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The run took place on 29th July. Third time for me. First was back in 2015 as a newbie swara still cutting teeth in matters running. Fluorspar humbled me then. I went back in 2016, wiser this time and managed to conquer the tarmac to tarmac.
My plan for 2017 was to re-conquer tarmac to tarmac faster than in 2016; for comfort that I was improving as a runner and as a training run for a marathon I have in September. Then injury happened.
After a week of recovery during which I did not know what to say about the Fluorspar run, I finally have the courage to recount what was an odyssey against gravity.
Seems like there’s a lynch mob baying for the blood of the 2016 Fluorspar Swaras as a result of their post run hush-hush… slow down, here is one account…
It seems like everyone has gone quiet about the Fluorspar run. I wonder why? My experience is that it was a really eventful run, on and off the trail and one not to be missed. This was my first one.
In the first place I really needed this run to build training for my marathon in October. I broke all rules to be there, but I wouldn’t want to disclose those particular details!
Five days later, I finally have the courage to narrate my tormented story, from the bottom of Kerio Valley, amidst the fluorspar mines. It’s an annual event in Urban Swaras running calendar, billed as a relatively hard run and a must experience for every Urban Swara. We departed Nairobi and travelled to Sego Lodge on Friday, in dramatic fashion. A morning meeting in my office took longer than I’d expected, and I was the designated driver. Rather than leave before 11am, I was still shuffling papers at my desk at 2pm. Thereafter, a traveling companion wasn’t at his pick up point as agreed, and despite waiting on the roadside for a further 10 minutes, I had to leave without him. He’d later hail a ‘boda boda’, catching up minutes later, as I was picking others at Gitaru. The Gitaru group had been waiting by the road since 11am.
I have long shied away from participating in the flagship endurance runs (Magadi and Fluorspar) because I simply didn’t believe I had the mettle for it yet – and I was probably right. In 2014, I went along to Magadi, but only to drive route support on the day.
It’s now 48 hrs after this misadventure and as I write this critique, the word experience keeps coming back to me.
- Involvement in, participation in, contact with, acquaintance with, exposure to, observation of, awareness of, insight into …a thing
- undergo, encounter, meet, come into contact with, come across, come up against, face, be faced with…a thing
Nineteen of us, Ashok, Wahome, Faith Chepkwony, Noelle Keitany, Dr. Owuor, Okoma, Naibei, Otora, Ferrah, Waliaula, Peter (someone), Katwa, Marcel, Makhulo, Onduko, Mitch, Geraldine, Dwight and I made it to the Sego Safari Lodge in the Rift Valley for the 2014 Fluorspar run.
I decided to sight see en route to the venue. I stopped at the Kenol petrol station in Fly-Over market and enjoyed the view of lake Naivasha and Mt. Longonot while sipping good coffee and shooting pictures. In Nakuru we ate lunch and purchased products and fruits at the Nakumatt. Thereafter, we stopped somewhere up the hill near Kabarnet town and enjoyed the view of Lakes Baringo and Bogoria. Some 10km to the Lodge, we stopped at the Chebloch Gorge on river Kerio and watched youngsters dive some fifty meters into the river, at a fee from spectators.
After having seen the scenic photos of the Fluorspar Run, you do not have a complete re-cap story of the run. When we started the journey to Fluorspar, everyone was very excited and full of energy as it tells in the photos. I joined just for sightseeing because i was only going to run 10km only but ended up on a different mission altogether.