Trail running
10 km
Solo
On site
Trail
Hilly
Single loop
Timed
Mountain range
Scenic
Beginner friendly

Kilimanjaro Trail 42K

01 Sep, 2024 (Sun) - 05:30
Trail running
42.195 km
2750 m of elevation gain
1100 m of elevation drop
Solo
On site
Trail
Extreme
Point to point
Timed
Mountain range
Scenic
Beginner friendly

Kilimanjaro Trail 21K

01 Sep, 2024 (Sun) - 07:30
Trail running
21.097 km
510 m of elevation gain
510 m of elevation drop
Solo
On site
Trail
Hilly
Single loop
Timed
Mountain range
Scenic
Beginner friendly

Course details

Course highlights

KTR ULTRA 75 KM Our 75 kilometer ultra is a loop race from Simba Farm (1760m / 5770ft) to a high elevation at Kilimanjaro’s Moir Camp (4170m / 13680ft) and return. Runners climb the Lemosho trekking route and descend via Shira rescue road, passing farmland, rain forest, and heather / moorland zones. Total climbing is 3050m (10000 ft). This event is absolutely not to be taken lightly, as the combination of climbing, high altitude and unpredictable weather can be both difficult and dangerous. Additionally, the cutoff for the KTR Ultra 75 is 13.5 hours, which requires exceptional fitness and determination. [Do NOT assume the difference between the 75 and 65 is a mere 10km of running.] Our 65 and 75 km ultra marathons split at the 33 kilometer (20.5 mi) mark, and KTR Ultra 75 runners may drop down to the 65 at that point to maintain a race finish. KTR Ultra 75 is limited to 20 runners in 2024 KTR ULTRA 65 KM Our 65 kilometer ultra is a shorter version of the KTR Ultra 75. It’s a loop race from Simba Farm (1760m / 5770ft) to Kilimanjaro’s Cathedral Point (3850m / 12600ft) and return. Runners climb the Lemosho trekking route and descend via Shira rescue road, passing farmland, rain forest, and heather / moorland zones. Total climbing is 2565m (8415 ft). The cutoff for the KTR Ultra 65 is the same 13.5 hours allotted for the 75, which does still require some real work. This event is not to be taken lightly, as the combination of climbing, high altitude and unpredictable weather can be difficult. KTR Ultra 65 is limited to 60 runners in 2024 KTR ULTRA 50 KM Our 50 kilometer ultra is a shorter and more accessible version of the 65 and 75 kilometer versions. KTR Ultra 50 is a loop race from Simba Farm (1760m / 5770ft) to a high elevation of 3510m (11520ft) at Shira 1 on Kilimanjaro’s Shira Plateau and return. Runners climb the Lemosho trekking route and descend via Shira rescue road, passing farmland, rain forest, and heather / moorland zones. Total climbing is 2225m (7300 ft). The cutoff for the KTR Ultra 50 is the same 13.5 hours allotted for the other two ultras, which makes it an extremely accessible high elevation ultra marathon (to the extent that high elevation ultras can be accessible). Still, the combination of climbing, high altitude and unpredictable weather can make this a tough day. KTR Ultra 50 is limited to 120 runners in 2024 KTR FULL MARATHON With 2550m (8360ft) of climbing, our full marathon (42.2+km / 26.2+mi) is one of the most difficult marathons in the world. Runners climb via Kilimanjaro’s Lemosho trekking route from Simba Farm (1760m / 5770ft) to Cathedral Point (3850m / 12600ft) on Shira Plateau, prior to descending to the finish line at Morem (3410m / 11190ft). The course passes through multiple climate and vegetation zones — farmland, rain forest, and heather / moorland. Total descent on the day is 870m (2860ft). This event ends at Morem on Kilimanjaro; vehicle transport is provided from the finish line back to the race village. Cutoff for the full marathon is 10.5 hours, and the 2024 event is limited to 60 runners KTR HALF MARATHON Our half marathon (21.1km / 13.1mi) is a loop run on Shira Plateau, on a combination of double and single track in the heather and moorland zone. The first 10 kilometers are via rescue road, and the second half of the race on progressively more technical trails. The race features 520 meters (1700 ft) of climbing, with a high elevation of 3850 meters (12600 ft) near Cathedral Point. This event begins and ends at Morem (3410m / 11190ft) on Shira plateau; vehicle transport is provided for participants to the race start and from the finish line back to the race village. The KTR Half is a great entry race into high altitude running, or a superb way to hike fully supported for a day on Kili. We welcome hikers in the half marathon. Cutoff for the half marathon is 7.5 hours, and the 2024 event is limited to 60 runners WEST KILI FOREST 10 KM New for 2024, our 10-kilometer run through West Kili Forest is great for racers, runners, hikers, family and friends! The West Kili Forest 10K is a loop run in Tanzania Forestry Services land and highlights low mountain farmland, planted forests, and old growth forests. This event begins and ends at the Simba Farm race village and does not go into Kilimanjaro National Park. The loop is primarily single track and involves about 230 meters (750ft) of climbing to a high elevation point of 1920 meters (6300ft). Cutoff for the 10K is 3 hours, and the 2024 event is limited to 240 runners

Start address

Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Finish address

Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

What’s included in entry

These are included in your entry
Finisher medal
Shuttle from Airport
Event T-shirts
Drink Stations
Bag drop
Toilets
Goodie bag
Shower
Shuttle to Start Line
Nutrition Stations
race-village-camping
Medical Assistance

Frequently Asked Questions

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Behind the race - An insight into the Kilimanjaro Trail Run with Race Director Brett Harrison

13 Sep, 2021 (Mon)

Brett Harrison founder of Red Knot Racing and Race Director of the Kili Trail Run and Kilimanjaro Trails Festival. In this interview series, Ahotu will be speaking with the people behind some of the most unique races across the globe. We’ll be discussing the history of the event, challenges and how to overcome them, attracting sponsors, reaching new runners and more! This month, we’re catching up with Red Knot Racing founder Brett Harrison. Having just hosted the inaugural Kilimanjaro Trail Run (half, full & ultra distance), Brett took half an hour to talk to us about the first edition of the event and the challenges of organising races on Africa’s highest mountain. Read on to get an insight into what it took to get the first edition off the ground! ‍ Thanks for joining us Brett. Thanks for taking the time to speak to us so soon after your inaugural event… firstly, how was it and for those that don’t know you or your race, could you briefly introduce Red Knot Racing? Hey, I’m honoured to speak with Ahotu; thanks for thinking of us down here in Tanzania! I founded Red Knot Racing Company as a mechanism for funding community development work in Tanzania; eight years later, we are the premier endurance racing company in the country. We specialize in organizing off-road and adventure events, currently in the disciplines of trail running, mountain biking, and gravel cycling. Kilimanjaro Trail Run (KTR) is the third event in our Red Knot Adventure Series. The inaugural KTR featured three event distances — half, full and 67km ultra marathon — all on Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. The event was a success, and we’re really excited about the future of this race. How did you wind up being a race director in East Africa? My wife and I moved to Tanzania in 2009 as missionaries and Christian development workers. My focus has primarily been community development in the areas of agriculture and livestock practices, while my wife specialized in teaching water, sanitation, and hygiene. Red Knot Racing Co. was born out of a desire to make our community development efforts more sustainable. There were three components to this approach to sustainability: Firstly, endurance racing is an opportunity for us to develop a long-term funding source for our community development work. Next, exercise and sport are incredible ways for us to assist youth in Tanzania to have better lives. Lastly, organizing races has been good for my own physical and emotional health, which ensures I can invest more deeply in community work, and over a longer period of time. Your venue / location needs no introduction, but it must be a challenging working environment. What’s it like organising an event on Africa’s highest mountain? All three of this year’s events topped out at 3,800 meters, and while it’s absolutely beautiful up there, it is quite a task to get everything done in Kilimanjaro National Park and with less vehicle access than other races might enjoy. We send teams up the mountain the day before, on foot, to set up camps from which we build out feed-zones the next day. Of course a great medical team is also key when running at altitude, and we’re thrilled to have Dr. Rian Jager with us; she heads up medical for all our events. The biggest unknown with races above tree line on Kilimanjaro is weather. Obviously it can be really cold up there, but even more difficult to deal with, perhaps, is how quickly the weather can change. We were lucky this year and had absolutely the best weather we’ve ever had on Kili; we’ve not been so fortunate in some of our other events. We set up large tent shelters on the mountain to keep finishers dry and warm, but didn’t use a single one of them this year! The inaugural edition of a race always poses a lot of unknowns, what lessons have you taken away from hosting the Kili Trail Run for the first time? We’ve been quite conservative when creating new races and events, in order to ensure the product we provide our clients is of the highest quality. So while this was Kilimanjaro Trail Run’s first year, we actually introduced the half marathon in January 2020 at our Kilimanjaro Trails Festival event (strangely enough, due to transport issues, the half marathon is actually the most difficult of the three distances for us to organize). Our test of concept went extremely well, though, and we got incredible feedback from our runners — so we decided to go ahead and give the race its own weekend, adding full and ultra distances. We certainly did still learn some lessons this year. Most of them fell into two categories: the organization team being clearer with our communication and us needing more redundancies and extra help than we planned for. We had a few small mixups which resulted in some needed documents not being printed and laminated by the time we’d wanted them; I also gave a tent to someone who’d not rented it, causing us to scramble to set up another one. These issues could all have been prevented with clearer communication on my part. We also had a few problems with our lower mountain feed zones, which caused us to place our extra car and driver at a feed zone, when his vehicle could have been used better elsewhere. Next year we’ll probably have three more vehicles and drivers than we feel we need, just to be safe! Your race is obviously fairly extreme in terms of its location, is it only for the hardcore mountain runners of the world or is it accessible for runners with less experience? We specifically created the half marathon with beginners in mind. While the race does exist entirely above 3,400 meters, the climbing involved (510m) is very doable for beginners, and the cut-off time was around 8 hours this year. Although the event was harder than some runners imagined it would be, all our 2021 participants finished — and with plenty of time left on the clock. We really like that our half allows less experienced runners to enjoy a course which might not otherwise have been accessible to them. Not only is this a positive for newer runners, but it also can make travel to Tanzania a lot more fun for a family or group of runners, as there’s a race for everyone involved While the half is within reach of most runners, the other two events might not be…. We had one full marathon runner tell us he didn’t know whether to be disappointed or impressed that he ran Comrades (90km) faster than our 42km race. That said, our cut-off time for the marathon was 9 hours, and most determined marathon runners — who are wise about slowing down at high altitudes — will finish fine, albeit worn out. With nearly 3,000 meters of climbing and a 12 hour cut-off, our 67km ultra might indeed be designed for a different breed of (hardcore, or even masochist) runner. We do encourage participants not to enter this event lightly! Your first event was launched and took place amongst the challenges of the pandemic, which has been a huge challenge for races globally, how do you think Covid affected this edition? We did not see the international involvement we’d expect for an event of this sort, but we knew going in that 2021 wasn’t going to be a terrific year to start a new race due to travel restrictions. We have a history of growing events organically and for the inaugural edition having fewer participants is somewhat of a blessing as it allows a chance to see how the races go in practice. We aim to grow over the coming years of course! You promote your event via World’s Marathons (& Ahotu) and we’re delighted to promote your race, are there any other tools / software you use to help manage the event? E.g. reg platform etc. We have always handled registration for our Kilimanjaro 2 Natron MTB race ourselves, but for Kili Trails Festival and Kilimanjaro Trail Run we use RunSignup for registration and are happy with them. We have used Agee Race Timing’s software and reusable timing chips in the past for some of our events, and this year we used Sports Timing Solutions’ Pro Score+ iPhone (free) app to record feed zone / split times at KTR. What does the rest of 2021 and 2022 have in store for Red Knot Racing and what is your next race that people can check-out? We are already working hard on our events for 2022 — creating new run and cycle routes, updating websites, and seeking partners / sponsors for the events! We’ve got the Kilimanjaro Trails Festival in January, a 3-day weekend on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro with a host of different distances and events. As well as the Kili Trail Run scheduled for later in the year! Thanks for your time Brett. We’re proud to work with Red Knot racing and your unique events in one of Africa’s most beautiful and intriguing countries!‍ Interested in taking part? Keep an eye on the upcoming edition on Ahotu – Kilimanjaro Trail Run To feature in our interview series you can drop us an email on [email protected] Interested in promoting your race with World’s Marathons or Ahotu? Contact us on [email protected]
Ahotu event page:
8 min read

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