On May 9, 2022, Mount Kilimanjaro will host the Vertical Kilometer marathon, and ultramarathon which are to be the highest in the world.
The International Skyrunning Federation, the authority that oversees high-altitude mountain running, has sanctioned races that have added another peak to a lengthy list of extraordinary records.
The tallest free-standing mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, reaches its top at 5,895 meters on Uhuru Peak. It is the highest volcano in Africa and the Eastern Hemisphere and is inactive.
The contestants will compete in one, two, or all three races on the final day of the week-long ascent and acclimatization competition, according to a report from Skyrunning posted on their website.
The World’s Highest Vertical Kilometer marathon, a lung-bursting 3.5 km with a 1,000m ascent to the summit of Uhuru Peak, 5,895m, starts the events once they reach 4,895m.
Those trying the World’s Highest Marathon will then descend from there. With a 1,836m vertical ascent, the overall distance (including the Vertical Kilometer) is 42.2 km. The descent from the peak is a punishing 3,700 meters.
Those aiming for the World’s Highest Ultra Marathon will end after 53.6 km once they have successfully completed the Vertical Kilometer and the World’s Highest Marathon. There is a staggering 4,800m of downhill in total for this event. This will be the first such difficult effort at this altitude in the history of mountain running.
Not only will this event shatter global records, but it will also be the first of its type to get official endorsement and recognition from the Tanzanian government, Kilimanjaro National Park officials, the tourism minister, and the International Skyrunning Federation.
The direct hiring of local crew members will have a positive socioeconomic impact on the community. We will also clean up any garbage we come across on the route to protect the mountain’s natural beauty. Dave Pickles, co-founder and co-director of the World’s Highest Marathon, said it was a true joy and honor to be welcomed by such a wonderful nation and its people.