1. Run with a Tanzanian ultrarunner who knows what he’s doing
The Kilimanjaro Stage Run is led by Simon Mtuy, Tanzania’s foremost trail runner, expert mountain guide, world-record holder, and environmental and community development activist.
Simon holds the world record fastest unsupported ascent/descent of Kilimanjaro (9 hr 21 min, round-trip, certified by Guinness). He was the former holder of the fastest supported ascent/descent (8 hr 27 min), since surpassed by Kilian Jornet in 2010 (7 hr 14 min), who was trained and guided on Kilimanjaro by Simon. Simon is also the first and only international runner to earn a coveted Western States Endurance Run 10-day belt buckle (completing the WSER 10 times in under 24 hours).
As KSR runners, you will be guided by an experienced and expert leader who has one goal . . . to share with you the country that he loves in a unique and enjoyable way.
2. Immerse yourself in the culture of Tanzania
The KSR adventure begins at Simon’s family farm in Mbahe Village, where you rest, prepare, and get into the rhythm of life in Tanzania. Your cultural interaction starts here!
Meet people on equal footing (literally!) as your travel under human power allows the opportunity for unscripted authentic encounters. As Simon and the other KSR guides lead the way, follow local footpaths used by villagers to access their fields, forests, and neighboring villages. Along the way you are sure to meet school kids yelling “jambo!” and running along for pure joy, local Chagga farmers working their fields and surprised to see a group of mzungu (white people) running past, and Maasai in their traditional red cloths happy to cheer you on. Encounter the panoply of life around the base of Kilimanjaro!
3. Run where few have gone before
Don’t be surprised if you don’t see any other tourists during the eight days of the Kilimanjaro Stage Run. You will be far off the beaten path exploring Tanzania from the inside!
4. See stunning Kilimanjaro every day from all sides and in many ways
Against the backdrop of a bright blue sky, reflecting brilliant sunshine, shrouded in clouds, peeking through the trees, or in silhouette against a star-filled blackness, the mountain never ceases to inspire awe. Kilimanjaro is a comforting friend through the eight grueling days of running.
As you run you will be amazed by the beauty and variety of the surrounding landscape – from Uhuru Peak, the Roof of Africa, above, to the encircling mountain rainforest, the waterfalls and rivers lining the valleys on the south, the dry Maasai savannah on the north, and the farm plots of coffee, banana, and maize on the east and west.
5. Give back to the local environment
Simon has established a tree planting initiative of native species to help combat the deforestation occurring around Mount Kilimanjaro and make guests aware that despite the verdant growth on the mountain, much of the original forest is lost.
The tree planting ceremony may happen on the morning of the first day of the KSR, or it may be on another day, depending on which village Simon has selected for the seedlings.
6. Take part in an extraordinary journey with a small group of international athletes
The KSR group is intentionally small (no more than a dozen international runners). The small size enhances the individual experience and group cohesiveness, and it also limits the environmental footprint (and literal footprints!) in the fragile wilderness.
7. Explore your limits by running 260km in 8 days
The KSR is an exploration adventure run around the highest peak in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, making for an immense circumference. You will circumnavigate the whole thing!
Running upwards of 35km per day on challenging terrain in an unfamiliar environment will definitely push your limits. But what an incredible challenge! Once completed you can claim bragging rights to an achievement more demanding and more rare than climbing up the mountain – guaranteed!
8. Connect with the runner deep within yourself
The KSR experience is not your usual trail run. Leave your self-doubts and fears at home and come to Tanzania free of expectations. Believe in yourself, commit to the adventure, and let the experiences emerge as you run. You will find new inner strength and a joy in the exploration, and you go back home as a different person. We didn’t just make that up, our past KSR runners have said it themselves!
9. The KSR can be the start of other Tanzania adventures
After the 10 day KSR package, you may wish to join the tourists on the summit of Kilimanjaro, in the Serengeti observing a lion in its natural habitat, or lounging on a Zanzibar beach under a palm tree. Tanzania offers many out-of-the-ordinary adventures for visitors, which are worth seeing for anyone. Find out for yourself why so many others come to this country to explore its many natural wonders.
10. It’s the running vacation you’ve always wanted!
The Kilimanjaro Stage Run is an all-inclusive, fully supported multi-day event. The runner support vehicle offers rehydration and snacks for your refreshment along the trail, the KSR crew sets up camp every day, and delicious meals are prepared by SENE’s specially trained safari chefs.
As 2012 participant Krissy Moehl said, “All I had to do was eat and run!”