Belfast Telegraph

Climber set for Kilimanjaro race

An Irish climber is making final preparations before a gruelling attempt to become the fastest man in the world to scale Africa's highest mountain.

Ian McKeever expects to set off on his race up 5,895m-high Mount Kilimanjaro on Monday morning with his African climbing guide friend Samuel Kinsonga.

The pair are hoping to break the current record of five hours 38 minutes, set by Italian speed climber Bruno Brunod in 2001.

The effort is part of their anti-racism Black and White Makes Sense Campaign.

They have already arrived at their base camp at Kilimanjaro from where they will expose themselves to extreme conditions over the weekend as part of an acclimatisation process.

"I'm a bit nervous at this stage," said Mr McKeever, speaking from Kilimanjaro.

"I know the mountain like the back of my hand, I've done it about 14 times now, but I still respect it. I don't take it for granted.

"I just hope everything goes well on the day."

Mr McKeever, 41, from Lough Dan in Co Wicklow, decided to take on the challenge after running a 2,500m section of the steeper Umbwe route around 10 days ago along with Mr Kinsonga, from Arusha in Tanzania.

"If you can do that in around three hours, you know the record is on," he said. "We did it in about three hours 15 minutes so we reckon we can do it."

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