Running Tales

Maggie’s Run on 3 Sept

Date: September 3, 2011

The weather was perfect for a run, not too cold and with the sun struggling to appear on the horizon.

The chosen grounds were also just so right with no traffic as most of the crowd was fast asleep after a lazy free Friday afternoon and a Friday night spent (I’m sure) partying away at least part of the just received monies…

Unlike the 30 + crowd that appeared for the IDD Run this time we had about 10 or so people all looking ready for the run no matter the kilometers.

Mention must be made of one who appeared complete with mittens, a woolly cap and warm running pants…and ‘the one’ run all the way in that outfit…a remarkable fit indeed in the Kenyan weather.

The route was clearly marked up to a certain point and those doing the 10km half way through the route suddenly realized there was no markings leading home. A decision therefore had to be quickly made. That is, should they go back the route they came and end up doing upto 14kms? Or, do they proceed using the previous directions once mapped for that route? I think you know the decision made and so, sweating, limping, breathing in an out in slow paced gasps, a group of about 6 Urban Swaras dedicatedly made their way back to the starting using no markings. They say women have no sense of direction and can’t use maps – a lie! There were no maps yet the mental maps made on the previous runs were indelibly inked in their minds. 3 cheers to the Urban Swaras intelligent & logical female crowd! Hip hip hooray. Hip hip hooray hip hip horaaaaaaay!

While on their way back, 2 runners doing the longer route passed by wearing the distinctly red outfits that seemed to mark the running attire for the day. 3 or so of the group of 10km saw them pass and waved and said brief ‘hi’s’ but the rest claimed the 18-20kms group did not bother to say hi and they only witnessed the passing of some ‘swift wind colored red’.

There was the brave individual doing 30km and as she run ahead, the route marker was still marking the route! You can be sure he added some kms to that route just to encourage the individual to run on. And she finished well within good time with wild cheers from the URB’s who had already finished their route. (Here’s a Women’s Day article!) Bravo! – to the female running crowd.

The sharing after the run was the most fun part as we heard from different quarters what the run was all about. I must add before continuing that some finished the race, changed their outfits and looked as fresh as ever even though no showers were taken! And we are a very beautiful and handsome lot.

Then came the discussions on the run and that endless road that looked like it would never end – Ruaka Road? Notes were compared with those from other European countries that is Holland and the UK.  These were seasoned runners and we were able to understand a good deal about the running conditions in these countries as they related their experiences of running various full marathons. (It should be noted that the Swaras are well represented from different African countries and Europe & the Americas. Thumbs up must be given to the dedicated Cameroonian crowd)

Worth mentioning is that one of them will be going home for good this week and we do know with the high altitude training, the speed of our urban antelopes, good nutritional organic food, this will no doubt make her a rising star in the Netherlands.

Famished after the run, the one thing we all looked out for was ‘mandazis’ and there was none. There were exclamations’ of dismay from most of the Urban Swara crowd as this was an unheard of thing. It was jointly agreed that samosas & sausages which were available was a no go zone and so most of the crowd decided to suffer in silence as we drank our cold water. It must be noted that the normal URB snacks of fruit, fresh juice, mandazis and the likes were NOT available and thus many of us left the premises with growling stomachs. All that had been packed into the Mt Kenya run food package – as if the Maggie run Swaras didn’t exist – shame! Lucky them! Mention must be made of one Swara who had to have a complete breakfast of tea, eggs & finger licking bread and my, wasn’t the smell tantalizing.

Nevertheless the URB’s who have hosted before promised that had the run been from their premises such a thing would never have happened and have promised to once again make up for it in the future.

During the sharing we found out that the Mwea Run on the 10th of Sept would be starting at 730am and not 10am as earlier announced. The coordinator made it very very very clear that those NOT there by 530am will be left behind. And there was no smile in this announcement. It was a take it or leave it situation from our often kind & tenderhearted official.  So Urban Swaras make sure u are there on time!

See you all at the Mwea Rice Paddy Fields!