By Dibussi Tande
In March 1973, Guinness Cameroon S.A. organized the first ever Mount Cameroon race – a grueling 29 KM endurance race up and down an active volcano which takes athletes through a dense tropical rainforest to a frigid summit sometimes covered with snow, passing through a prairie-like Savannah region and a barren moon-like area covered with molten lava.
1989 - Britain's Jack Maitland crosses the finish line to become the new King of the Mountain
The first three editions of the Guinness Mount Cameroon Race were won by local Bakweri runners. By the time of the 4th edition in 1976, an aura of superstition had already enveloped the race. There was a widely-held belief, even among non-natives, that efas’a moto, the mountain god, would never allow a “stranger” to “conquer” the sacred lair of the Bakweri people who lived at the foot of the mountain. In fact, during the first three races, there were numerous stories of supernatural happenings up the fog-covered mountain which disoriented and frightened non-native runners into submission. This would all change in 1976.