Running Tales

Maasai Lodge – Reliving Childhood

Maasai Lodge PoolSo, why exactly do you leave a warm bed to get up very early on a Saturday morning and head out to a Swara run? Is it because:

a) you are a fitness freak and someone lied to you that running is up there with the best forms of exercise? 😉
b) you have some pent up steam from work during the week that needs to be worked off before the weekend can start?
c) you need to pay for Friday night’s indiscretions or perhaps make advance payment for the excesses that are bound to happen over the weekend?
d) you love the idea of trying to decipher chalk-marks on the ground and subsequently following them over all manner of terrains in all weather?
e) you really have nothing better to do on any given Saturday morning so why not do it just for kicks?
f) None of the above.
g) All of the above.

Well, whatever your reasons I am just about to add yet one more. I have always held the opinion that what we invariably find ourselves doing as a running club every week must seem quite odd or even positively irrational to the casual observer. However, before anyone calls the nearest shrink for some group therapy, I believe that there may be indeed some method to the madness.

For you see, yesterday’s run was one of those that really makes you question your sanity. Granted, it was an excellent setting, some fairly flat terrain and the weather was just perfect for a long run. And besides all that, the longest distance was going to be 25Km, so there really didn’t seem to be anything much to forewarn the unsuspecting crew of what lay lurking this particular morning…

The first half of the run was innocuous enough, but trust the CRE and their trusty point man Otora to conjure something guaranteed to upset the day’s proceedings. As it had rained the night before, there were some long muddy stretches alternating with puddles that any hope of finishing the run quickly with ease were quickly washed away with all the flood waters. From then on it degenerated to some sort of dance without a formula and not unlike the performance by a novice skater the first day on the ice rink!

But such is the quirk of nature that when one finds oneself in a sticky situation you quickly learn to grin and bear it. Having accepted one’s unhappy fate and forgetting everything about time, splits or paces the event then took on a brighter outlook. And I’ll let you in on a little secret here: when clods of mud cling to your shoes and they then seem about five times heavier, there is no better way of getting rid of them than wading through the nearest pool of water!

And so it goes that yours truly got a rare opportunity to relive his youth. Back in the day, before paved roads and paths became the norm [or at least more common] and the typical mode of getting from point A to B involved much legwork, the rainy season was fraught with many possibilities of a tangle in the mud that weren’t entirely unwelcome to any average lad until you got home to face the music…

So yes, where else can one go back in time and behave like the youngster you once were running around without a care in the world? For all you know, perhaps such rare opportunities are the elixir of youth for those who would remain young at heart. They say that there is a boy in every man, so why not let him out to play? At least anyway that is what I did and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

And now that we are on the subject, tell me about your childhood. I am all ears…