Running Tales

My Account of the Galleria Run

galleria Shopping MallDate: May 4, 2013

Ajaa keeps a mean pace uphill and the run from Serena to the corner of Mbaazi road was thirsty work. We were very happy to find the water guy waiting for us. But, wait! He was in the wrong place. His location, short of the planned corner of James Gichuru and Convent Drive, meant some runners would miss the water point entirely. Distance running is as much a mental as it is a physical event. Missing a water point when you expected one can destroy your spirit as nothing else can. Ajaa and I really felt it for the 25K runners. But the run has to go on. So we each grabbed a bottle of water, shook our heads sadly and ran on.

But, just a minute – I got ahead of myself. Actually behind myself as I am still talking about Francesca’s run last week while I was meant to critique the Galleria run on Saturday May 4th.

This one went off with hardly a hitch. OK, ‘hardly’ is a bit of an exaggeration.

The Chairman was away. Tata, sans the infernal whistle, was in command. No water point hiccups this time. Tata made sure of that through an ingenious innovation.

Carry your own water! She yelled at the start.

Since I stopped wearing my water, I now like to carry it in my hum.., er, stomach, like a Camel. But this time I took a bottle, just in case. It turned out not to be necessary as the weather was very kind.

And so a sizable herd of Swara’s started off, up through Karen road and into Karen proper. The FRB’S (Otora et al.) took off like shots out of a canon and quickly disappeared into the horizon; never to be seen again…until the end. The rest of us mortals followed at a more Earthly pace.

The run was fairly well marked, though not as well as the last one. The hare seems to have started off enthusiastically, placing chalk marks every half K or so. But, somewhere near the Giraffe center, he lost all interest and decided to mark the rest of the route from a helicopter.

All the turnings, however, were clearly marked, which was good enough for me. In any case, for those who did the long, when we hit Kajiado County, there was only one way to go. Left on Magadi road and back home.

Those hills after exiting Rongai Nation were real killers. And who knew they were so many?

But I was determined to finish on the hoof, or at least in a half alive state. This I did. The promised 25K turned out to be 22K (Otora must be losing his mojo). But, with the wind/hill factor, it felt more like 30K, so I am not complaining.

So a bunch of sweaty and tired Urban Swaras limped back into Galleria. Emotions were mixed, but there was no hiding the general feeling of acomplishment..

It is always interesting to listen to people’s conversations at the end of a long or difficult run. The subject always falls into two categories:

Self-congratulation – wohoo! I did it!

Or self-condemnation – never again!

I was glad to note, again, that for most of the Swaras it is often more of the former than the later.

Some of us cooled off quickly and so we repaired to Java for warm victuals, mostly tea and coffee.

When you order tea at Java, they give you a long spoon with which to stir the sugar. For a strange reason this has always reminded me of supping with the devil – and the need to carry a long spoon. Not that I would know how that feels like, seeing as I have never dinned with the said gentleman.

But their Ethiopian coffee is heavenly. You must try it when you get there. I am talking about Java.

I left most of the Swaras at Galleria as I had to attend to other business. But again I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Alas, I have to go back to Juba as duty calls.

Till next time -thank you all for a good run.

Happy trails!