Urban Swaras Join us
Author Archives: Ameet Vipin Shah
Friday morning was unusual in that it was a working day, but Swaras still came together to run. It was associated with a gentleman called Dan’s Kenyan leg of a worldwide journey of running that he has embarked on.
I can’t recall exactly (perhaps shamefully) but it was either his wife or his mum who passed away last year from Cancer, after which he decided to embark on a worldwide journey covering 240 countries, intending to run 10k’s in each country. Today was his 41st country that he was visiting and he intends to complete his mission by 2020 at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. His next destination is Malawi after which he will be flying to Tanzania i.e. tomorrow. Another 10k awaits him in Malawi today.
26th October was the date for the 12th edition of the Nairobi Standard Chartered Marathon. I would be picking up Jimmy before we made our way to Ajaa’s, who had kindly agreed to take Jimmy and me with him. My lateness in picking up Jimmy was compounded by him being slightly late in coming out. I was thinking of the possible repercussions of this as an excited Jimmy opened the car door, closed it shut and said a hello within a matter of seconds.
( Video courtesy of Herman Hagström)
- Otora disappearing like a fox into the bushes at the start of his first leg and getting to the end even before any of the cars.
- Samuel Nyingi finishing 6 1/2 minutes before his next competitor who was in second place (astonishing considering its a relay).
- Jael only finding out after the relay had well and truly begun that she was one of the captains.
- Everyone was impressive including Steven Ndichu who in one of his legs clocked an average of 4:14 if i’m not mistaken, having begun conservatively then picked off runners as the K’s wore on.
Last Saturdays run took place from the Classic Villa Resort. Living not far from there, I set off at a more relaxed hour but found myself unable to resist the open roads at the time, so I ended up arriving about 35 minutes to the start. The car never felt so warm and it never felt so cold outside when I left the house, so I decided to stay sitting for as long as I could, until the inevitable pull of the Swaras would get me out of the car. What a fantastic herd (pardon the irresistible urge) to hang out with.
The Swara Juggernaut rolled on last Saturday from the somewhat curiously named Oceans Pub in Karen. Though the name may have changed old habits diehard and I get the feeling it will always be known as that to us – Oceans Pub.
I was crossing my fingers for a dry run, notwithstanding the joys of running in wet weather, so was glad to see clear sky, indeed it was abit sweltering as the run wore on. On my way to Oceans Pub I drove past what looked like the tall and gangly frame of Ndungu Kahihu and imagined he wasn’t going to join us that Saturday. So imagine my surprise when I saw him there?!? Had he taken a short cut? Perhaps, I didn’t ask.
Last Saturday’s Swara Run took place from Valencia Gardens (a newbie on the Swara Calendar) on a potentially wet and already very cold morning. It was a curtain raiser to the Vic Falls Marathon and the Lewa Marathon but to some, that might have meant nothing.
Driving in and to my right there wasn’t any space for an extra car, so I went left and got an empty space. In attendance were amongst others Noel; a kickboxing Swara (perhaps handy to run with), Fran; who was recently pictured with Cameroonian Legend Eto, Linda; a dynamic business woman and always nice to see her at the runs, Avani who will be going back to the scene of her full marathon triumph last year and Hector who has a fascinating story to tell of his athletic past based on his running into his later years.
As is required for the Chairman’s Run, we were on the road in the wee hours of the morning already having branched off Langata Road before 6. There was drizzle in the air but I thought that was the last we would see of it, imagining a hot and sunny Magadi Road awaited. As sometimes happens we were the first to get there, however I was in no doubt that cars would be streaming in very shortly. Annabel would have made it sooner had she not been driving her Subaru up and down that murram road until she found the place, presumably by seeing other cars at the gate from a distance.
Last Saturday’s Swara Run took place from Maasai Lodge, famous for me for the rocky dip before the stretch back home and it didn’t disappoint this time either. It was hosted from afar by James Waliaula who by the time the run began may have been in the 40th Kilometre of a run somewhere.
One of the Swara roads this weekend led to the running heaven of sorts i.e. Iten. Everyone attending left Nairobi the Friday before. In my car we’re Jimmy; who we later found is quite a beast on the running track, Avani whose passion for running extends to reading running books and sharing what’s found in them, Lillian who is now ready for the Lewa Full I think, having successfully done 35k’s in Iten, and Annabel; who only started running in her 40’s and has a personal best of 1hr 27 mins in a half marathon and whose daughter who also happens to be a sprinter, will be representing Kenya in Australia.
Date: April 5, 2014
Last Saturday the Swara’s ran from the A.P. Camp in Kibiko, Ngong. With me was Trail Fox Otora; who makes our running so much easier through his dedication, Patrick; a participant in mind boggling challenges back in Europe, and Farah; who in February completed a Nine Day Boot Camp in the coastal weather of Watamu. Upon reaching there I saw only a handful of cars yet, but knowing from experience how Swaras tend to arrive, I expected a convoy soon.