This marathon was brought to my attention by Kate, a runner from D.C. This marathon is as tough as the Everest Marathon. This marathon-length race traverses over 10,000 vertical feet up a live volcano, one of the tallest on the African continent. The racers, mostly local farmers, compete for the equivalent of four years’ salary, but to win they must overcome altitude sickness, temperature fluctuations of 50 degrees, and loose volcanic rock- many wearing only plastic sandals.
Meet Running Queen of the Mountain
This gruelling competition attracts competitors and spectators from around the globe. More than 500 runners battle it out to be the first to race to the summit of Mount Cameroon and back again. Since it began in 1973, the winners have all been from the host nation and the Cameroonians are unwilling to relinquish their title. The star of this endurance race is a woman called Sarah Etonge, who lives close to Mount Cameroon. She has been dubbed ‘the Queen of the Mountain’ as in recent years she has won the race four times in a row. She tries to run to the top at least once a week as part of her dedicated training programme. Her accomplishments and dedication is even more of an achievement as when she is not scaling the mountain she is a single mother to seven children.
Mt. Cameroon marathon is held in February.
To get a feel of Mt Cameroon marathon read the story of a runner who has dared race up, http://web.ukonline.co.uk/mountains/cam.htm