FOR THE MT. KILIMANJARO MARATHON
The route for the Mt. Kilimanjaro Marathon is a simple 10.5K loop. The race begins at the Moshi Country Club which is in a suburban area of the town of Moshi with little traffic. The race continues along a country road which is paved but also has a side road that some runners prefer which is soft grass for 4 Kilometers. Then the runners reach a traffic circle where there is some traffic and turn right onto a side road that is adjacent to a large road. They turn on this road at 5.2K and start their run back to the Country Club. There is a water station every Kilometer which is highly decorated and has water and oranges. All water is bottled water which is opened by the runner. He can throwaway the bottle when he is finished because we have a clean up crew.
Every runner who has run the race says, “I do not need the water stations so close to each other” but I think they do. At the same time that the runners are on the course I drive over the course to make sure everyone is OK. I carry fruit and water in the van. I also carry anything the runners thinks he may need during the race. I tell the runners if they get ill to just stop and they will be picked up by me and my van. So far no one has ever been ill, but I worry a lot about the runners. I am not a runner so I think this is a great achievement.
After all the runners come in, some take as much as six hours, we hold the awards ceremony. Unfortunately, the Tanzanians are very fast and always finish hours ahead of the Americans and do not want to wait for the Americans. I serve them sandwiches and drinks to help them wait. An important official from the American Embassy in Dar Es Salaam always joins us for this event, and also the local officials who help give out the medals and awards.
All American runners receive a large engraved medal with ribbon, certificate of Participation and a T-shirt. The top five runners receive beautiful engraved trophies. The Tanzanians receive the engraved medal, certificate of Participation, money awards and also gifts from the American runners and the USA government.
Many runners bring small gifts with them to give to the Tanzanian runners. The number one gift that all Tanzanian runners want are “OLD SHOES”. The Tanzanians are very poor and truly appreciate your old running shoes. So if you have any old shoes that you do not need anymore, please bring them with you. The Tanzanians will appreciate any thing you bring. I save the free soap, shampoo, etc. that I get in hotels when I travel. I then wrap them together like a gift and give them out at the awards ceremony as something a little extra for the Tanzanian runners. I also bring old prescription eye glasses, T shirts, time watches, etc. They appreciate everything.