Zinekele: It takes all of you to become a Comrade’s runner. It isn’t lack of better words that the organizers of the Comrades use this catch phrase for the go luck running the Comrades. The meticulous planning, immense discipline, focus, sheer gritty determination and perseverance might not be enough to even get you anywhere near Pietermaritzburg, also known as the City of Choice that sleeps easy on Sunday evenings. But I guess hardly many were sleeping easy on the Sunday of June 4, 2017, when the Gun goes off at 5.30 P.M to signal the final cutoff after 12 hours of toil and pain.
This run took place on 30th April 2017, three weeks back, but it is one timeless run so I’ll still give a bit of my experience.
Voi is the farthest swara run out of Nairobi, it is also one of the two 3 day odysseys; Day one you arrive, day two you run the main course, day three you leave. The other one such run is Fluorspar. Heading to Voi is a breeze, you can drive, carpool or take a bus. You’ll travel through the wildlife corridors where you’ll generally be able to spot an Elephant and other wildlife.
About two years ago, I was in my infancy of running. To me, running in circles at the Jaffery Sports Club was the height of achievement then. Doing about 12 laps which translated to about 10km, used to be the longest distance I could run.
Those people who normally pass by Voi town on their way to Mombasa or to the rest of the coast know a few things about this town. The town is small but very busy and is way ahead of Nairobi and other towns in their quest to become 24-hour economies. The town is also surrounded by towering and scenic hills that wink and make seductive calls to hikers and runners alike. A number of Swaras known to me had in the past confessed to me about an insatiable lust for an affair with those hills whenever they passed by Voi, and if and when an opportunity would arise, they would consummate this desire.
Date: 18th of March 2017
Venue: Castle Mountain lodge, Mt. Kenya
Nairobi to Kutus 120 kms, Kutus to Rukenya 4 kms. At Rukenya, you’ll get onto a comely traffic shy road for a steady upward 16kms drive from an altitude of around 1300 metres to the Castle Station gate and a further 4 kms of forest dirt road to the Castle Mountain Lodge sitting at 2057 m asl.
Graceland girls’ school opened doors to its pioneer class in 2007 and had its first candidate class in 2010, it is a one stream close knit school in which out of 30 students per class, an average of 5 are fully sponsored. A total of 50 students have so far been beneficiaries of the annual run proceeds… The school is neatly tucked away by a river in Chaka, Nyeri County, at the foot of the ever watchful Mt. Kenya.
Graceland is also the upcountry digs of one Wachira Nderitu’s family, a Swara himself, and founder of the school.
Highlights of the year; that’s what I see all over on TV, Papers and other forms of media, social and antisocial. It being the seasonal fad, who am I to be left behind? So idling away the dying hours of 2016, I reckon it’s not the worst idea to idle away mulling over a little running. So if you find this long, unhurried and random it is because it is long, unhurried and random.