Parting Words

Jorunn Goeransson, Sweden, January 5, 2017

Dear Swaras,

I joined you for running in the beginning of October 2016. As an exchange student, first time in Nairobi (and Kenya and Africa) it was not very easy to find good routes for running. Looking back at my four months in the city, joining the Swaras really improved my stay and my impression of Nairobi. I am very grateful to you all, good people, for welcoming me warmly to the Swara family.

I wish you all the best for 2017 and hope to see you again, either in Nairobi or any other marathon around the world.

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Glenda Siegrist, US – July 20, 2016

Dear Swaras..

It has been a great pleasure to have the opportunity to run with many of you,if even for a word of encouragement as you passed me.  I looked forward to Saturday AM to be able to run with a group of great and inspiring people.  Thanks to those who plan and organize the trips, the routes, the food and other details.

I”m off to the US for vacation and the probably off to Juba, unless the environment stays bad. When I”m through Nairobi again, I’ll put in for a Saturday run with you.

Thanks and blessings to all.  Stay healthy. Run well.

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Ariel Zirulnick, US – January 16, 2016

Today was my last run with you guys because I’m moving back to the US on Wednesday. I just wanted to write to say thank you for the great routes and good company for the last year! It made it easy (sort of) to wake up at 5:30 am most Saturdays 🙂

If anything takes you to Miami, where I’m moving, drop me a line!

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Annabel Harford, UK – July 8, 2015

… my family & I will be returning to UK in August back to our home city of Bath.

I can truly say, without a doubt, that running with the Swaras has been my number 1 highlight of living in Kenya. So many interesting & challenging runs, and so many wonderful people who understand my addiction to running! Just remember – we are the sane ones. Those who do not run are missing out on life’s natural high.

I am sure I will be back to visit & I will certainly join the Swaras again when I do (Naivasha relay 2016 / Lewa full 2017??)… And, please, if any of you find yourselves in the lovely South West of the UK, come and run with me there – and with my running club Team Bath.

Hope to see lots of you this Saturday.

Running is living – absolutely. All the very best and thank you all.

Annabel

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Adrien Henry, Belgium – July 25, 2014

Dear Swaras,

Although it’s been a while since I last ran with you (more because of travels than laziness, I promise!), I’d just like to sincerly thank you all for the great fun we had together, the amazing sceneries we crossed and the extremely friendly welcome I received by all of you.

I’ll particularly remember the incredible Kilimajaro Marathon with the beautiful massive peak in the background, and which I strongly recommend to anyone who hasn’t experienced it yet.

I’m now based in Joburg and will start exploring the running paths of South Africa, so if any of you passes by just shout and I’ll be happy to hit the road together.

I’ll see you soon,

Adrien

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Kimberly Behrman – US – July 22, 2014

Dear Swaras,

After 3 wonderful years in Nairobi, today I’m heading back to the US for grad school. And I want to thank all of you for making my time in Kenya so fantastic.

When I started running, it didn’t come naturally to me and I just didn’t like it all that much. That changed when I joined the Swaras. The trails and camaraderie that are so signature Urban Swaras helped me fall in love with running. Saturday mornings have become the highlight of my week, and I’m so grateful to have explored Kenya through running with all of you. Special thanks to Otora and the whole CRE team for scouting and planning routes that introduced me hidden trails and incredible views that I would have never seen otherwise.

Thanks to all of you for your constant encouragement and advice about all things running. And of course, thank you for the company on long runs, for inspiring me push the pace a little faster, and for helping navigate when those chalk marks get confusing. There’s no way I would have had the guts to run Two Oceans (or sign up for my first 80km race this November…), if it wasn’t for the Swaras support.

I will miss the Swaras so much, but hope that you get in touch if you’re ever passing through New York! I will definitely be back to visit Kenya too, so this is more of a see-you-later than goodbye 🙂

All the best,
Kimmie
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Richard Lebon, UK – May 29, 2014

Dear Swaras,

After a short eight months in Nairobi, I am moving on – but just a quick message to say thanks for your wonderful welcome and kindness over this time, you have made my time in Kenya a real pleasure.

And if you are ever in the UK, let me know – indeed, remember to check out http://www.cityjoggingtours.com/, run by a friend of mine, and a great way to see London – I’ll try and join you for a run!

Good luck with all your upcoming races and adventures, and I will look forward to running with you all again sometime…

Richard Lebon
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Daniel Lams, Sweden – April 8, 2014

Thank you all for the beautiful runs I got together with you, and especially all the support at Nairobi marathon last year. I will go home to Sweden now And run Stockholm marathon and in the future I will come back and run Lewa marathon together with you. Thank you all!

Daniel from Sweden

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Andrew Brown, US – March 18, 2014

Lucy,

Thank you and please pass along a big thank you to Albert, who helped in my training on Feb. 15!! I did my half marathon in Virginia, USA on Sunday, and completed it in a time of 1:32 and 13 seconds. I was very pleased with the result as I was aiming for 1:40. I give a lot of credit to the Urban Swaras training run! I think it helped bring my time down about 10 minutes.

Here is a photo from post-race with my wife (who also ran). There were just under 9,000 runners in the race, I finished #216. The winner was a native Kenyan at 1:04.

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Hamish Mcfarlane, Australia – January 9, 2014

Dear Swaras,

Happy new year to you all. Some good and bad news for you, the bad news is that we won’t be back to Nairobi to live this year as planned. The good news is that Sarah is 14 weeks pregnant, and still running if a bit slower and shorter than usual.

We will at some point in the future be back for an extended stay, so don’t forget us, we will be Swaras again.

In the meantime I have signed up to the Mt Solitary Ultra Marathon (trail race) which is in the mountains outside Sydney for my next race in April. I look forward to it as it is surprisingly remote with no support at all for the first 25km not even water.

We wish you all the best for the coming year and will follow the amazing Swara exploits on the emails.

Cheers,

Hamish and Sarah.

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Hamish Mcfarlane, Australia – September 25, 2013

Sydney Marathon 2013

My heart and thoughts are with you all and Nairobi. My condolences to those of you who have lost or injured loved ones. Sarah and I have been in shock all week seeing and hearing what has happened (Re: Westgate incident).

It was with great pride that I pulled on my Urban Swaras shirt Sunday morning to run the Sydney Marathon, I finished in 3:36:44, a great result! More so considering I ran a 30km trail race in 32degC heat called the Coastal Classic two weeks prior in 3:46 and was really pushing recovery between races. The marathon mostly went to plan, I was targeting 3:30’ish, it was a warm day and I think if was a little cooler the leg cramps may have not happened in the last 7km and I would have been much closer to 3:30. Regardless, I am very happy with the result.

The men’s marathon winner was Kenyan Willy Kibor Koitile 2:13:48. In the women’s Kenyan Irene Mogaka ran third 2:38:20, beaten by two Ethiopians.

Take care Swaras and best of luck to those of you taking on the Chairman’s Magadi challenge!

Cheers,

Hamish

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Avani Patel, Kenya – July 3, 2013

From a “Fool” to a “Full”

My First marathon; this is an absolute dream come true. I can only say that without the support and encouragement of the URBAN SWARAS this would have not been possible.

I would like to thank Kimmie in pushing me to go for it, Alix for being an amazing training partner– who ran 8 weeks with me, Trail fox and Ajaa for designing amazing routes.

Special thanks to my husband Niraj for running the last 5 km at Lewa with me (despite the fact that i wanted to outrun him so that he wouldn’t say ALMOST THERE UHHHH ).

Best part was the cheering committee at the toughest 38km — Jael, Nadine, Francesca, her boys  and Ameet ( anyone else if i left you out).

The first loop of the marathon was quite annoying having to dodge all the other runners to get ahead. But in some ways that was good thing — I had to save my energy for the 2nd round.

The 2nd loop took longer but the beauty was being on the trail tracks all alone with nature was the best part. I got to see only zebras in the 2nd loop. My ultimate focus was to RUN the whole way. it was head down and go go go and tackle the hills.

Fellow Swaras, if Avani can do it, you all can. I nominate
Susan Okoma
Lucy
May
Liz
Pauline
Surinder
ALL OF YOU CAN DO IT

A special thanks to Lucy, Nduku and Jael for arranging the catering staff who did a wonderful job.
SWARA SPIRIT
KEEP ON RUNNING

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Erick Sile, South Africa – June 3, 2013

Swaras,

I completed my second Comrades yesterday in 10:31. Solid performance thanks to the solid base built while training with the Swaras 3 years ago in Nairobi. Swaras, you can all do this. I enjoyed the up run much more than the down run last year.

See you next year for 2014 Comrades down run.

Cheers
Erick

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Josephine Lamshed, Australia – April 25, 2012

Dear Urban Swaras

Well, I am down to my last five days in Kenya.  I am not sure exactly where these three years went, but they have been unforgettable.  I can say I have lived life here to the fullest and have experienced extraordinary highs and lows, but somehow even the difficult times turned into positive experiences.  I truly do feel so lucky to have had the chance to live in Kenya and learn so much about Africa.  And I’d so much rather be feeling sad (than happy) to leave.

Right from the first time Mutua brought me to Ocean’s Pub, I was hooked. Since then through the Swaras, I’ve seen so many beautiful places, met so many intelligent and interesting people, and had the opportunity to push myself mentally and physically.  Some of you have gone on to become my closest friends in Nairobi.  Almost every aspect of my personal life in Kenya is somehow linked back to the Swaras. The Swaras were the best group of people I met in Kenya, your willingness to get our there and give triathlon a try confirmed it!

I am taking a long holiday, then starting work in Canberra, the capital city of Australia, from August.  You can catch me at this email address.

I’ll miss those kids on hydrate-or-die calling out Mzungu, Mzungu, how are yooooo?  But maybe you can tell them from me, I am (Jose)fine!

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Rixt Bode, Netherlands – April 19,2012

Thanks and goodbye!

Dear Swaras,

For those of you who did not know, this is just to tell you that I am leaving Kenya tomorrow, after a 6 weeks deployment to our country office. I have really enjoyed my time here and that is not the least because I found you and could join you for the Saturday runs over the past weeks. I guess I have been really lucky, being able to go to Longonot, Maanzoni, Amit’s house, and last week seeing the left, right and centre of Ngong.

You are a great and very pleasant group to join, and I have started a big promotion campaign among my colleagues. I will continue running when I am back in The Netherlands and for a while will certainly enjoy the flatness of my country, but I am sure that after a few times I will long back to the hills of Kenya and certainly to you.

Keep up the running and I hope to see you shining at the podium of the Amsterdam marathon one day!

Best wishes.

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Gunnar Kraft, Sweden – February 5, 2012

Thanks for inspiration.

Dear all,

I want to thank you all for a few years of running together with Swaras. It has been an inspiration for me to come back and be a bit more stringent with running. I have been a member of different running clubs/groups over the years but I have never met a team as Swaras. Keep up that spirit and the Urban Swaras will defintely be the best running club south of Sahara and north of Limpopo!

I move to Dar in March and welcome you for running in Dar whenever you pass by.

Hope to see you sooner or later.

Cheers

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Erick Sile, South Africa – December 3, 2010

Dear Swaras

I wish to thank everyone who made it to my farewell run. Special thanks to the
organizers of that great event last Saturday. Many thanks as well for all the
kind words of encouragement by email, sms or through phone conversations.
I was truly honored to have met all of you. I will miss running with the Swaras
on Saturday mornings; all the motivation, fun, laughter, pushing, etc. that made
me improve my personal best.
Please give me a shout if you are ever in Joburg. I would be happy to take you
through some nice hilly routes here. Once I settle, I may even think about
organizing a Joburg Swara event. For all of you running the 2 oceans or the
comrades, you are all welcome to “camp” in my house (when I find a house).

Thank you and keep running!

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