Frequently Asked questions

The Race

I’m a first time runner: can I still compete?

Absolutely. This is a community race, you are running with others, for others. If you need to walk then walk, take in the sites enjoy the atmosphere, this is about the power of running not the power of a fast time. There are easier courses but if you take on the challenge forget about your mile splits and soak in that finishing line feeling you’ll have the experience of a lifetime. And don't forget, if a full marathon seems daunting we're also offering 10k and half marathon routes.

What if I’m unable to finish the race?

We will give each marathon runner 8 hours to complete the course. This equates to running at 18 minute per mile. At this time we will collect any runners who are still out on the course and bring them back to HQ with plenty of water and hugs. If at any point you wish to stop, just make it to the next aid station to inform one of our marshals or, if you want to stop right there, let a fellow runner know to inform a marshal. There will be marathon staff roving the course to ensure everyone’s well being.

Do I get a medal?

Naturally! In fact, we're hoping to work with our of our microfinance clients to produce some very special Tanzanian medals. We'll keep you posted! And that's not all. Each runner gets a pack with a high-quality (and if we don't say so ourselves, particularly stylish) Tanzanian Impact Marathon t-shirt along with other local goodies.

Will there be medical support?

We have partnered with heroic medical teams. We aren’t exaggerating here - these guys are fully qualified doctors working in the UK, they use their own holiday time and pay their way to be involved in the experience. Not only will they be there for you on race day but throughout your time in Iringa. They’ll also be using their skills to benefit the local community. See.. real heroes!

In the worst cases, we have both ground and air support to get you to the nearest appropriate medical facility.

Are there water stations along the way?

Water stations will be at least every 2.5kms and often more. They will be stocked with water and bananas. If you have particular energy bars and drinks that you love then bring them along with you. Needless to say, the remote villages of Tanzania are not stocked up on those tasty Rhubarb & Custard Torq energy gels!

What will the weather be like during the race week?

October's a great time to run, not too hot and not rainy! In 2016, the mid-day October temperature is in the early 20s and humidity is around 30%. Iringa sits in the Tanzanian highlands, so it's isn't too humid or hot, and has few mosquitos. We expect clear skies and cool evenings, so do bring warm clothes for the evenings. 

What will the course be like?

We'll give more details nearer the time but expect the course to be a mixture of tarmac and offroad, with some undulation and absolutely stunning scenery and atmosphere. You'll pass the small businesses of some of the micro-entrepreneurs your sponsor money is supporting, and you'll see sights you've never seen before as you run through rural Tanzania - truly a race like no other! The full marathon will be a 2-lap course so those opting for the Half will experience the full beauty of the course. Iringa is a little off the tourist track, but you can rest assured that it's a safe, friendly place. We've been going there for almost ten years and greatly look forward to introducing you to a truly beautiful place. 


Will the course have chip timing?

Due to the location of the race, it won't be possible to have official chip timings. We can promise an official time on an accurately measured course, but it's more about the experience of running in Africa across totally unfamiliar landscapes. 


Can I bring my spouse / partner / children / friends, even if they are not runners?

Absolutely! If the 10k, HM or full marathon options are not for you, please come along for the ride; we're expecting a number of non-runners to accompany their runner and cheer them on, so you won't be alone, and of course you'll still be able to enjoy all the other activities besides race day. Because most of the costs of the ticket relate to domestic travel and accommodation costs, we are only able to waive 5% of the total price.

However, you won't need to raise sponsorship if you're not running, but we're sure you'll help your runner smash through her/his target. Because non-runners won't be raising money for Five Talents, we do ask that each runner is accompanied by a maximum of one supporter. This said, perhaps you might like to take on a sponsored challenge of your own, such as the option to trek up Mt Kilimanjaro afterwards?  

The Impact

Funds raised by the Tanzania marathon will enable us to support thousands more microentrepreneurs in Tanzania with our unique combination of savings, loans and business skills training - and you'll get to meet some of the remarkable women we already work with so you can understand the impact for yourself, first-hand.

Is there a minimum fundraising target?

We suggest that each of our marathon runners raise £1000. For runners opting for shorter distances, we're happy to relax this total a little, but you will hit this and far more! We’ll teach you how to exceed this target, your connection directly to the results and the nature of the challenge will ensure you are blown away by the support from your community back home!

The Experience

What else is there to do in Tanzania?

That’s a big question; it is truly the most remarkable country and no amount of time is enough to see everything on offer. So, we’re taking the hard work out of this for you.

After race day we will have a number of add-on packages for you to choose from to make your trip to Tanzania  even more exceptional. Please see the 'Experience' section of the main page for details.

When should I book my flights then?

You will receive information on our recommended flights in the spring of 2017. On arrival on a recommended flight we will have arranged an airport pickup to take you to the location included in your package. One of the team will be there with a smile and a massive hug to welcome you. If there are a couple of flights arriving at a similar time we might stop for a drink at the airport whilst we wait to get everybody together. if you choose to arrive in Tanzania before our recommended flights, you can meet us at the airport to join the in-country transfer to Iringa. 


the location

Where is Iringa?

It's 500km west of Dar and more than 5,000 feet (1500m) above sea level - meaning it is not too hot and there are few mosquitoes! Because Five Talents seeks to work in rural communities where people have little access to banks, Iringa is not easy to get to; it's a good 8-10 hour bus journey from Dar es Salaam. We at Five Talents have travelled that long and windy road many times before and decided it's the last thing you'll want to tackle after a long flight and before taking on a marathon. So we've arranged for small planes to transfer you from Dar to Iringa which will take around an hour and give you breathtaking views of the country. This is all included in the price. 

Where are we staying?

Depending on whether you've opted for our Platinum (£895), Gold (£765), or Silver package (£645), for the four nights in Iringa you'll either be in shared two or three person rooms in a clean, comfortable guesthouse, in private rooms in a friendly hotel, or based in the luxurious hotel (one of our favourite places to get a good meal when we're visiting Iringa). 


There will be a mix of both local cooking as well as some of your old Western favourites. If you've got any dietary requirements, don't worry. Just let us know and we will sort it. We'll lay on breakfast and lunch and you'll be free to choose an evening meal at one of the guesthouses or hotels. 

Other important details


You'll need to purchase a visa on arrival in Tanzania. A single entry visa costs US$50.

Do I need travel insurance?

YES! Do not even think about stepping on that plane without it. We’ve made this nice and easy though as we have teamed up with Sports Cover Direct so that you are fully covered for the Tanzanian Marathon (The package is specifically designed for your activities with us...It’s rare to find standard travel insurance cover you for a full marathon). We’ll let you know when this is available as they are designing it just for you!

All our packages are covered and regulated by ‘ABTOT’ through our partner Inspire Ventures Limited. However, as stated above, it is obligatory for you to arrange your own personal travel insurance.

We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation.

What is not included in that amazingly low price of yours?

  • Flights to & from Dar
  • Visas
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal spending money & tips
  • Alcohol and Incidentals

What does your refund policy look like?

  • 9 months prior to Oct 1st: Full Refund (minus non-refundable deposit payment) or Transfer to another person or race in the Impact Marathon Series
  • 6 months prior to Oct 1st: Half Refund (minus non-refundable deposit payment) or Transfer to another person or race in the Impact Marathon Series
  • Within 6 months of Oct 1st: No Refund but Transfer to 2018 race, another race in the Impact Marathon Series or another person are all possible

Do I need lots of jabs?

Please consult your travel nurse and/or your GP for relevant vaccination.