Veteran cyclist Kinjah set to defend ’10to4′ title

David Kinjah in a past cycling event. (PHOTO/COURTESY)
David Kinjah in a past cycling event. (PHOTO/COURTESY)

Kenya’s leading speed-cyclist and coach David Kinjah on Thursday confirmed he will defend his title at the 15th annual ’10to4′ mountain bike event in February next year.

The 44-year-old won the grueling event in 2016, 2015, and 2014 but is expected to face his sternest challenge yet from an expanded field of competitors.

The 10to4 is one of Africa’s premier adventure experiences, with races designed for all ages, fitness, and abilities from technical enthusiasts to first-timers and which also raises funding for the Mount Kenya Trust.

Its 62-km signature race drops from the slopes of Mt Kenya near Nanyuki at altitudes of 10,000ft and passes through alpine moors and indigenous forests, through the Laikipia elephant corridor, and finishes at 4,000ft on lowland savannahs.

“The 10to4 has grown from year to year becoming much more competitive and closer to international-level event. I’m never complacent as I train for it. Now that it is multi-stage event, there are all sorts of challenges to conquer.

“It’s a great season starter for serious cyclists, and a great event in terms of fitness and technical requirements with great competition. Whether you’re a pro or someone just looking for an easy adventure in the wilderness, it really is unparalleled. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there again this year,” Kinjah said.

Participants raise money for the Mount Kenya Trust, a charity headquartered near Nanyuki that works to protect the wildlife, forests, and people of this key water tower.

Mount Kenya provides water for millions of Kenyans – 95 per cent of Nairobi’s tap water flows off the mountain – and supports habitats hosting a third of Kenya’s 30,000 elephants. Threats include illegal logging, wildlife poaching, and overgrazing, which together risk the collapse of its fragile ecosystem.

The 2017 event takes place over the three days of February 17-19 and is designed to be as entertaining as possible for all participants – both professional riders and amateurs – and for spectators, and for children as well as adults.

Since its establishment in 2000, Mount Kenya Trust has replanted more than half a million trees, built and maintained a 14km elephant corridor through farmland, returned 350 hectares of land to indigenous forest, launched tree nurseries nurturing hundreds of thousands of seedlings, and helped 50,000 Kenyans with health care and 10,000 children understand conservation better.

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