Author: Ishwar Persad | Date: 04 March 2012
Trinidadian Ishwar Persad ran the Mount Kilimanjaro Marathon in Tanzania on February 26th, raising US$5,000 for education programmes in the country.
Ishwar, who is currently serving as a Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) volunteer in Tanzania, finished the arduous and mountainous 42.2 km (26.1 mile) course in 4 hours and 39 minutes. He was the team leader for a group of 20-plus Tanzanian and Kenyan based-VSO volunteers and staff, who participated in the full marathon, half marathon, and the 5K run/walk around the town of Moshi, which lies in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. On the marathon itself he comments, "This was my sixth marathon and definitely the most difficult one. Although I must say it was also the most beautiful one, meandering through coffee plantations and of course having the amazing snow-capped Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background."
Hailing from Princes Town in South Trinidad, Ishwar is a former national open scholarship winner and has worked in various high level positions in the tourism industry in Trinidad, Tobago, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and most recently Montserrat. He currently works for VSO, an international development charity that works through volunteers in many of the poorest countries in the world. Over the past 50 years VSO has placed more than 2,200 international professional volunteers working in Tanzania and the islands of Zanzibar. Recently Ishwar completed a 6-month term lecturing stint at a Tourism College in Zanzibar for VSO, and will soon be taking up a one and a half year placement with the new campus of the National College of Tourism in Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania. He comments, "I am proud to have completed the race and also to have achieved my goal of raising $5,000 for education programmes in Tanzania. This money will go a very long way in supporting VSOs efforts to train 3,000 teachers, resulting in improved teaching for more than 42,000 Tanzanian children."
Mount Kilimanjaro is situated south of the equator in Tanzania. At 5 895 metres it is the highest free standing mountain in the world, with impressive snow capped mountains. Huge permanent glaciers flow down from the summit, and the sheer presence of this huge mountain dominates the entire area. Every year, at the end of February, a standard 42.2 km marathon, a 21.1 km half marathon and a 5km fun run, is run from the town of Moshi, Tanzania. This race has been set up to promote the sport in Tanzania, and has the official backing of the Tanzania Tourist Board, the Tanzania Amateur Athletics Association, the IAAF, and is registered with AIMS. Full details can be found at www.kilimanjaromarathon.com