The sixteenth edition of the Kilifi Gold Triathlon took place on Saturday 22nd September. It was a sold out fun-filled day with hundreds of spectators lining the route to cheer our KGT250. Click the buttons below or scroll down for all the information for competitors.

Registration: SOLD OUT

All individual and team spaces are filled. Spectators get free entry so do come and join us! For competitors, you can make changes to your entry up until midday on 8th September. The email you were sent with your registration form contains an "edit" button that will take you back to your form. Any changes you make after midday on 8th September will not be reflected on your entry sheet.

There are many ways to donate to our cause...

 Via M-Pesa
Select: Lipa na M-Pesa
Paybill: 531304
Account No: KGT-donate
The payment confirmation will say "MPAYER 2" - this is our Paybill provider.

Pay by card in a range of currencies through our secure GivenGain account here

With bank transfer, cash or cheque
Account Name:               Kilifi Gold Triathlon CBO
Account number:            1060297414562
Bank Name:                    Equity Bank Kilifi, Kenya
Branch code:                  68106
Swift code:                      EQBLKEN


Come and join us at the Mnarani Club beach on Saturday 22nd September 2018 and soak up the Kilifi atmosphere. Spectator entry is free and the beach will be open to all from 10am to 9pm with food and a full bar available. 

10am: Beach opens
10am - 1:30pm: Sign in, bike check, body marking, kit marking
2pm - All Competitors' Race Briefing (compulsory)
2:15pm: Individual Race Start: KGT Centurions
2:45pm-3pm approx: Team Race Start: KGT Teams
6pm: Raffle Draw and Event Prize-Giving
6:30pm: Sunset sounds and sundowner beach party
8pm: Event close

With a bar, restaurant, DJ, MC, and kids games throughout the day, the event is free to spectators and closes as the sun sets over the creek. We only ask that you come with your best cheering skills to give the competitors, dubbed the KGT250, a much needed boost as they transition between the swim-bike-run legs. 

Race rules

For the enjoyment and safety of all competitors and spectators at the KGT, please adhere to the race rules below.

  1. You must be over 12 years of age to participate in a team (one leg only), and over 16 to enter the full individual course. There is no upper age limit as long as you are fit enough!

  2. BIKE HELMETS AND BRAKES ARE COMPULSORY. No exceptions, you will not be able to compete the bike leg without a helmet and working bike brakes due to steep downhill rocky sections.

  3. Individuals may not compete as part of a team; teams may not share competitors; no team competitor can do more than one leg for one team.

  4. Any swimming costumes/wetsuits permitted (and you must wear one). Swimming caps and goggles are not compulsory, but are recommended in the saltwater creek.

  5. Footwear is not compulsory but highly recommended for bike and run.

  6. It is absolutely prohibited to cycle down Cardiac Hill. Any downhill cycling will result in automatic disqualification.

  7. If your number is not visible to checkpoint marshals you will not be timed and may be disqualified. Please give your number when asked.


Almost all competitors bring their own bikes, either by courier or car. If you're flying, check with the airline as you can sometimes dismantle the bike and pay a small fee to check it in as hold luggage. For couriers, we recommend G4S or Wells Fargo, both of whom have offices in Kilifi town. At time of writing (August 2018) couriering a mountain bike from a G4S / Wells Fargo office in Nairobi to the venue in Kilifi costs Kes 1,000 / 900 respectively for one way. For collection from another address or from outside Nairobi, prices are dependent on distance.

If you courier your bike to the Mnarani Club hotel, Mombasa-Malindi highway, near Kilifi Bridge, they will receive and store your bikes from Friday 21st September until 10am on the morning of the race, as long as they are clearly tagged with your full name, contact telephone number and you have marked it "KGT". The hotel will have the competitor list to cross-reference.

We don’t offer a bike rental service, however we do have the details for Glad’s House Mombasa, an organisation who sell second-hand mountain bikes imported from the UK. Their next delivery of bikes should arrive by 1st September and they have agreed to rent a few bikes for the KGT, for Kes 2,500 per day excluding deposit and transportation fees. Competitors need to call Bokey Achola at Glad’s House Mombasa on +254 733 941 050 and make individual arrangements. KGT take no responsibility for the condition of the bikes or the rental agreements entered into.

The Course

The Kilifi Gold Triathlon is a sprint distance triathlon suitable for beginners with a sense of adventure, through to pro-triathletes. The 750m swim is open-water in the glistening Kilifi Creek, lined with mangrove forest on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. The off-road 20km bike and 5km run legs weave through the expansive Kilifi Plantations, where rows of sisal plants surround ancient baobabs, and the paths twist and turn through shady valleys and open meadows. The event takes place in the afternoon to allow for Kenya's coastal temperature to cool as the race progresses, coming across the finish line to an equatorial sunset and a Kilifi sundowner. It's probably the most beautiful triathlon in Africa.

Swimmers – 750m

  • The course starts on Mnarani Club beach.

  • Swim starts will be staggered into waves based on swimmers' speeds. The fastest wave will not necessarily enter the water first. Individuals and teams start at different times.

  • On the starter’s orders, run into the creek, swim out to a buoy and turn left.

  • Follow the buoys and lane markers. Safety kayaks will be on hand.

  • Swim around the final buoy and make your way back to the beach starting point.

  • Exit the creek and run to the top of the beach to tap in your cyclist, or make your transition.

Cyclists – 20km approx.

  • Your cycle leg starts once you pass the checkpoint after your swim, or when your swimmer taps you in at transition.

  • Your bike will be stored in the boat shed on the beach.

  • Run into the boat shed, collect your bike and run out the other end - this route is one way to avoid congestion.

  • Walk (or cycle if you can!) your bike up Cardiac Hill. This is 40m of serious incline.

  • Turn left onto the mercifully flat field at the top of the hill.

  • Cycle across the field and through the fence.

  • Follow the path into the forest until you reach the hotel wall.

  • Go through the hole in the wall and turn right onto Wilcox Driveway.

  • At the end of the driveway, turn left and follow the cycle route signposts for 20km.

  • The route is mostly flat, with one section called The Hidden Valley which is a short series of hills and slopes.

  • Come back through the hotel and WALK YOUR BIKE back down Cardiac Hill to the beach to tap in your runner, or make your transition. Cycling down results in immediate disqualification. Wait for a gap in the competitors, and return your bike to the boat shed.

Runners – 5km

  • Your run starts once you pass the checkpoint after your cycle, or when your cyclist reaches the transition and taps you in.

  • Walk (or run if you can!) up Cardiac Hill. This is 40m of serious incline.

  • Turn left onto the mercifully flat field at the top of the hill.

  • Run across the field and through the fence.

  • Follow the path into the forest until you reach the hotel wall.

  • Go through the hole in the wall and turn right onto Wilcox Driveway.

  • At the end of the driveway, turn left and follow the run route signposts for 4km.

  • Come back through the hotel and back down Cardiac Hill, run onto the beach, through the finish line, and celebrate by running into the sea/into someone’s arms*/the bar/the sand face first.

*Preferably someone you know but KGT supporters are a friendly bunch!

These were the 2017 bike and run routes to give you an idea. The 2018 route will be revealed on the day of the event.

 no thermals needed

no thermals needed

Swim: 750m swim in open saltwater in the Kilifi Creek. We choose the event date and start time specifically so that the tide will be slack in relatively flat water, making it easier to swim with minimal tidal movement. However, swimming in open water in a competitive group setting is always more challenging than in a calm swimming pool with sides and ropes to hold on to. We strongly advise you do not enter the swim leg if you have not swum in open water before or are not a confident swimmer. Every year, our water safety team have to assist struggling swimmers who really should not have attempted the swim, putting themselves and fellow competitors at risk. Please don't be that swimmer. For teams, we have a dedicated KGT swimmer (called Queenie the Cow) who can complete the swim leg on your team's behalf. Just choose this option during registration, or even if you feel you want to, ask for Queenie on the day.

Kilifi Creek has some sea urchins and small jellyfish. We endeavour to clear any urchins that may stray near the shore before the race, but it is rare you'll encounter any while you swim. Jellyfish are, understandably, beyond our control. Rash vests provide some protection and are available for purchase from 3 Degrees South if ordered in advance. If you’re lucky you might also spot small fish around the jetty near the shoreline such as batfish, zebrafish and even our resident baby barracuda.

Bike: a maximum 20km off-road cycle through the Kilifi Plantations. The road is a mix graded marrum (rough clay/sand) or grassy offroad track, meaning it's bumpy, with gravel, rocks, fallen tree branches, the odd farm animal crossing, and Kenyan potholes throughout. There are a few up and down hills on the section we call The Hidden Valley with a couple of challenging descents. You may need to dismount at times and you will need very good brakes. You’ll cycle past some beautiful plants and trees along the 20km bike route, including our wonderful indigenous baobab, cape mahogany and mwangati trees and then the non-indigenous neem tree.

Run: apart from Cardiac Hill, the run is a flat 5km leg through the plantations and back to the Mnarani Club Hotel. Like the cycle leg, this is off-road running on sometimes bumpy and undulating track. Along the path there could be a few light obstacles, such as fallen trees to jump over. These obstacles change each year (Mother Nature plans the paths however she likes) and will be a surprise to all on the day! We recommend trail running shoes that offer good ankle support. Overhead or in the trees, you’ll see a wide variety of East African birds including egrets, ibis, herons, kites, lilac breasted rollers, carmine bee-eaters and guinea fowl.

 CARDiac HILL - going down is easy

CARDiac HILL - going down is easy

“Cardiac Hill”
Coming in and out of transition, you’ll go up/down the infamous Cardiac Hill slope, and if you’ve never done it before you’ll soon realise why it’s called that. Cardiac Hill is a very short, but very steep curved hill leading to the beach. The serious incline lasts about 40m. Because of the steep gradient and the blind curve, it is absolutely prohibited to cycle DOWN Cardiac Hill. Any downhill cycling will result in an automatic disqualification. We have disqualified before, and we will disqualify you, no exceptions. You must dismount your bike completely, and walk down with both feet off the pedals. Going UP you can cycle or walk the bike up. There will be marshals on the hill to ensure cyclists dismount going down, and we appreciate your co-operation.

Clothing and Equipment

Swim: standard swimming costumes are fine, but if you are prone to sunburn it’s very easy to not notice the sun strength whilst in water. Some people wear rash vests (available from 3 Degrees South if ordered in advance) to cover up. A wetsuit is not necessary for temperature as the water is warm, but some people wear them as protection. Apply waterproof suncream liberally at least 30 minutes in advance to allow it to sink in. The creek is saltwater so we recommend goggles and a swimming cap for long hair, although neither is compulsory. You do not need reef shoes or gloves, but as per wetsuit, some people wear them.

 OFFroad terrain

OFFroad terrain

Bike: HELMETS ARE COMPULSORY. WE DO NOT PROVIDE HELMETS. We make absolutely no exceptions, you will not be able to compete without a helmet. The terrain is off-road so you will need a bicycle suitable for rocky, stony, potentially muddy, changeable surfaces and we recommend closed toe shoes, ideally cycling shoes. Consider carrying a small puncture kit of inner tube patches and bike levers. Some people also carry spare tubes but most don't. We aim to have a fundi (repairman) cycling along the route carrying basic supplies but we cannot guarantee he will reach you. For clothing, normal bike gear is fine, but it gets hot and most of the route is unshaded, so consider high SPF factor suncream, a cap with visor and neck guard, and covered shoulders.

Run: normal run gear is fine, and we highly recommend shoes suitable for off-road terrain. The terrain is the same as the bike, so as the advice for cycling above if you burn in the sun.

Transition and Timekeeping

Transitions are not separately timed. Your swim leg is timed from the start whistle until the top of the beach as you cross the checkpoint. Your cycle leg time then begins immediately and therefore your cycle leg time includes your transition from the swim. Your cycle leg time ends at the bottom of Cardiac Hill as you cross the checkpoint. Your run leg then begins immediately, and therefore your run time includes your transition from the cycle. If you are very keen to know your transition times we suggest using a Garmin or other timing device as we are unable to provide these times for you. Please note, if your race number is not visible through the checkpoints, we will be unable to provide your time for you and you may be disqualified. If you are asked by a marshal for your race number, please shout it at them!

Body and equipment marking

 see our body marking team at sign-in

see our body marking team at sign-in

At the sign-in desk on race day you will be given your race pack containing your sticky-backed race number. Trained KGT volunteers will be on hand to correctly place your numbers on your clothing and your bike. They will also paint your number on your upper arms and shins so please don’t apply any suncream or lotions before you’ve been marked. If you foresee an issue with being body marked, please email so we can arrange alternative marking.

Before you start the race, you and your kit will be checked to ensure the timekeepers can clearly see your race number. You will not be allowed to race if you are not correctly marked up, so please arrive in good time for this check to be carried out.

Why do we body mark if we also attach race numbers?
Kilifi is on the equator and therefore rather warm, and many people remove items of clothing along the route to cool down. While we encourage our competitors to stay cool, removing clothing that has a race number pinned to it unfortunately makes it very hard for our timekeepers to do their job! A race number clearly painted on the arms and shins keeps our timekeepers happy at the checkpoints and means you’ll get your race time promptly. Our body markers are trained to mark correctly; please don't mark yourself.

Climate and hydration

 hydration, hydration, hydration

hydration, hydration, hydration

Kilifi is on the Kenyan coast, 3 degrees south of the equator, meaning we are blessed with year round sunshine... meaning it is darn hot out there. The KGT is timed so that it becomes cooler as the race progresses: you will be in water at the hottest time and running at the coolest part of the day in late afternoon. Even so, the equatorial sun shines brightly and much of the route is without shade. Ensure you are well hydrated before, during and after the race, and appropriately dressed. There will be water stations at the transition area and at the end, but we recommend you carry your own water and hydration drinks or gels. As soon as you finish your race, be sure to grab a bottle of water and some ORS from the marshals!


First Aid

Volunteer trained first aiders will be available at the hotel and out on the water, and an ambulance and medical staff from Kilifi County Hospital will be stationed within the hotel that day. However, please be aware the race is unsupported for the majority of the course, and on offroad rural terrain once you are out of the hotel grounds. At the end of the race we do a headcount to ensure all competitors have come back to the hotel and we have a vehicle drive the course to check the route, but there will be no medical support along the route. There will be a handful of signposting marshals at certain turns, but these marshals are not first aiders and are only there to direct you. Ensure you are fit enough to complete the course to avoid accident or injury to yourself or your fellow competitors. If you need to drop out of the race, please endeavour to let the marshals or race organisers know in some way so we can ensure you are OK and receiving assistance, and so that we're not still looking for you at the end of the race.


We cannot accept responsibility for items lost or stolen during the triathlon, however we will of course make every effort to ensure bikes and clothing left in the transition area are kept secure. The bike shed is next to the race office and there will be considerable hotel and KGT staff around, including marshals responsible for watching over the area. We advise you do not leave any valuables of any kind unattended, but we regret we don’t have room in the race office to accommodate personal items. If you are bringing a bike for the KGT, you will be issued with a ticket to retain and a corresponding ticket to attach to your bike. You will not be allowed to leave the hotel grounds with any bicycle for which you do not hold a ticket. There will be no security at the bike shed after 8pm and all items are left at the owner's risk.

Have a question about the race not covered here? Don't hesitate to get in touch at