Thursday, 31 August 2017

Your Questions Answered: What is the highest altitude in Kenya?

What is the highest altitude in Kenya?
Mt. Kenya

Considering that the person asking this question wanted to know more about long distance training in Kenya and why many runners visit Kenya to benefit from the high altitude training, the answer has little to do with long distance training, but I will go ahead and put that into context. The highest point is on Mt. Kenya at 17,057 feet (5,199m) above the sea level.
However, most athletes in Kenya train at altitudes ranging from 2,000m to 2500m. Many of Kenya’s athletics training camps are located in Kapsabet in Nandi, Iten in Egeyo Marakwet, Eldoret in Uasin Gishu, Kaptagat in Uasin Gishu/Elgeyo Marakwet, Ngong in Nairobi and Nyahuru in Laikipia.
Altitude training is beneficial. But, it has to
go hand in hand with hard training, team work and self-discipline, among other things. After all, Kenya is not the highest point in the world; not even in Africa.
The highest point in Africa at 5,892m (19,331ft) is in Tanzania, although many claim that Mt. Kilimanjaro was originally inside the Kenyan border before the Britons gave it out to the Germans when defining their colonial territories. This is partly confirmed by the fact that the borderline from Lake Victoria to the Coast is straight and only broken by a curve around Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is claimed that Queen Victoria bequeathed Mount Kilimanjaro to her nephew, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Prussia, as a birthday gift.
Interestingly, to get the perfect view of Mt. Kilimanjaro, one will have to visit Kenya’s Amboseli National Park to get it. But, to climb it, they will have to visit Tanzania.

Back to the question. Judging from where most of Kenya’s world beaters train, an altitude of between 2,000m to 2,500 is ideal for long distance training. Kapsabet is at 2,000m while Iten is at 2,400m, just to mention some of the big training destinations in Kenya.

Note: This question was asked by Mathias Dyson from Nova Scotia, Canada. If you have any question, send them to me, Justin Lagat