Running Tales

Ndeiya & Spring Valley: A Study in Contrast

Lower kabete1Among the many refreshing things about Swara runs is the sheer variety of different places where the runs are staged. In fact, no run is ever like another even when set in the same locality and so for the most part when you line up at the start you really have no idea what to expect. And perhaps the best way to prepare for any run is to first do away with any preconceived ideas of what the run may turn out to be…

Saturday’s run from the Total station on Lower Kabete road was no different. Having done a few runs in the locality, I was fairly confident that it would be on a familiar route and didn’t give much thought to any preparations or provisions to make for the run. But no, the route-meisters had other ideas chief among them to show you some hitherto unexplored parts of this beautiful country as if to shame you for claiming to know the city you live in.

The first part of the run took us through residential areas of Spring Valley, Peponi, Thigiri Ridge, Nyari, etc. After that section, if you were going the long run, you got to? go as far as Lower Kabete, Vet Labs, Loresho, Kyuna and back to the start. In between these inhabited areas were quite a number of interesting places that would make one wonder if they are still within city limits. These included some forested areas, some two streams with crossings over some makeshift bridges, up some steep climbs complete with concrete steps, coffee plantations and even a swamp!

And this is really what reminded me of the Ndeiya run which we did a couple of weeks ago. Apart from the minor challenge of arriving there on time (and not getting lost on the way!), the rest of it was really easy and quite enjoyable too. Just as described by Chairman, this was one run not to miss that delivered as promised: a little off the highway, the first part of the run takes you through a cedar/eucalyptus forest, then a rocky climb with a quarry at the top, before you reach some scrubland that runs along the edge of the escarpment that affords beautiful views of the Rift Valley below, with the Longonot and Suswa calderas visible on the valley floor in the distance. [see pictures courtesy of Erastus Ngatia]longonot & suswa

The thing is that whereas one may naturally expect the countryside run to be a whole lot tougher than the one in the city, the reverse was actually the case. OK, at least that was what I experienced. Granted, I neglected to take the usual precautions of carrying water, energy drink &/or gels for the town run since the longest distance was to be 25km. Little wonder that I was suitably chastised by the relentlessly hot weather and the support that arrived rather late on the last stretch of the run by which point I had resorted to looking for the shaded side of the road to run on! ????

Without a doubt the lesson learnt for me is to always be prepared for any eventuality regardless of where the run is staged. And so until the next one, keep running!