First I shall ask that you forgive me as I’m not a very good writer. Where do I begin; “oh yes”, Mt. Kenya ultra run which was the ultimate mind test. To spice things up, our very able and active Swara chairman decided that unless you did 45kms, there would be no medal. Anyway Mt Kenya came and I not only finished, but I also got a medal (story for another day). The next day as I prepared to leave for Nairobi, and I’m requested to give my very good friend Elvis a ride, which I gladly accepted. As we drove back from Karatina, I started telling Elvis how I was going to take a break and catch up with my sleep and cold beer for the next few weeks. Elvis asks me why I was not registering for the Stanchart Marathon. Well, we parted ways with my last comment being” I will think about it”.
The following week after my recovery run, I go to Kariakim and tell him I have decided to run the Stanchart full marathon, (you should have seen the look on his face) and the first thing he asked me is do I know how long am supposed to rest after running a full 45kms. My response was that is why am here to make sure my body is getting the right service. So he took out a pen and drew a program for the next 4 weeks which I was to follow to the letter, if I was to be ready for marathon. So for the next few weeks, Kariakim became my second home, besides my weekly and weekend runs.
Then came 28th October 2018 and it was race day. I got up at 4am, prepared myself and in no time we were at the start line waiting to be flagged off. At exactly 7am we were off and in my mind I was just remembering the Mombasa road loop, people had talked about it so much, I was not even thinking about the first 21kms of the race. My plan was, maintain a pace between 5.30 and 6 and for sure I would finish in 4hr and 30mins. For the first 15-18kms things were good, then I hit Upperhill and realized I had slowed down to a 6:45 pace, but I was still ok because I could already see that I would break my 21k PB for last year of 2hr 8mins. Half way mark and am 2hrs and 5mins, and am saying to myself, good job Martin, you are doing well.
Then as I approached the 21 / 42k split and the first person I meet was David Thuo who offers me a Mellon, man that was very refreshing. No sooner had I taken the Mellon then I turned and saw the Mombasa road stretch. Oh my, what a site! Not a single car in sight; just yellow, red and blue t-shirts at a distance, and I said to myself this is where the race starts. Then I remembered one Eliud Kip, the world record holder’s words; “with the human mind anything is possible” and that gave me the courage to move on. As I run the first loop am like it’s not so bad and all is going well. Then I get to Eka hotel and I meet Ndegwa who gives me something which all I can say gives me some good energy to move on. At this point I’m looking at my watch and can see I’m approaching the 30km mark. I kept moving until I got to Nyayo roundabout for my 2nd loop and that is where things just took a turn for the worse cause in my mind I’m saying I have to go back again all the way…and at this point my legs are telling me we are now ready for a break. From then on it was run-walk until I met Loise (Total petro station) and told her my calves needed that deep heat spray so badly. After a quick fix, I was back on the road, but in my mind, I am saying I can’t wait to reach Ndegwa again so he can give that quick fix again. I got to him and he already could see from my face that I could not wait for my next dose. That stretch from Eka Hotel to the turn off was the longest and loneliest part of the whole race and I can tell you I was contemplating calling it a day. After the turn off I meet Davis and I tell him I will finish this race, so I run-walk until I meet Ngatia at Capital center. Ngatia had paced me during one of my training runs, so he knew that I needed company, and he tells me I have come to look for you so I can pace you to the finish line. I felt as if I had been given a new lease of energy. From there on it was running all the way until the finish line, only to find out that I had actually done 43kms in a sub 5.
Stanchart was a great experience with a lot of lessons leant, but the most important of them all, believe in yourself and never give up. I would like to thank all the people who were involved in my long journey to club 42.
Would I run the Nairobi Stanchart again “NO” .