Urban Swaras 5th May @ Show & Tell 2

The solidarity and resilience of Swaras never ceases to amaze me (and thankfully inspire me to more thoughtful and resilient myself)! This week saw dozens of Swaras clocking 25km and upwards in honour of our former patron’s (MK/Surinder’s) dearly departed wife, who went to rest just one year ago. An incredible show of solidarity, so a warm thank you to all who took part in this informal homage.

On Wednesday we had the first Swara Show & Tell, which was a resounding success, and we are announcing our second edition just below 🙂

Also this week, the final masks from the Maskforce campaign were distributed, bringing the total to 2,160 masks, thanks to all of YOU, so a huge thank you once again! These went to frontline health workers at Tigoni Health Centre, Ngara Health Centre, and Langata Women’s Prison Dispensary. Hats off to Greg Hart and Loice Mbogo and Ranu Waweru, CRE and committee members who were so instrumental in leading this project.

More Swara news in this week’s Starting Line:

Swara Show & Tell #2

This week we will be hearing from the sparkliest, most colourful, and most likely our furthest away Swara right now, Amanda Scoville! She’ll be ‘zooming’ in from the United States to tell us about her running journey, which has not been without obstacles, and which personifies the solidarity and resilience I mentioned above. Tune in Wednesday 29th April at 6.30pm (note the slightly later time), using the details below.

Link to join:

Password: 202617

(Alternatively open zoom and use meeting ID Meeting ID: 882-2847-9971 Password: 202617

Check out more photos and full Swara news in the Starting Line:



Urban Swaras 25th April @ Show & Tell

Dear Swaras,
The rains are here! Forgive the note of celebration, but rain is necessary for so many things, and also presents us with new challenges as runners, like ‘not falling in puddles’, ‘cleaning shoes every day and scraping mud off the bottom of our once-shiny new trainers’, and finally ‘not complaining or making excuses’. You’ve gotta love challenges like that.

Check out some photo highlights from runs and Duka La Swara deliveries in this week’s Starting Line:

And now for something completely new:

Swara Show & Tell

We are launching Swara Show & Tell this week, where we dive into the homes, hearts and history of some of our favourite Swaras. First up, this Wednesday 22nd April, we’re hearing from Sam, aka SMD Fly, and you do not want to miss this. Just trust me. The Show & Tell will be online (of course) so install zoom, and join us using this link, at 5pm on Wednesday:…
(Alternatively open zoom and use meeting ID Meeting ID: 839 7128 4241 Password: 186192

You can join from your phone or laptop, just ensure you have a stable internet connection. If you have any issues joining, please contact me on Whatsapp +33615209676

We will be there waiting to see and hear Sam’s story, and then have a Swara get-together online! Feel free to bring a cuppa or a glass of whatever takes your fancy to sip as we listen 🙂 No judgement!



Urban Swaras 19th April @ Happy Easter!

Dear Swaras,

We have come to the last day of the MaskForce campaign, so please, if you have been meaning to donate for 1, 10, or even 100 masks, then now is the time! Details on the poster (please note M-Pesa name is now Samuel Waweru, and not Loise Mbarire. all other details remain the same.

And on behalf of the Urban Swaras Running Club, a Happy Easter to you all! Whether you got eggs, chocolate, a special Zoom call from a family member or a long-lost friend, a Sunday brunch, or a crazy run, we hope you have been having a lovely and special long weekend.

Solo Swara runs have been getting more and more imaginative! We’ve seen plenty an Ultra, some interesting strength workouts, and even some Strava/Garmin artwork, keep it up! Check out the Starting Line for some photographic evidence:


Urban Swaras 11th April @ Maskforce

Dear Swaras, 

This week saw the launch of the exciting MaskForce Campaign, which allows us all to do our bit for the fight against COVID-19 aka Corona Virus, from the comfort of our homes (for those of us who have the option to self-isolate.

Please do get involved. We have already raised almost half of our original goal of 1,000 masks, so help us surpass that and set a new goal! And don’t forget, this is not just for Swaras, so please do share on your Strava, Garmin, or other running app, and with any of your friends and family you want to join you, on Whatsapp Facebook etc.

Find full info on the Starting line:

Duka La Swara

The Duka La Swara will be closing at the END OF TODAY (Monday 6th April) at midnight (no point saying ‘close of business’ as that is now a nonsensical term, business is no time and anytime). Place your orders before then! we will then confirm with our suppliers, and send you a prompt for payment. You should have received a confirmation by Whatsapp, so will receive the prompt in the same way.

The personalization requests are very entertaining, so keep them coming! And so many of you are taking the full package, so we can’t wait to see Nairobi flooded with Swara stash post-COVID!

Full info and pictures in the Starting Line:

Subs and club finances

We will not be collecting Quarter 2 (April-June) subs from members at this time, but will resume collections when runs resume. We would also like to assure all members that the club continues to support the Trail Fox with his full salary during these difficult times.


Urban Swaras 4th April @Duka la Swara!

You would think that with a nationwide curfew, Swara runs suspended, and general pandemonium, running activities would grind to a halt. But then you forget that we’re Swaras. Instead, what we’ve seen is an upsurge in innovative ways to keep running, keep active, and share some precious moments together as a running community, even if only virtually!

Some highlights:

1. Team Wakimbizi pushing themselves to new limits in South C

2. Swaras narrowly missing each other on Southern Bypass, only realising after sharing their routes on the Whatsapp group

3. Avani Patel’s General’s Challenge garnering huge success across the running community

4. The most positive and encouraging week yet on the Whatsapp group.

Let’s keep it up!

And to keep us all motivated, we’re opening a Duka La Swara (Swara shop). No, we’re not selling live animals, but Swara gear! Check out what’s on offer now and place your orders! We will be able to deliver to you (circumstances permitting) within Nairobi. Check it out in the Starting Line:

Duka La Swara

Even if you don’t like our cheeky pun, you’ll LOVE what you can get your hands on now to rock the Swara colours and name…and even your own name! See below for the full range of t-shirt, hoodie, and cap in different colours and sizes. Get one, get several, or get the whole package, just browse below and fill in your order details here. Please note, we cannot guarantee 100% that your size and colour will be available but we will do our best 🙂

You have ONE WEEK to place your order so we can set the Duka to work, and once we confirm your order with you one on one you will be asked to make payment via m-pesa before any printing begins.

Details on each item in the Starting Line, but you can also get the WHOLE PACKAGE of t-shirt, cap and hoodie in the colours of your choice for 5,000ksh, including your name printed on the back of your t-shrit and hoodie (4,800ksh without personalisation).

Fill in the order form here:

Happy Swara shopping!

All that and much much more in the Starting Line:


Urban Swaras 28th March @ DIY run!

There are only a few words on everyone’s lips these days, but because this is a Running Club, I won’t even mention them, and instead concentrate on the amount of solo, small-group, and inspirational, motivational running that has been going on across Nairobi this weekend! Talk about #RunningIsLiving. Even those who aren’t leaving the house, and respecting all official guidelines (myself included) managed to get some healthy kilometres in. Whether it was a brief jog around the compound, or a private ultra from one town to the other, we applaud you all! The Swara spirit was abound, and you can’t help but feel hopeful in the face of such togetherness. Please, please, keep sharing your runs and personal successes. If you’re not yet on the Whatsapp group, just send me an email ( or Whatsapp (+33615209676 and I’ll make sure you’re added.

Thanks to all who shared their selfies, routes and breakfast snaps! Do keep them coming, and keep encouraging each other with challenges and cheers.

As always, please do listen to the advice and instructions given about maintaining your own safety and the safety of others. We will be back to our normal Saturday Swara runs soon, but in the meantime, let’s all do our bit!

See some of the selfie highlights in this week’s Starting Line:


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Swara runs suspended

Urban Swaras Running Club runs are suspended for the foreseeable future, in an effort to join hands with the global movement to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There will therefore be no Swara run this Saturday 21st March. We encourage you to stay active, engage in solo runs, or small group runs respecting official advice on distancing and hygiene. Keep running, stay safe, #RunningIsLiving


Urban Swaras 21st March @Goshen Gardens, Kikuyu

Dear Swaras,

If you’ve heard a rumour that we’re now called the ‘Urban Swaras Hiking Club’, it’s merely based on a few smaaaall hills that Swaras experienced this weekend. Don’t believe me? Well, join us next time 🙂

The Saturday spent at Run2Gether Training camp in Kijabe was truly inspiring, and what an experience it was being paced by friendly, humble and incredibly talented full-time professional and aspiring professional runners. We just did one run there, but they run in the breathtaking surrounds of Mount Longonot almost every day…and you could tell! As we puffed up Boston Hill, at a snail’s pace, they assured us they could glide up with ease. And that is what comes with hard work, dear Swaras!

We were honoured to be given such a welcome, and they also cooked for us, and invited us back any time! Some Swaras left donations of running gear, but we are now starting an ‘elite’ collection drive, to encourage each and every one of you to pull together whatever kit (running shoes, sports bras, caps, hoodies, socks, etc) in good condition, that the runners can use, and also any cash (no donation too big or too small) or other in-kind donations (rice, sugar, tea, flour, beans, sheets, towels, etc) you would like to offer.

We will be taking donations for the rest of the month, so bring whatever you have along to the runs, or send to the Treasurer accompanied by a text confirming that it is for Run2Gether: 0740912116

Full details and photo highlights in this week’s Starting Line:

Next week’s run

Saturday 21st March we’re heading to Goshen Gardens, Kikuyu, to get a reminder of what tarmac looks and feels like…but only a little bit! Expect up to 90% trail, weaving in and out of the forest, paths and roads of this serene end of Kikuyu. Do bring along any donations you have for Run2Gether, we’ll be collecting them this week and next! If in doubt, just bring it along 🙂 .

Date: Saturday 21st March

Venue: Goshen Gardens, Kikuyu

Distance: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30km

Run type: 90% trail

Breakfast: breakfast is served a la carte, at Goshen Gardens, so you pay for what you consume. Typical breakfast fare at reasonable prices will be on offer be sure to stay for a bite!

Google Maps link to the venue (actually link to the PCEA Chruch, the venue is behind the church):

Registration: Registration is required, please register by Thursday 19th March

Guests: As always, guest fees of 500ksh apply. Please share the following link with anyone interested in joining the club for the first time:

Full details, as always, in the Starting Line:



Urban Swaras 14th March @ Run2gether Training Camp, Kijabe

The big theme on this Saturday’s run was sunshine and rain. We got plenty of both, but to summarize, our yellow tees truly bring the sun! Those who had run in Moshi the week before were taking slower strides than normal, and those running at Beyond Zero the day after were also trying not to literally ‘break a leg’ as the saying goes. But more than 50 of us gathered at Spring Valley Oven and had a great time on the trail, and even managed to get relatively unmuddy! Thanks to Spring Valley Oven for providing free parking and tasty breakfasts a la carte.

The post-run stretching was also exemplary, and long may it continue! If you want to lead a stretching session, just go ahead, it’s always good for us and we can learn some new exercises.

The Starting Line is full of photos and commentary on this run and also Beyond Zero Half Marathon, and we also celebrate a very special Swara, so don’t miss it!

Saturday 14th March we will be going for a very exciting run, which will see us rubbing shoulder with Kenya’s elites. We’ll be joining the Swara poster boy Dennis Lopua and his training mates at Run2gether camp in Kijabe. We will get to run with some professional Kenyan runners, share breakfast together, put on by the club in conjunction with Run2gether (so no charge to runners), and we will also get some fresh air in the beautiful Nakuru County!

Next week’s run

Date: Saturday 14th March

Venue: Run2gether Training Camp, Longonot Nakuru County

Distance: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30km

Run type: 120% trail, bring your trail shoes!

Breakfast: breakfast will be provided at no cost to all runners, provided you register in advance!

Google Maps link to the venue:

Directions to the venue: The Camp is about 70 km away from the City Centre.

To get there, get onto the Nakuru-Nairobi Highway, and go past Sigona, Limuru, Uplands, Kijabe junction and Soko Mjinga. About 1 km from the fly over shopping centre, you will see Kobil Petrol Station on the left after which begin some road guard rails. Turn left at the end of the rails, that is about 1 km from the Kobil and drive down. Chalk marks will guide you to the Camp. It takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes to get to the Camp, and the run will start at 8 a.m., so please leave for the run accordingly.

Registration: Registration is required so as to plan for breakfast with the training camp, please register by Wednesday 11th March

Guests: As always, guest fees of 500ksh apply. Please share the following link with anyone interested in joining the club for the first time:

All of this and much, much more in the Starting Line:


Urban Swaras 7th March @ Spring Valley Oven

Swaras, Swaras,

I don’t know what to say! I’m still floating on top of the clouds (much like the peak of Kili herself most days), after a phenomenal weekend in Moshi for the 2020 Kilimanjaro Marathon!

The atmosphere was electric and I’ve honestly never seen so many smiling faces on such killer hills! We truly did invade Moshi like a yellow plague of locusts, but ones that bring laughter, determination, maiden marathons and killer PBs! Well done to you all, and THANK YOU to all who supported, you’re too many to name, and I’d be afraid to not do each one of you justice 🙂

For those who came to Karura Forest, the running was just as energetic, so thank you for turning up! As always, come rain, shine, or international marathons, there will always be a Swara run!

In this week’s Starting Line we have a shining account from one of our newer members, Sheila, who deserves a huge hats-off for sheer guts! See her account, and some photo highlights from amongst the hundreds of brilliant snapshots in the Starting Line:

See you all next year for Kili 2021!

Next week’s run

This week’s run will be from Spring Valley Oven (home to the best cheesiest bagels and prettiest latte art I’ve found in the city), giving us all a chance to stay close to home, stretch our legs, plan for our next adventures, and share stories! Plenty of new members are interested in joining us after Kilimanjaro, so let’s all welcome any new runners, as they start on their exciting Swara journey 🙂

(Then the next day, Sunday 8th March I hope to see as many of you as possible at the Beyond Zero Half Marathon…let’s support a charitable cause, and a major run on our home turf. The organizers actually invited all recreational running clubs to be a part of the planning process, so we’re excited to see how it goes! See you all there.)

Date: Saturday 7th March

Venue: Spring Valley Oven, Spring Valley

Distance: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30km

Run type: Half trail, half non-trail

Breakfast: breakfast can be taken at your leisure at Spring Valley Oven Restaurant

Google Maps link to the venue:

Directions to the venue: Spring Valley Oven is on Lower Kabete Road, just next to the Total Petrol Station.

Registration: Register here:

Guests: As always, guest fees of 500ksh apply. Please share the following link with anyone interested in joining the club for the first time:

Once again, I can’t stop smiling after that beautiful running weekend; let’s keep that Swara Spirit!

Link to Starting Line: