Urban Swaras 15th February @ Graceland, Chaka, Nyeri County

We already knew that pouring rain, beating sun, threats of natural disasters, and city-wide traffic shutdowns can’t stop Swaras, but now we see that even a grave misspelling can’t stop Swaras on a Saturday morning! What was advertised as ‘Shade Lounge’ was in fact ‘The Shed’. Either way, we came to run, and my my we certainly did! We had takers for all the distances, from 5km to 35km, with a glorious (not sure if that’s really the right adjective) staircase at the final stretch to crown it all. It truly was a beautiful run, and perfect terrain to put our February fitness levels to the test!

Breakfast was a leisurely affair on the first floor of the shed (yes, this was a fancy shed with more than one storey), with many mandazis, samosas, and cups of tea circulating, as everyone rested and stretched and massaged their hard-worked muscles. Buzz around Graceland was audible, with everyone looking forward to the big annual run, see details below! Once again, it was a delight to see so many new faces, keep it up!

Check out the Starting Line for pictures of the run:

Next week’s run

Graceland has a special place in many people’s hearts, as a second home (outside of Nairobi) to the Urban Swaras, and as an exemplary educational institution for talented young girls. 

Every year Swaras come out in force for the Graceland Upcountry Run, which is now incredibly in its 9th edition, and is an official feature on the Swaras calendar! 

Long-time Swara Wachira Nderitu is the driving force behind this charity run, to raise money for the bursary fund for Graceland Girls, and he has already shared some details, but here they are once again, as well as a video to get you geared up:

The Graceland Upcountry Run is happening on Saturday 15th February, at Graceland School, Chaka, Nyeri County (link to venue: This is approximately 2.5-3 hours from Nairobi, set in rolling hills and beautiful greenery.

The distances are 15km, 25km and 45km. the 15 and 25km are flagged off at 8.30am, the 45km will be flagged off at 7am. 

generous and extremely social dinner will be served by the host, Wachira, at Graceland School, on the Friday 14th February from 7.30pm…wine and whisky included for those who so wish!

There are several accommodation options to choose from.The newest hotel near Graceland is Beakin Resort which is supporting the run by charging 2k per double down from 4k. They have 20 rooms.

The other ones are Thego Resort charging 2k, and Safari Halt  in Chaka City charging 1800 ksh.The Chaka Ranch Tented Camp is a high-end facility which is available at 12k per double.Early booking is recommended. More information coming soon, but feel free to make your bookings early.

Register with Wachira directly, and contact him with any queries:

We look forward to seeing you all there!

See attached a write-up on last year’s inaugural Graceland Ultra by none other than yours truly (your MC, Secretary, Claire Baker, when she was just a plain average Swara who liked to play with words). Perhaps some of you will be equally inspired to write about this year’s experience…

Date: Saturday 15th February, 7am (45km), 8.30am (15km and 25km)

Venue: Graceland School, Chaka, Nyeri County

Distance: 15, 25 and 45km

Run type: majority trail, and plenty of up and down!

Google Maps link to the venue:

Directions to the venue: Graceland is 2.5-3hrs from central Nairobi. Follow directions to Nyeri Town, veer a right at Marua, then continue until Chaka town, where you take a right turn across the railway, following signs to Chaka Ranch. Take a right turn off the tarmac road at the next sign for Chaka Ranch, then take a left on the dirt road to continue to Graceland (you will see a sign for Graceland). Please follow Google Maps to be sure!

Speaking of causes, contact me with a worthy cause you would like the Swaras to support as a club this year, all suggestions are welcome! See details, as well as last-minute Kili details and a message from the Treasurer and from our resident speed expert, in this week’s Starting Line: