The Fluorspar Run- Take two

Seems like there’s a lynch mob baying for the blood of the 2016 Fluorspar Swaras as a result of their post run hush-hush… slow down, here is one account…

Kerio 2016The fluorspar run is ideally a 3 day odyssey. For lack of a better explanation, look at it like a sandwich…the run practically being the stuff between your to and fro road trips.

Day 1

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My Memories of Fluorspar Run

Fluospar run 2016

Image courtesy of Davis Munene

It seems like everyone has gone quiet about the Fluorspar run. I wonder why? My experience is that it was a really eventful run, on and off the trail and one not to be missed. This was my first one.

In the first place I really needed this run to build training for my marathon in October. I broke all rules to be there, but I wouldn’t want to disclose those particular details!

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Tales From The Bottom Of Kerio Valley; A Villager Goes On Tour

Kerio Run 2016

Image Courtesy of Davis Munene

Five days later, I finally have the courage to narrate my tormented story, from the bottom of Kerio Valley, amidst the fluorspar mines. It’s an annual event in Urban Swaras running calendar, billed as a relatively hard run and a must experience for every Urban Swara. We departed Nairobi and travelled to Sego Lodge on Friday, in dramatic fashion. A morning meeting in my office took longer than I’d expected, and I was the designated driver. Rather than leave before 11am, I was still shuffling papers at my desk at 2pm. Thereafter, a traveling companion wasn’t at his pick up point as agreed, and despite waiting on the roadside for a further 10 minutes, I had to leave without him. He’d later hail a ‘boda boda’, catching up minutes later, as I was picking others at Gitaru. The Gitaru group had been waiting by the road since 11am.

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Run at Berra Hotel

urban swaras imageThe run staged from Berra Hotel was a run to remember.

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Inaugural Olepolos Run: Battle of Wits Against a Formidable Trail!

olepolos shem2Amazing scenes were witnessed yesterday in Olepolos when the Swaras descended on the sleepy town of Kisamis in a convoy of vehicles. No doubt the locals must have known that there was something major in the offing with wave upon wave of vehicles arriving bearing their unsuspecting passengers…

Although the run was to kick off at 7.30am, most had arrived well before that time and were huddled in groups catching up as they waited for the off. A chilly morning it was and we could barely make out Ngong hills, obscured by thick mist, in whose shadow the run is set.

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Uncovering the Victoria Falls Marathon Facade

VFmaralandscapeQuite some coincidence that I’m writing this supposedly ‘fulfilling’ marathon experience just after reading about the dangers and folly of marathons. You may call them naysayers; don’t, the article is absolutely true…I’m already thinking that once I get sufficiently scared, I’ll drop this marathon craze and redirect my energies to a grander substitute; Ultra marathons…:)

Moving on to the marathon at hand.

With the running bug having bitten quite deep, Victoria Falls marathon was a natural contender for marathons to conquer in 2016, its case strongly seconded by past mouthwatering tales of the run and the extras on offer.

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YOU SHOW ME YOURS I’LL SHOW YOU MINE

(AN ACCOUNT OF THE 2016 STOCKHOLM MARATHON)

This one started as a typical schoolyard fight between Hector and I. You know the type, where boys will fight each other to defend important things, like the following:

Hector: Mine is bigger

Ndungu: Mine is longer

Hector: Really? But I bet mine is more popular with the ladies

Ndungu: Oh, yes! Says who?

The upshot of all this was a truce, the famous school yard peace treaty:

Hector: I’ll show you mine if you will show me yours

Ndungu: Deal! (Imagine an electronic ‘pinky swear’ here)

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Chairman’s Run – My Experience

Magadi run 2016It is said: Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make your own.

Well, yesterday I proved that I have lived long enough. First, I ignored all the tell-tale signs the universe was sending me- my running watch died last week, and I l forgot my music on the table in the house on the morning of the run. I am one of those people with an unhealthy attachment to my watch and my music while running.

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Chairman’s Run

Mbarire at Magadi runYesterday Chairman’s run lived up to its expectations of being one of the most difficult runs in the Swara Calendar.  It used to be the most difficult but that top spot has been taken by the Illovoto Run.

Swaras came with the intent of conquering the Magadi…. some were humbled and others conquered…. Some came seeking to redeem themselves after Illovoto and redeem themselves they did.   It is at this run last year that Naibei fell ill while attempting  a 40 km.  Yesterday, he was back and he completed the full 40 km. Way to go Naibei.

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IZOKUTHOBA! – It Will Humble You –

Waliaula at Comrades2016-1It has been billed by many as the ultimate single-day running challenge, bar none. Yours truly couldn’t agree more after a firsthand humbling experience of running the 89km Comrades Marathon last Sunday. You have got to reach far and wide to find a race that can provide such a spectacle of the invincible power of the human spirit.

In preparation for the race, I had put in the hard yards once I comfortably completed a 60KM up and down run of the infamous fluorspar run, four weeks out to race day. However, nothing can prepare you well enough for a 90km run and as D-day approached, there was some sense of apprehension of perhaps being too ambitious in entering this race in the backdrop of my maiden ultra-marathon (Two Oceans Marathon), barely 2 months earlier.

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