Wenchi Lake Trail is a tough Half Marathon and 10km run/walk around the spectacular extinct volcano crater, with nearly 1000 meters of elevation gain over rugged terrain, at an average attitude of over 3,000 metres. 

The course will be marked, and there will be aid stations at the 4km, 7 km, 12km, 17km and finish points. You will need to carry any additional fluids that you require. You also need to have good protection against sun exposure and a sturdy pair of shoes (preferably trail shoes).

We do not take responsibility for any injuries incurred by participants, but a doctor and basic first aid facilities will be available at 12km and at the finish.

We will hold a briefing at the Negash Resort at 6:30 pm on 11th October 2019. Following the briefing, there will be a pasta party at Negash Resort in the treehouse restaurant (not included in the registration fee). For those travelling down on the morning of the event, we will hold another briefing at the race start point at 9:30 am on 12th October.  The race will start promptly 10:00 am. There will be a time limit of four hours to finish the race (cut of time 3 hours at 15K), and a post-race lunch will be available. Participants are welcome to bring their own lunch or purchase food.


• Water, snacks, and first aid support will be provided at the finish.

• All participants will receive a T-Shirt and prizes will be awarded to the race winners.

• 10 km walkers with families will be accompanied by a guide, which is included in the registration fee.

• If you wish to have horses as part of the walk please indicate this on your registration. Payment will be made separately to the Guide’s Association (Wenchi Eco-Tourism Association).


Half Marathon Race Course

10 Km Race Course


Wenchi Crater Lake, 155 km west of Addis Ababa, is known for its beautiful mountainous landscape. The lake is well known for an old sacred monastery situated on one of the islands.

The lake is in the remnants of a volcanic crater, and the highest point on the crater is 3,380 meter above sea level (11,100 ft). There are a number of hot mineral springs, waterfalls, and beautiful valleys. About 4,000 people live in the crater, which is partially farmed. Colobus monkeys and the common bush-buck are some of the wild animals that can be seen roaming around the lake.


Travel 115 km west of Addis Ababa on the Jimma Road to the town of Woliso (also called Ghion). Half-way through the town take the clearly marked 38km dirt road to the top of the crater (now under construction). A four-wheel drive vehicle is strongly advised. There is an alternative route to get to Wenchi Lake through the town of Ambo, but the road is under construction and you need to get up-to-date information before you take that road. The route through Woliso is the best way to reach the lake.

The race will start just beyond the ticket office at the top of the crater (at the view point). You should give yourselves three hours to travel from Addis Ababa to the top of the crater.


The best local accommodation and the race venue is the Negash Resort, although there are other cheaper alternatives in Woliso. Alternatively, you can travel there and back from Addis on the day of the event.

Note: as there are limited rooms we advise local participants to make their own hotel booking as soon as they register. When you make your booking please tell the reservation staff at Negash Resort that you are a Wenchi Lake Trail participant. RIA Ethiopia Sports has reserved a block of rooms, but it is your responsibility to reserve your own room. International participants are advised to buy all-inclusive travel packages prepared by RIA Ethiopia Sports which include accommodation, meal and transport.

Resort Contact: Mob. +251 965 181850 | T.  +251-115 15 28 75/113 41 00 02 | reservations@negashresort.com | www.negashresort.com


Wenchi Lake Trail was first organized in 2013 by Jim McKee, a British diplomat based in Addis Ababa. In 2015, Jim teamed up with Run in Africa (now RIA Ethiopia Sports) to promote the race and make it an annual event for years to come. Here is how it all started in the words of Jim McKee:

Wenchi Crater is the first place I visited outside Addis Ababa in March 2012, and it remains one of the most beautiful places in a country that has some of the most spectacular scenery on earth. Paddling in the crater lake in a dug-out log canoe I looked up at the towering cliffs that surround the caldera and thought – now that would make a great run! Breath-taking views, precipitous downhill bits, evil uphill bits, dodging villagers with their cattle, and experiencing the true exhilaration of running 3 km above sea level. Two months later 100 expats and locals gathered on the rim and the first Wenchi Lake Trail Run began. Since that time Wench Lake Trail Run has become a celebrated annual event for all trail runners – professionals and weekend warriors – in Ethiopia and further afield. The ultimate trail run in the Land of Runners.

Today, RIA Ethiopia Sports continues the tradition that Jim McKee started.