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As well as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro there is also a marathon.  Having run the Mount Kilimanjaro marathon a few years ago – in between safaris in the Serengeti where I trained by dodging lions (it helps your time) and a bout of malaria during training I got a time of 4 hours 50 minutes (the cut off was 5 hours).

For those whose stupidity knows no bounds, I have been coerced into taking part in the half marathon this year. But to add to my insanity as I went for the third of my training runs (I’m taking it seriously now) I thought it was a bit of a come down to do the half when I had previously done the full marathon – that or an admission of age, or maybe just a really stupid idea. Anyway I realised I have more than a month to train so why not have a stab at the full marathon again; relive the humiliation of youth and be a back marker once more.

The marathon climbs to 5000 feet, on dirt roads (go to the website then disbelieve it  www.kilimanjaromarathon.com), and though well short of the 19,000 feet of the mountain it will be a run with the full midday sun ( by the time I finish) up  the side of the highest free standing mountain in the world.  If to add insult to injury I will be running in an area that is known for its world class runners from nearby Ethiopia and Kenya (check out the winners of most marathons around the world).  Watching them zoom past me – what could possibly go wrong?

Between you and me if it looks like I can’t make it I’m gonna stop at the halfway mark and claim they made a mistake in admin and that I wanted to do the half all along.

Sponsored by Kilimanjaro Breweries, the complimentary pint of beer at the ¾ mark tests ones resolve- do I really want to finish or do I want to die an unnatural death of foaming colic.  However what really drives one on is the goody bag handed out at the finish line.  A T-shirt and a carton of local margarine? I’ll try not to finish it all in one go – that really would be an endurance test.

Anyway watch this space for my progress in training and in the marathon itself.  Any last minute training tips would be most welcome.