One thing is for sure: since the geographic lockdown was lifted, Swaras have not limited themselves to Nairobi County: this weekend I saw runs in Nakuru, Nyandarua, Laikipia, Bungoma, Nyeri, and our neighbouring counties Kiambu and Kajiado, and I’m sure many more were host to Swaras too!Keep flying the Swara flag high wherever you are, and discovering new corners of our beautiful country, and most importantly, stay safe.
This week the world almost ended. No, it wasn’t COVID, or global warming, or mass riots, or anything as frivolous as that.
As we all came to terms with the loss, many of us found ways around it. Hand-drawn Garmin stats, turning to lesser running apps (the eye is in the beholder), stopwatches, or even, simply, not running.
I sincerely hope that we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Personally, I don’t use a Garmin, in fact I thought it was the name of a UTI (it does sound like it no??) I am on Strava, you should all follow me 😉 But I feel for those of you for whom the bottom has fallen out of your world, or rather your watch.
For some photo highlights of some of the running action that went ahead despite the humungous hurdles, check out the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/lHFlXEa9yPkeDSpR?ref=Link To provide some comfort, here we give you another, splendid edition of…
An Audience With…
Almost every week we hear questions about run nutrition and replenishment of nutrients before, during and after runs. And because the club listens to you, we’re bringing you the Managing Director of USN Kenya, Rajesh Maini, to answer some of your questions on the subject! He’ll talk through some of the products that are specifically designed for the purpose, and how you can make the most of your recovery to get your body ready for the next battering!
Be sure to tune in Wednesday 29th July at the slightly later time of 6.30pm on Zoom.
Full details in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/lHFlXEa9yPkeDSpR?ref=Link
Last week we all got a little bit starstruck for obvious reasons, having the pleasure of being talked to, entertained, and encouraged by Lornah Kiplagat, the record-breaking Olympian and long-distance runner. Thank you so much again to Lornah for giving us so much of her time, and giving us the wisest words: “enjoy running!”
We also saw all our latest Duka La Swara patrons receive their goodies, so we can’t wait to see you rocking them across Nairobi.
See the Starting Line for the much-anticipated results of our #RunWild challenge…https://sway.office.com/SZAkTzZwymWr4DDb?ref=Link
But before that, what’s in store this week?
An Audience With…
Well, I hear all the kids using the word ‘ultra’ these days, to describe something as ‘cool’, ‘awesome’ or in some way ‘very very good’. Well, this week we have the most ultra ultra guy, Wingkei Chan, treating us to An Audience With him! Wingkei is the only man in living history to have run to the Mount Kenyan Ultra, before running the ultra, then running home. If that’s not ‘ultra’ I don’t know what is. He’s also the founder of the Ultra Running in Nairobi club, which has done more for super long distance running than any other movement in Kenya (in my humble opinion).
Be sure to tune in Wednesday 22nd July at the slightly later time of 6.30pm on Zoom.
Full details and Zoom link in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/SZAkTzZwymWr4DDb?ref=Link
We love it when a Swara runs their age. But we especially love it when many Swaras run someone’s age to help them celebrate, especially in these new, socially distanced times! So well done to all who ran with Sam Mugoya aka SMD Fly (our inaugural Show-er and Tell-er) for his age after his call to action. Though we’re pretty sure he’s actually 21 and just wanted to push us 😉
Meanwhile the rest of us were getting back in touch with nature, with Amanda’s official #RunWild challenge, which has so brought us buffalo on Mount Kenya, illegally smuggled ladybirds, and some truly cheeky monkeys, as well as an American Urban Swara…a real one, not the human one we all know about! Keep them coming, the #RunWild challenge is open until Thursday evening! Check out the photos and more on the challenge in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/G83S9h5HPVfvUv0C?ref=Link
An Audience With… I do love a good build-up. As you’ve seen week in week out on our Swara Zoom sessions, I like to build tension, and heap praise on our guest of the week but in this case I really don’t need to. This week, we have An Audience With…oh who am I kidding, I can’t resist a good build-up.
This formidable lady holds many a world record, has run for the Netherlands competing in not one, not two, but THREE Olympic Games, dominating both road and cross-country running. She is also an accomplished sports entrepreneur, with a high-quality, on-demand sportswear company and a High Altitude Training Camp drawing aspiring runners from across the world.
I know, I know, it seems like forever ago that we were last able to all run together. But any time you start to feel down, or start to really miss your Swara friends and Swara runs, just remember two things:
1. We’re still here! We’re hosting weekly Wednesday sessions to keep the Swara spirit very much alive, so join us, get together on Zoom, learn something new, ask some questions, and see some friendly faces 2. You are your own best cheerleader, and you can keep yourself motivated with some simple tools and tricks. If you don’t believe me, re-watch Greg Hart’s Show & Tell from last week around the theme of motivation: https://us02web.zoom.us/…/yvJ5Jpj760pOcoHg5GLeWIkARordaaa82…
Oh and one last little thing…remember that the reason we’re not meeting as we would all like to, and running as a group, is to do our bit towards preventing the spread of a lethal, global pandemic, and protecting those who perhaps aren’t as strong and fit as us Urban Swaras. We’re basically saving the world. So that should make you feel pretty good about yourself and your Monday blues 🙂
An Audience With…
I’m delighted to announce that for this week’s Wednesday session we have An Audience With…Dr Hamisi, top chiropractor, and fascial manipulation specialist. I almost guarantee we’ve all had ailments that Dr Hamisi has seen and treated dozens, if not hundreds of times, and he’ll be talking to us about how best to prevent and treat injuries that prevent our backs and bones from working hard for us. Tune in this Wednesday at 6pm on Zoom!
I hope you’ve all been ‘daydream-travelling’ as I have, after Judy Nyaruai’s Show & Tell last Wednesday. We may not be able to fly off to far-flung places to run, but we can run wherever we are, and imagine whatever world we have in our minds! That’s the magic of running…your mind can run to wherever you feel like, with no passports or visas necessary. So keep traveling, fellow Swaras!
See photo highlights from this week in running in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/pM9G89IUelHWu1Pk?ref=Link
Swara Show & Tell
This week we have our fifth edition of Show & Tell! We’ve heard from Swaras in three different countries so far, talking about topics from writing a book, weight loss, running as mental health self-care, and travelling as you run, and each of them has allowed us to get to know our members a little more and learn some new facts and tips. This edition features Greg Hart, a consistent runner, our speed/track training guru and a running coach of several Swaras who have been lucky enough to be under his tutelage. This week he will be talking all things motivation, so tune in Wednesday at 6pm, and ask him your questions. Bonus points to those who wear their Swara gear 🙂
Doctor, doctor, my nose is running and my feet smell, what’s wrong with me? My dear, you’ve been made upside down.
Now that I’ve caught your attention, I think we can all agree that Swaras were NOT made upside down given all the running their feet have been doing. But we can’t say whether their feet smell or not, They also have ears that listen, as was proven by our Audience With…David Thuo on Wednesday, which almost broke Zoom and our maximum meeting capacity of 100 people! What a great session that was, so much knowledge to sap up, and such a generous, motivating speaker.
We always love to hear how these Wednesday online Swara sessions are helping people. This week we learned that Eugenie, our friendly francophone female Swara, has attended SEVEN of the Kundalini yoga sessions hosted by Lydia and her fellow yogi, following our Kundalini yoga session a few weeks ago. Eugenie says that she’s gaining huge amounts of flexibility, whilst also learning to relax, which can only ever be a good thing, especially for us runners! Elsewhere, Saxo has been trying out David Thuo’s lactic threshold theory, and pushing himself to his limits to find out what his different baselines are, as you’ll see from his Strava accounts. Any other stories to share? Send them in by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or Whatsapp +33615209676
In this week’s Starting Line we also have a write-up from our Trail Queen, Loice Mbogo, about an important project she’s been supporting on, don’t miss it! Link to the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/3O6BFhjBIlUDE4c3?ref=Link
Swara Show & Tell
We know you’ve been missing Show & Tell so we thought we’d bring you a brand new edition this week, this time with someone who also happens to be inviting you all for an epic running challenge starting NOW. Find out more as we tune in for Nyaruai Muhoro’s Show & Tell this Wednesday 24th June at 6pm. She’ll be exploring the theme Roaming & Running: making the most of your running trips, and we can trust her to have some fantastic insights, having traveledd to far-flung countries to take part in amazing marathons, but also dive into the sights and sounds of the local culture to get more bang for her buck.
All of this and more in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/3O6BFhjBIlUDE4c3?ref=Link
As time continues to fly by, and race after race gets cancelled or postponed, the virtual runs get more and more daring and exciting. This weekend we had Swaras all over the place doing their own virtual Comrades, the legendary South African Ultra Marathon which makes many a seasoned runner quiver in their boots. But some Swaras didn’t just run…they ran their longest distance ever, and many even celebrated their birthdays with solo (or duo) adventures on the trail to mark the day. Well done to all of you! Even those that squeezed in a 5km or 10km or whatever time and circumstances permitted, it’s an achievement just to lace up and be active so kudos all of you! Find a full gallery of images and other highlights from the week including a new media appearance in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/EUZc7eQGTb4WH2U4?ref=Link An audience with…This week in An Audience With we have a well-known and well-loved figure in the Nairobi running scene. He has paced many of us, inspired and encouraged others, and made all of our jaws drop with his impressive running feats. It’s our pleasure to invite you to An Audience… With David Thuo, ardent marathoner, mentor and motivator, this Wednesday 17th June at 6pm. Find this and more in this week’s Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/EUZc7eQGTb4WH2U4?ref=Link #BeatTheRain
When we asked you to share photos of your runs, we didn’t expect to be flooded with picturesque and awe-inspiring vistas from across Kenya! We clearly have some amateur photographers amongst our membership. Keep it up!
I hope many of you caught some of our Swara members live on Metropol TV’s sports show, if not here is the link to see a sea of yellow praising and honouring our club, and talking about how members are still keeping fit and active in times of Corona and solo running: https://youtu.be/CH0VHtASJPM?t=591
This weekend also marked the NNRunning Team and Maurten-sponsored MA RA TH ON (a clever play on words), entailing teams of four runners ANYWHERE in the world running a marathon, made up of four individual best efforts of 10.5km, recorded on Strava. From the teams we saw, and the times we saw, it was fun and solidarity that reigned, with some amazing PBs, and some fantastic team make-ups, with a lot of gender diversity and mixed abilities. We’ll definitely let you know of any upcoming challenges of a similar vein, and well done to all who took part!
Duka La Swara
The Duka La Swara is open until the end of today, and we’ve had a rush of last minute orders already, just be sure to get yours in by midnight tonight! Details and order form in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/drANKQoxuTDzRuVG?ref=Link
An audience with…
We all know the saying ‘you are what you eat.’ So should we all be eating runner beans? If we want to slow down our heart rate should we eat fewer ‘pulses’? Does fast food make you faster? This week we invite you to an Audience With Clara Masinde, Wellness Coach and Co-founder of the Wellness Project, who will be talking about all things nutrition, fat loss, and wellness. Bring your questions, I know there will be many!
Sometimes members of the running community do extraordinary things, and sometimes they do superhuman things, and we don’t even know how to begin to celebrate! This Madaraka Day saw David Thuo, of Fitness with David and Runfit, do a sub 3 marathon on the infamous Kahara route, battling hilly terrain, altitude, and rocks and dust. Many Swaras joined him to help pace, motivate, and support him, and we’re so proud to be a part of the same running fraternity as folks like this. Well done to David, who completed it in 2hours56minutes. Phenomenal.
As part of this week’s ‘Va Va Voim’ challenge we saw many of you go out of your way to do ultras, beautiful trails, and share all of your exploits on Whatsapp. Thank you to all of you for sharing, it’s truly wonderful and inspiring stuff! Sometimes I wonder how you all dream up these ideas. We had ultras in the backwaters of Kikuyu, half marathons in Ngong, backyard ultras in the U.S, and mountain spotting in Embu to name just a few! Keep them coming, on Whatsapp, facebook or email until the end of today (Monday 1st), winners will be chosen later this week.
We also had another great workout with Elvis Abonyo on Wednesday. When you notice that for two weeks in a row, Strava and Garmin are surprisingly quiet on Thursday morning, look no further than Elvis’ intense full-body workouts! Thanks once again Elvis.
Now to tell you what’s happening this week!
We’re reopening Duka La Swara, so check out the Starting Line to see what new goodies we have on offer, and place your orders! We have some new treats for you so don’t miss out, you have only one week to order!
An audience with…
We promised to keep you on your toes, so this week we have something new for you! Introducing ‘an audience with…’ a series of online sessions with experts in various fields. This week we invite you to an Audience With Fabian Collis, Nairobi’s most renowned podiatrist who has worked with athletes and runners, to ensure that their feet protect them from injury and take them over the finish line.