NEARLY 1,000 athletes and cyclists will be sweating it out in deep forest around Mount Meru, the venue of the forthcoming Meru Forest Trail Run.
Organised by Quality Sports Promoter, the maiden Meru Forest Train Run to be staged on July 16th this year, will cover a 20-km trek route.
There will also be the 10km and 5km races, in addition to a 40km cycling race, also within the green forest cover blanketing the blue slopes of Mount Meru.
According to the Director of Quality Sports Promoter (QSP) Kylie Gyubi, the bar has been set for 800 runners and 120 cyclists so as to make it manageable.
The event combines sports and tourism as racers get to enjoy the scenic forest views as they ride or run along the tracks in the reserve.
Taking into consideration the freezing mid-year temperatures, the Meru Trail Run offers hot cups of tea, coffee, bites and snacks to participants upon completing the race.
Outside the racing events, this first ever Meru Trail Run 2023 also features health intervention such as voluntary blood donation to aid local hospitals in Arusha Region.
There will also be free cancer diagnosis services and other medical check-ups.
The Tourism officer in charge of Meru Forest Reserve, Masanja Juma said the precinct offers ecological tourism, which features plant and wildlife including baboons, blue monkeys, Black and White Colobus Monkeys and Dik-diks.
There is also the spectacular Mount Shambasa which features a crater.
The Shambasa crater is usually regarded to be a sacred area for the local communities in the area, but which is also a popular hotspot for bird watching, a view point for Mount Meru and Arusha City sprawling below.
According to the officer, there are at least 300 bird species flying around the forest.
Napuru waterfalls happen to be 78 meters deep and free falling cascades, which is popular for hikers, camping areas and various picnic sites.
Some of the participating riders as well as interested athletes will be camping overnight towards the Meru Trail Race.
During the climax, a Reggae troupe known as ‘Warriors from the East,’ will be performing at the event, as well as experts in barbecue grills, children’s games and assortments of drinks.