At first it seemed like the weather would not cooperate. It had rained most of the night before and the cold drizzle persisted into the early morning. For a minute I feared we would start in pouring rain, a terrible way to begin a long run. But then at some point mother nature looked down upon the shivering runners, many of whom had come to lend their talent by running for a good cause, and relented. A few minutes before the run started, the rain stopped.
(Plagiarism alert: Today’s piece is stolen from better writers than I, including: Rudyard Kipling, Haruki Murakami, Chris McDougall, Raoul Kamadjieu, Jack London and others. Can you tell what is stolen from whom?)
If you can take the worst that Otora can throw at you The hills of Kajiado, the mountains of Iten and the marshes of Kikuyu It you can do a 40K run, and wake up next morning to do a 10K recovery If you can run long after your mind has said your body will die (it’s a lie) If you can do this early on a Saturday morn, when normal humans are asleep And suffer and still come back next week and do it all over again Then yours is the craziness of the trail and the glory of the run And, what is more, you’ll be a true Urban Swara, my friend.
There are many good reasons to take part in the annual Osotua run. Let us start with the scenery. It is simply to die for. If you have not been, may I suggest you stop reading this and check out the photos that Roul posted on the Swaras facebook page. Or, if you like Victor more, here you go.
ACCOUNT OF THE ‘Run2Gether’ RUN – KIJABE
Why our Chairman is like a prophet
The Man had set his phone to beep at 5.45 am, heeding the Chairman’s warning to leave early as the road to Kijabe was likely to be covered in fog. But it was not until 6:30 am that he managed to drag himself out of bed, another sign of his gradual slide to sloppiness, a process that had began three months back.
So it was a mad dash to throw in assorted running kit into the car, grab some sugar water (another recommendation by the Chairman, more on this later) and drive off.
It was billed as a scenic run, with hills, rivers and pipeline. Marked by a professional. It was certainly the first, but not the second. The area where we run, near Kiambu town, is truly scenic. But the marking left something to be desired. It was patchy and in some cases down right Hashy. In fact I began to suspect that, by being away from duty, this was Otora’s way of revenging for all the unchristian things I have thought, or written about him in the past. But who hasn’t?
If one day Kenyans decide to vote for the mother of Kenyan distance running, the winner will not be Mrs Uhuru, impressive as her recent London Marathon outing was.
It will very likely be our very own Joyce Nduku. Fondly known as Tata or ‘The road runner’ in the Swaras/Hash running fraternity, Nduku has redefined the meaning of the word determination and in the process inspired countless other people to join the running movement in Kenya.
Post marathon, I am nursing a flu that was steadily creeping up pre-marathon, and which saw me run with a jacket throughout in order to forestall the effects- it didn’t work. I am therefore a sneezy, nose blowing, coughing mess, and not many people want to hang around me. Left alone with my thoughts, reflections and lemon mixed with ginger-garlic-honey-vodka-turmeric-cardamom, and whatever else anyone suggests, I have a chance to reflect on the Stanchart Nairobi Marathon.