Running Tales

A Promise the Chairman Cannot Keep

Swara Ilovoto runI’m constantly enchanted by the beauty of our country, and the adventures of the Urban Swaras that keep unveiling this splendor.

It was a bit of a road trip from Nairobi to Salama, 100km plus of unwinding road towards Nunguni centre. And as we were heading there, you could tell at a glance that the place is hilly and at the same time has beautiful scenery.

We got to Nunguni and as usual the chairman explained the distances, noting that on this run there was no 10km. If you were new, it was baptismal by fire, the longest distance being 42Km. I had already decided I would do 20km together with my running buddy Marion; a distance that turned out to be almost 22km.

Off we started at 8:30am on the dot along the main road with a downhill which was good for warming up the muscles, but a killer when we were finishing. The rubber met the road or vice versa by a gentle climb before branching to the real deal, a downhill section where one guy kept saying when you go down down…. And true to his words it was followed by a climb. At the tip of this hill was a breathtaking scenery of the houses and terraces covered with vegetation for breaking soil erosion. The climb took us through a cool forest, one of the features I enjoy any day on a run.

We ran through streams of fresh water and coffee plantations, which was a surprise. I never thought coffee was grown in this part of the country. Other things I noted were different types of fruits; a very productive place, not to forget the locals who were curious about us. With friendly smiles, they greeted us and inquired where we were from.

More than 2 hours into the run, there was this climb where Marion, Ashok and I were walking, and had no idea what was awaiting ahead. Lo and behold, a beautiful waterfall unfolded, with brown smooth rocks and green carpet of vegetation in layers too real to believe. I forgot my tired legs and enjoyed the scenery.

After the view, we realized that we were in a valley that we must climb out of. And thus a steep ascent followed, burning most of our stored energy, and leaving us with sore muscles  well into the next day. The run back to Nunguni Centre was for the most part uphill, which makes me conclude that the only promise the chairman will never keep is, there will be no hills.

Kudos to the trail fox and the scouting team for a most beautiful run.