Africa's Best Running Events

I have been to South Africa and I just love this nation, a wonderful landscape with lovely people. As part of my 7 marathons on 7 continents, for Africa I ran the Knysna marathon. It goes down as one of my favorite races, 30kms was in a forest and the last 12 out on the road. Knysna is a lovely coastal town on the stunning Garden Route in the Western Cape.
After I ran the marathon, I did a road trip back to Capetown and climbed Table Mountain (there is a run here) and I also ran on the Two Ocean Marathon course, wonderful coastal views.
There are so many great races in Africa, but one that is on my bucket list is the Victoria Falls Marathon, it sounds spectacular!


 
 


February
Maritzburg Marathon-
*Marathon
http://www.pmb42.co.za/pmb42/

Kilimanjaro Marathon, Tanzania *Marathon
This famous marathon takes place on the last Sunday in June every year at the base of Mt Kilimanjaro in the little town of Moshi, Tanzania, Africa. The marathon is a 10.5 loop where the runners run the same course 4 times. The Mt. Kilimanjaro Marathon is the only marathon that does not invite any professional runners. Every year an amateur runner wins
http://www.kilimanjaromarathon.com/

March
Surrender Hill Marathon,
 Clarens, South Africa
*Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon
, Cape Town, South Africa *Ultra
This very popular ultra marathon or 56km takes in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans around the Cape Peninsula, there is a half marathon as well.
www.twooceansmarathon.org.za

Marathon Des Sables
This race across the Sahara desert in East Morocco is considered the worlds toughest. It covers 220-240km over 6 stages. The race is through open desert on sandy trails, dry lakebeds and stony tracks
www.darbaroud.com

May
G
orilla Marathon, Source of the Nile,Uganda *Marathon
This marathon raises awareness of the plight of the gorilla population as well as raising funds for conservation work in Uganda. 
The race is based around the Source of the Nile, a spectacular region near the town of Jinja where Lake Victoria becomes the Nile River.
http://www.209events.com/event.php?event=127

Comrades Marathon-Durban, South Africa *Ultra
One of the most popular and revered world running events, and is also the world's largest and oldest Ultra event. Each year the race start alternates, so on even years the course is uphill and starts in Durban and on odd years its easier and starts in Pietermarizburg. This is an 89km race, it attracts about 11,000 entrants annually, with 80% of them finishing.
www.comrades.com

Johannesburg City Marathon *Marathon
This marathon starts and finishes at the Botanical Gardens and travels around most of Johannesburg historical sites.
www.joburg.org.za

June
The Big Five Marathon, African Savannah,South Africa
 
http://www.big-five-marathon.com/

Safaricom Marathon, Kenya *Marathon
This marathon is run on dirt roads, over two 21km loop for the half-marathon- through the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.Safaricom marathon has  gained a reputation as one for being one of the ten toughest marathon events in the world. Run on a rough terrain and under harsh climatic conditions, it is an enticing experience which has continued to inspire distance runners and athletic fans alike. The scenery is amazing, better still if you can glimpse dsoem of the native animals. The grueling marathon is also unique in that it is run within a wildlife conservancy located at an average altitude of 5,500 feet above sea level.
www.tusk.org

Spar Women's 10km- Durban, South Africa
This very fast event attracts the top women runners.
www.spar.co.za

July
Knysna Forest Marathon
, Knysna, South Africa
*Marathon
This amazing forest marathon was my third continent. It was a tough, 30km in a cold, dark forest and then the last 12km on the road. There are so many highlights (one being the Sambuca shots at the last drink station!)  to this marathon, and many runners on the day told me it is the best marathon in Africa. To read my blog on the Knysna marathon click here...
South Africa
http://knysnamc.wordpress.com/pick-n-pay-forest-marathon/

Haut Bay Trail Challenge- Capetown
This 36km trail run takes in some of South Africa's stunning Western Cape.
www.sports4u.co.az

August
The Puffer
, South Africa
*Ultra
This Ultra marathon of 80km takes you over Capetown's magnificent backdrop, Table Mountain and finishes at the very popular V and A Waterfront
www.puffer.fishhoekac.com

Fish River Challenge, Namibia *Ultra
This amazing ultra of 100kms takes you through the Fish River Canyon, which is only second in size to the Grand Canyon, making this an extremely challenging event.
www.africanextremepromotions.com

Don Lock Memorial- Capetown
This 8km race is run from Rondebosch Common to Landsdowne Road
www.ssisa.com

Victoria Falls Marathon-Zimbabwe and Zambia
This stunning marathon crosses the Zambezi River which is the border between these nations, the course also goes through a gamepark where runners are bound to see some African Wildlife.
www.vicfallsmarathon.com

September
4 Peaks Mountain
, South Africa
This is a 24km mountain race in and around the Witterberge Mountain range.
www.pureadventures.co.za

Otter Trail Run, Eastern Cape, South Africa *Marathon
This trail run is of marathon distance and offers stunning views of the cape.
www.magneticsouth.net


October
Nairoibi Marathon
*Marathon
This is Kenya's biggest marathon, there is also a half marathon and a 10km event
http://www.nairobimarathon.com/ 

Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon, South Africa
Run across the Kalahari Desert in 6 stages over 250km, makes this an extreme race. The event is over 7 days with the longest stage being 75km and has been known to take 8-24hours to get through.
www.extrememarathons.com/augrabies

November
Great Ethiopian Run
- Addis Ababa
This hugely popular 10km race was first thought about by the great Haile Gebrselassie. Running is a national sport here, so its no suprise that this race attracts over 35,000 participants. Spare a thought for the international runners running against the Ethiopians in their hometown event!
www.ethiopianrun.org

Obudu Ranch Marathon - Nigeria
This mountain run is one of the richest races in the world with a prize pool of over $250,000. It is an uphill only race of 11.25km to the summit of Mount Obudu.
www.obudumountainrace.com

Salomon Skyrun, Eastern Cape , South Africa *Ultra
Starting at Lady Grey at 4am this 100km trail and mountain run takes the runners along the mountain ridges to Balloch.
www.pureadventures.co.za

Soweto Marathon, South Africa * Marathon
This marathon starts at Elkah Stadium and runs through the streets of Soweto, it passes by the former homes of two Nobel Peace Prize winners, Nelson Mandela's and Desmond Tutu's. There is also a 20km walk, and 10km and 5km fun runs
www.nedbanksponsorships.co.za

December
Baringo Half Marathon
- Kenya
As you can imagine the competition here is very strong, however, this half marathon is on a tough course and attracts very few international runners. There is also a womens 15km event.



     

 

 
     
 
 

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