Saturday 26th August 2017 brought the Swaras into uncharted territory, that of the Mua Hills. Chairman had classified the difficulty level in his introduction as “fairly tough by Swara standards,” and had encouraged participants to go heavy on the breakfast intake. I was in two minds as to whether to follow his advice and fuel up for a lengthy run or go moderate and eat light therefore. My mind had settled on the latter, as the one and only time I ate “heavy,” I had to squat away from prying eyes, mid-run.
The Mulley’s Half Marathon 2016 took place on Sunday 9th October from the People’s Park in Machakos. It would be my first visit to Machakos People’s Park, that being one of the reasons for my excitement. Arriving there at 6.30 a.m approximately, Swara Henry seemed to be the first arrival, he who often posts images from Swara Runs on his Facebook page accompanied by nice words. He was accompanied by a pal of his from Safaricom.
Last Saturday took the Swaras to the KEFRI Institute off of the Nairobi-Nakuru Highway. The email had specifically mentioned that it was going to be a run that was reletively flat by “swara standards,” something which newbies, one of whom was travelling with Jimmy and I called James, might have been wondering what that meant, although for some reason i’m thinking Swara Runs may already have developed a certain reputation outside Swara circles. For whatever reason, James’ wife had decided overnight against coming.
Jimmy and I left for Kigali late on Thursday 21st May 2015 with our flight having been scheduled to take off at 23:25 Kenyan time and arrive at five past midnight Rwandan time. Things went largely according to schedule and a cool breeze welcomed us in Kigali as we stepped off the plane.
On May 2nd 2015, the Swara Run took place from near the border of Kenya if certain people’s perception that Ongata Rongai is actually another country that one wouldn’t find no matter how closely they looked on a map, is true. The venue was Masai Lodge from where the running Superstar James once hosted.
Susan’s email in the third week of March 2015 took us to the leafy paradise that is Tigoni. Tigoni was my first chastening experience as a Swara personally, but for some reason I never contemplated sitting in front of the T.V on a Saturday morning where you can’t feel lost at least geographically.
The party I was in arrived at the Gulf Petrol Station at about 20 minutes to 7, but there were already a couple of cars there and faces that weren’t immediately recognizable being a fairly regular attendee of the runs, so I suppose it shows the quality of the club in terms of attracting more people.
The penultimate run of the Swara Calender 2014 took place inside the Karura Forest (a place of tranquility and greenery amidst the increasingly concrete looking Nairobi). Long may it remain that way. Fortunately it was a dry morning as Karura in the wet is a totally different kettle of fish. I got there at about 6.50 and was taken aback by the sheer number of cars already there. Nairobians don’t sleep much it appears.
December 6th 2014 was the date for the hopefully inaugural Naivasha Children’s Village Run. First things first, it was to be held in a dry area and away from the rainy part of the day. I’m led to believe it always rains at some point in the afternoon there. It’s always helpful when its dry as opposed to wet though the latter has never resulted in a poor turnout historically.
It was a Saturday late afternoon when I was catching forty winks exhausted partly because of the intensity of the morning’s Swara Run, when the phone rang with Otora’s name flashing across the screen. I suddenly remembered I was to host the following weekends run and sat up straight to answer it, having had a feeling I was about to embark on an important phone call.