Over the weekend of January 28th to 30th, a team of dedicated long distance cross country runners from MIS took part in the Kilimanjaro Trails Festival on the foothills of Tanzania’s most famous mountain. This team trained diligently in Morogoro leading up to the races, including running 10-14K up the Uluguru Mountains every Saturday in the months leading up to the run.
Kili Trails is a weekend-long celebration of the outdoors on the lower slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and has something for everyone — from small children and beginners to experienced athletes. They offered five running or walking events throughout the weekend with several of the races passing through West Kilimanjaro Forest (a Tanzanian Forestry Reserve) or Enduimet Wildlife Management Area. They also offered seven mountain bike and gravel events over a variety of terrains, distances – the longest race covered 200 kilometers!
The MIS cross country team, aged 7 to 17, ran a number of challenging races from 21km, 10km, 6km and a 1.5km. The team performed wonderfully with a large number of our MIS students placing in their age groups for both the girls and boys categories. This year, the MIS cross country team joined forces with top runners from Mavuno Village children’s home from Mwanza.
The Kili Trails Half Marathon is a 21K loop run through West Kili Forest climbing approximately 620 meters through some incredible old growth forest. The Forest Trails Run is a 10K run climbing around 230 meters through the Forest. Swala Sprint is a 6K loop run entirely on Simba Farm property. And finally the Rafiki Run is a 1.5km loop run entirely within view of the race village.
It was an amazing weekend, where not only did the team run a lot, but they enjoyed the outdoors, had to pitch tents, prepare food, clean up and duck for cover when the rains came! They also enjoyed getting to know the Mavuno runners and playing lots of card games during down time! Thanks to all the students who participated so well and the cheerleaders that clapped and yelled our runners through the finish line!
A massive thank you to Mr. Anderson (pictured above running the Half Marathon) and the Wildasin Family for inspiring and motivating the runners in the buildup and especially at the event; but also for arranging this competitive sporting weekend!