For the 5th time, David Kinjah has won the Tropic Air 10to4, taking back the title of ‘King of the Mountain’ from teammate Davidson Kamau. Both men competed in team Tropic Air.
This weekend saw the 16th edition of the Tropic Air 10to4 take place. With over 400 people from across the globe (including competitors from as far away as the USA, Japan and New Zealand, and as near as Timau, Meru County) taking part, this event is one of the best-kept secrets on Africa’s adventure tourism calendar.
The 2018 events programme was bigger than ever with the introduction of 3 new events – The Enduro, The Altitude Horse Ride and The Chase, and it is expected that the event as a whole will have raised more than KSh. 6 million for the Mount Kenya Trust’s social and environmental projects.
Kinjah, driven by passion, determination and wisdom, won both the 90km Hardcore on Day 1 and the 64km Roller Coaster Classic on Day 2, coming in a total of 28 mins ahead of his teammates. He even managed a personal best completing the Day One race in sub 4 hrs for the first time ever.
When asked how he felt about his achievement Kinjah said that he was very happy to win the title at the age of 46, and he hopes that his efforts are an inspiration for younger cyclists. He went on to say that he hoped in the future that many more youngsters would take up the title and keep the event going. Something he is passionately working on with his Safari Simbas cycling trust.
The Tropic Air 10to4 – named because its signature race begins at an altitude of 10,000ft on Mount Kenya and ends on the Savannahs of Borana Conservancy at 4,000ft – has continued to grow since it began back in 2002.
Susie Weeks, Mount Kenya Trust’s executive director, has previously said that the Tropic Air 10to4 is the Trust’s most vital fund-raising event and this still continues to be the case. The event is also key in raising awareness of the mountain and its fundamental role as a water tower for the whole country – an estimated 95% of the water in Nairobi’s taps started its journey on Mount Kenya.
“The event has become the number 1 mountain biking challenge in Kenya,” says Kinjah. “Playing a vital role in raising funds to protect the mountain. It’s the one event that people should come to and either race, ride, run or just enjoy as it all contributes to conserving the mountain.”
One competitor, taking part in the new 30k Altitude Horse Ride was 13-year-old Tyra Behr, who was awarded the ‘Jasper Horwood’ prize for raising the most amount of money for the Mount Kenya Trust. This award was set up in memory of a young rider who loved the 10to4.
“When I heard how much was required to feed the Mount Kenya Trust Ponies for a year I wanted to be able to raise enough money to do this,” says Tyra. In fact, it costs $1000 to feed the horses for a year so she reached and surpassed her target.
Funds raised by the event go directly into conservation projects of Mount Kenya, including the reforestation of more than two million trees in its National Reserve, five security teams who help to reduce illegal logging and poaching, community health projects for over 40,000 people, one of Kenya’s major elephant corridors, human-wildlife conflict mitigation, firefighting support and education.
“Mount Kenya is the heart and lungs of the country and is a vital part of Kenya’s economic and environmental prosperity. Thanks to the funds raised by everyone who took part in these years 10to4 we are able to continue to protect its forests and fragile ecosystems,” says Weeks.
“Personally I’d like to say a huge thank you to all who took part, from our valuable partners, the brave competitors and everyone who kindly volunteered – without all of you this wouldn’t have been such a success.”
When asked about the event, Jamie Roberts, managing director of Tropic Air, this years headline sponsor, said “We are very fortunate to fly over the mountain regularly and are a big supporter of the mountain in all its forms. It has been a real privilege to be asked to support this event as the headline sponsor and we are delighted that it has been such a success.”