31
Mar-2017

How does running the KSR make you happy?

KSR Runners   /  

There’s no other multi-day running event quite like the Kilimanjaro Stage Run.  It is authentic running tourism in which running is the mode of travel which allows you to experience deeply the many cultures and environments that envelope majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, while building bonds of friendship and teamwork.

Past runners who have experienced the run from the inside explain how running KSR made them very happy…

Steve, 2012 and 2014

To me, what I discovered running the Kilimanjaro Stage Run, and what I found to be particularly amazing, was that circumnavigating the mountain on foot gave us a very unique and close up view of life in the “real” Tanzania. My expectations were already high. I had previously been to Tanzania a couple of times. I had already climbed to the summit. But this still didn’t prepare me for how truly incredible this experience was going to be. It was much more than I could have possibly ever imagined.

As any runner (or hiker or mountain biker) already knows, you see a lot more details when you’re travelling on foot (or on two wheels). The KSR is not just a physical feat; it’s actually equally as much a cultural experience. Keep in mind that the areas that we ran through are not places that tourists go to. Many of the remote villages we passed through literally never see tourists. This gives you a unique, up-close and personal insight into life around the mountain.

As one might expect, the views are stunning; deep valleys, lush green jungles, colorful birds flying overhead, and some mind-blowing waterfalls. You hear the birds singing, the monkeys laughing and the wind blowing. You smell the eucalyptus trees after a rain shower. You can even taste mbege, the locally brewed banana beer, if you’re brave enough!

Every time that we passed a school, it seemed like the entire student body raced outside to greet us and give us high-fives. We met farmers, Masai warriors, herders, teachers, students and people from all different walks of life around the mountain. We even got to have a couple beers with a village mzee (elder) who had a particular fondness of beer! He didn’t speak a word of English, and my Swahili is extremely limited, but we had a great “conversation” nonetheless.

But perhaps the best part of the experience is having Simon as your guide. This is his home, and he knows the mountain better than perhaps anyone. In addition to being a world-class ultra-runner, Simon is also an all-around great person, genuinely friendly, extremely knowledgeable, and has a sense of humor that will have you laughing all day long. I’ve been a friend of Simon’s since 2004 and I knew that the Kilimanjaro Stage Run had been his dream for many years now. The logistics of an event like this seem to be completely overwhelming. But Simon’s attention to detail is uncompromising, and he has made this dream into a reality.

If you’re fit and adventurous, this is one of the coolest and most memorable experiences you’ll ever have!

Brian Lasky, 2014
“It was the most challenging and rewarding experiences (not just running) of my life. The people of Tanzania are beautiful and welcome you into their country with open arms. I honestly don’t know if i will be able to top this experience.”
Maik, 2016
«Running KSR made me happy because of that great teamwork. Even on tough days no one will left behind. The run was something that knits us all together. »
Catherine, 2016
“What will make you happy if you do the KSR? So many things… Your new friends, the lovely running guides with their amazing energy and support, the warmth and smell of the cooking tent, the lovely crew welcoming you home every day, the hills and more hills and more hills that become dear to your heart, the wishing you had more dry socks!, the quiet, calm mornings with only children singing in the distance, the warm bowl of water to wash with at the end of day, the salty popcorn and tea before dinner, the red earth sticking to your legs, the elephant footprints helping ease your run in the fields, the little kids smiling and running with you, the small homesteads perched on the hillside, the smiling locals working on their farms, the sunrise with a morning coffee, the laughter with new friends at the madness of it all, the sight of Joseph coming in the truck, the tall tents you can stand up in, the constant moving on foot and camp and then the end and the wish it was still going on!”
Chrissie, 2016
“If you love trail, Africa, fun, outdoors and you can afford it, why wouldn’t it make you happy? It’s different, well organized and should be on your bucket list if you have one. I was hooked on the idea the minute I heard about it. I loved it, even the hard bits, and there are some. If it was easy everyone would do it. As I said it’s different. Not to mention that running is only part of the deal. It’s very picturesque if, like me, you like to make photos and can be bother to carry equipment. The people are warm and friendly and delightfully curious if you’re open to them. I’ve no regrets and I doubt anyone with a taste for such adventure would. Once done you can look back with fond memories of your fellow runners, the KSR team and breath taking Tanzania forever. Do it!”
Trevor, 2016
“I liked seeing the land change over the course of a day. One day you might wake up in a cool woodland, and go to bed with the savannah in the distance. It’s emotionally satisfying to know that you can cover the distance between different biomes on foot.”
Krissy, 2012
“Running with Simon and his crew is a life experience. One that I reflect on often. The memories captured in photos are around my home. There are bonds formed as friendships with people from all over the world. The environment created by great people, delicious food and suitable accommodations (considering you are camping, its delux!) set the stage for whatever you want to make of your time exploring this beautiful region. I have traveled and run all over the world and my Kilimanjaro experience remains one of my favorites.” 

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