Over 5,000 athletes from all corners of the globe are expected to participate in this year’s edition of the Kilimanjaro Marathon to be held in Moshi later this month as the internationally-applauded event marks its tenth anniversary.
Organizers of the event said in Dar es Salaam over the weekend that runners from six continents are expected to battle for honors in the event to be staged in four categories.
“In a nutshell, we expect to have over 5,000 runners from 40 countries across six continents”, said John Addison.
The organizers of the event are working closely with Athletics Tanzania (AT) other coordinators to facilitate its success.
Beside the home side athletes, the event has already attracted runners from Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, South Africa as well as USA, Japan, Italy, Canada, France,Germany, Sweden, Norway and Australia, to mention a few.
The number of participants has been increasing each year, indicating how the event has grown.
Inaugurated in 2003, the event has gained support from athletes as the number of participants kept increasing from just 750 mainly from the host nation, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zimbabwe and South Africa in 2003 to about 4,500 runners from 35 countries in the previous edition.
The event has also grown in terms of the number of competing categories.
The inaugural race had three events; the full marathon, half marathon and a 10km run.
At present, runners have an option to take part in four competitive categories including the five kilometre fun run and another one for disabled athletes.
Cash prizes have also been increasing, thanks to sponsors’ commitments.
Looking back, the organizers are also proud of how the event has been instrumental in helping participating athletes build their confidence.
The event has attracted and inspired athletes like Christopher Isegwe, winner of the 2004 edition who went on to win the Belgrade Marathon the same year; Andrea Silvini (2007), eventual winner of the Pune Marathon in 2008 while Banuelia Brighton (2007 female winner) won the Kigali Peace Marathon in 2009 and finished runners-up at the Kampala Marathon last year.