Running Tales

The Nomadic Urban Swara-LESOTHO

LesothoEh  Wena, Swaras! Lesutu is 60% Mountainous and is approximately 13,400 sq km, so that means,  three quarters of Maseru is  made up of  steep hills. So renning in this city izz  neh matata !!

Yes I have  got the colloquial language down to a T …:-). It is also winter in Lesotho and a warm day is -3 degrees and better days get to 0 degrees. Not only is it frosty, it is windy and as a result the Basutu have made the humble blanket an apparel and  an absolute fashion statement. The men and women wear blankets as wraps, to suit their stations in life and yes, they match what they wear, and  also, yes that includes suits!!  I mean who would have thunk?  They either wrap the blankets around their waists or  shoulders and use  fashionable pins  to hold  the blanket.

So  I have been running in Maseru in this dismal temperatures, until I found a running partner! This was the highlight of  my stay  here. The gentle patriarch was in his mid to late sixties and the  President of the Lesotho Farmers Union.

Armed with my long johns, gloves, thermal vest, ear muffs, woolly  skullcap, winter fleece and usual running gear I was ready to meet my running mate. Yes, I know I sound like an over dressed muppet, but come on, this place is so cold and the chances of dying of hypothermia is so high  and  at this point to hell with my usual shine and freeze  policy! So my running mate joins me and all he is wearing is a long sleeved thermal shirt and  leggings, he looks at me and raises his eye brows, but I stand firm and say, “it’s bloody cold out there.” As I said , I did look like a muppet .

So we began our run. The sun had just set and it quickly faded into  darkness, which , was another experience, as I have  never run in the dark before. We literally went through the hills in Maseru ( they were tarmcaked ) and I  had to eat lots of humble pie at my mate’s endurance when he ran up the hills, he ran quite  fast and not once did he pant or stop and all I remember him saying was, “ just another small hill my dear.” You can imagine all the colourful curse words that were going through my mind every time  he said this. I swore not to stop, or whine and literally did a tour around the city in the dark as we ran. I guess there is a first time for everything.

So we did 10kms, got back to the hotel and were both excited at our achievements. Never have I run in so many hills as I have in Southern Africa. So those who were putting the fear of God in me, in regards to the Kerio Valley run, all I can say is bring it on! 😉

Next stop MOZAMBIQUE and I hear  you can eat clams here by the BUCKET!!!!! **Swoons***