Urban Swaras Strength Training Session #2

Dear Swaras,

What a week this has been! From strength training with Elvis, bringing us all together through the power of technology to get sweaty, achey and proud together, to scouting for new trails with the Whatsapp-based Trail Fox Apprentice Challenge. You only have to log in to Strava or Garmin to see what Swaras have been up to, and also see the incredible encouragement that everybody is getting. Makes me so proud to be a Swara πŸ™‚

This week we have plenty of juicy photos and stories, so be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the Starting Line to take everything in! We even have a written Show & Tell from Felicita, who beat many an elite to finish the 2018 Boston Marathon despite hellish conditions. Link to Starting Line:

Strength training Part 2 with Elvis Abonyo. 

Back by popular demand, we bring you part 2 of Elvis’ home strength training. This week we’re going to be using items you can easily find around your house to help us with our strength training. Fill 2 large water bottles, shampoo bottles, or even cans of pineapple rings, whatever you have that you can comfortably hold and lift, of around 1-2kg. If you have weights, then you can use those of course. Also find a broomstick or other stick or rod you have around the house, and you’re ready to go! 

Link to join:

Password: 863305

(Alternatively open zoom and use meeting ID Meeting ID: 894 6126 8249 Password: 863305

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

Also feel free to invite your running friends and aspiring runners!

Link to Starting Line:



Urban Swaras Strength Training Session

If I had to put a ‘theme’ to last week it was ‘try something new’. For those of us who joined the Kundalini Yoga session on Wednesday we certainly tried something new, and got stuck into it feet first (kind of obligatory when you’re lying on the floor). I hope all of you found something new to try, whether it’s a new route, a new recipe, or a new way of seeing things. Check out some Swaras doing their ‘thang’ in the Starting Line:

This week, I would say the theme is ‘resilience’. We all need to be resilient in the face of what’s happening, which seems to be changing every day, and affecting us all in very different ways.

Thankfully, our very own Mr Muscles, the man who can’t help but poke holes in all his Swara t-shirts, and who can run an ultra AND accidentally attend a funeral in the same day (long story), is bringing us just what we need to build our resilience:

Body weight strength training session.

This Wednesday 20th May at 6pm (note the slight change in time), via Zoom. No need for any equipment, so all are welcome, just bring your body, some water, your video (please switch on your video to allow for real-time feedback), and clear enough space to do some exercise!

Link to join:

Password:  412137

(Alternatively open zoom and use meeting ID Meeting ID: 835 7070 9295 Password:  412137

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

Also feel free to invite your running friends and aspiring runners!

All the latest news and pictures in this week’s Starting Line:



Urban Swaras Kundalini Yoga session

After three amazing editions of Swara Show & Tell, for which we want to thank Sam Mugoya, Amanda Scoville, and Cheruiyot, we now bring you something altogether different:


Google it if you have to, or just show up this Wednesday 13th May at 6.30pm for a Kundalini Yoga session led by Lydia Limbe, a Swara runner and yogi, also known as Onkar Sangeeta in the Kundalini Yoga world.

This is a must-try. As runners we often get carried away with pounding the tarmac, sometimes neglecting our core, our strength, and the energies that we all have within us that sometimes do us good and sometimes don’t! This extraordinary yoga session will help to strengthen your core and take your mind and your body to new levels.

This really is unmissable. Lydia is an experienced yogi, who has been leading classes on Zoom since the confinement period started. Some important tips below before you log on Wednesday 13th at 6.30pm for the session can be found in this week’s Starting Line:

Link to join: 948248

(Alternatively open zoom and use meeting ID Meeting ID: 881 9671 1980 Password: 948248)
And this week’s Starting Line with some photos and snippets of what Swaras have been up to:


Urban Swaras Show & Tell #3

Dear Swaras,

It’s like every week Swaras come up with new ways to live their best running lives…we had virgin ultras, birthday ultras (run your age, they say), Strava drawings, running with animals, a Swara Show & Tell all the way from the United States, and even a book published by one of our very own! Whatsapp has been flooded with book signing and delivery photos.

So it’s only fitting that our next Swara Show & Tell should feature none other than Cheruiyot himself, the ultra runner, the writer, and even supporter (many of us know him as a great cheerleader and snack-giver when he’s not running). So join us this Wednesday for his Show & Tell, and to honour his achievement with an online Q&A!

Swara Show & Tell #3

Join us at 6.30pm this Wednesday 6th May to hear Cheruiyot tell us about his superhuman running exploits, some of which are detailed in his new book, ‘An Ultra Marathon Story of the Tor Des GΓ©ants’.

Link to join:

Password: 271117

(Alternatively open zoom and use meeting ID Meeting ID: 894-5660-3205 Password: 202617

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

Bringing refreshments is highly encouraged (none will be provided sadly, though the thought has crossed our mind) πŸ™‚

Also feel free to invite your running friends and aspiring runners!


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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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: