The Great Rift Valley Ultra

The Great Rift Valley Ultra

Up your mileage and enter this life-changing ultra. The race takes place across the Great Rift Valley, with all the breathtaking scenery you’d expect The event also features vast landscapes of the African savannah, one of the world’s least travelled roads and the one of the world’s highest finish at 2400m above sea level.

The Great Rift Valley Ultra (GVRU) is a running event cutting across a beautiful and inspiring tribal region of Kenya, desolate landscapes with a fascinating history influenced by a turbulent history, and magnificent nature and geography. This extraordinary trip at the heart of the Africa will take the runners to some of the world's most beautiful summits.

This is a Point-to-Point race, start time is 6:00am, minimum entry age is 23 and cut-off time for the ultra distance is 10 hours

Committing oneself, to running across the Great Rift Valley, is above all to experience a lifetime adventure, a unique experience where each participant will have to draw from their strengths to push their mental and physical limits to cross the finish line. At 52km, it is an achievable distance when stepping up from the marathon distance and welcoming to beginners trying out the ultra for the first time.

To participate or assist with the GRVU, is to vibrate to the rhythm of the ultra-running planet and to share an extraordinary event at the heart of a territory which has been mobilized for the occasion. Thousands of villagers will line the course to encourage their competitors while local women groups will keep the runners entertained as they tackle the mountains in their backyard as resident elite athletes show you the way around their home turf.

52km Ultra Route Map

52km Ultra

Free Fall

Setting off on the slopes of Karbarnet escarpment, the first 12km is an iconic descent into the valley floor. After approximately 12km you will cross the Chebloch Gorge and head straight for another 16km on the valley floor with several moderate climbs and descents.The 28km you will begin the ascent to iten which covers over 1200m vertical distance over the last 24km. The first 9km of the 24 km ascent is the steepest, but also the most scenic, and there are once again some truly amazing views to be had here. Look out for the view at the bottom of Kolol Waterfall which is at around 34km mark.

52km Ultra Route Elevation Chart

Uphill Task

From 37km – 46km is relatively flat from a topographical point of view but there are several inclines here and there. From here it is plain climbing all the way to the finish line, with yet more breath-taking views to inspire you over the last few kilometers. The views towards the top will certainly make the effort worthwhile.


30 KM and 15 KM routes are both part of the 52 Km route.

Water & Refreshments:

Refreshment Stations for 52km Twenty well-stocked refreshment stations along the route will ensure that every runner’s needs are adequately catered for. A special station will be located at the start providing water/Coke/Energy Gel and Vaseline and the first station is at the 5km mark, where only Water and Coke will be available. The subsequent refreshment stations are approximately 5km apart and water stations after 28km mark will be spaced out at approximately 3km intervals. Waba Drinking Water and Energy Drinks will be provided throughout the race in 300ml or 500ml water bottles, while Coca-Cola will be served in 100ml Coke cups. In addition, potatoes, bananas, water melons and other “morale boosters” will be available at some stations. Where possible, the stations will be manned from both sides of the road but the stations are well spread out to ensure that everyone is catered for. There will be fill-up stations available at the start of the following refreshment stations. 

Medical Information:

There will be 4 medical stations on the 52km route manned by physiotherapy students at K.M.T.C Iten and University of Eldoret students. Additionally there will be a fleet of support vehicles and county government ambulances on patrol to help evacuate any runner with medical incidences. All runners are required to have medical insurance cover in order to take part in this event and those without cover will not be allowed to register. Should a participant end up in hospital, the hospital expenses shall be met by the runner and not the organisation.

Anim pariatur cliche reprehenderit:

You can qualify from 1 Jan 2019 onward. All entrants are required to have run a qualifier 30km event or longer distance to qualify for the ultra. Your qualifying results must be submitted to us by 8th Nov 2019. Runners who do not submit their qualifiers by this Profile Update deadline will forfeit their entry. Although it is a prerequisite for participation, you do not need to qualify before entering the race – you have until 8th Nov 2019 to submit your qualifier.

Qualifier Events

Resolution Run - 30km - Sub 4:10

Lukenya Trail Run - 20km - Sub 2:30

Shompole Trail Run - 30km - Sub 4:10

Watamu Run - 20km - Sub 2:30

Any other accredited local or international full marathon event. Any runner who has completed a 42km event within 12 months of the race is deemed qualified for this event.

Need to have your tog bag transported to the finish field while you run? A free Tog Bag Facility, will be available on Race Day. More details of the drop off points will be posted to our website as soon as they have been confirmed. Please attach the label provided to your tog bag, and ensure that you keep the opposing label safe while you run. You will need the matching label to claim your bag. Every care will be taken to ensure that the bags are safeguarded. However, please don’t leave expensive or valuable items in these bags as the organisers cannot accept responsibility for any losses.

Event Details

Event Name: The Great Rift Valley Ultra
Event Date: Dec 6, 2020
Individual Registration Rate: 40.00
Total Registrator: 34
Spots: 166
Start Date: Dec 4, 2019
End Date: Nov 20, 2020
Category: Running Events
Address: Iten, Kenya, Iten, 0253
[Get Directions in Google Maps]