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Starting Line 19th October 2020

Last week saw Swaras being mistaken for primates, at Karen Primate Research Centre: swinging, jumping, singing, shouting, and malarkeying about, just the way we like it! Thanks to all who came and made it such a special run. This week, on Saturday 24th October, we’ll be running from KEFRI, in Muguga, see full details, and beautiful photos from last week as always in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/MKIFjlZr62g5gFLr?ref=Link and you can register here: https://forms.gle/NYdg9GUJTTW4TNMw5

We also resume Swara online sessions, with a very special guest in the form or Michael Nawari, telling us about the important lessons he’s learned from running, and how they translate into shaping him into the person, community leader, family member and professional he is today. Don’t miss this inspiring talk, this Wednesday.

Tune in this Wednesday 21st October at 6.15pm, for Show & Tell with Michael Nawari, and Swara running trivia with Ameet Shah!

Full info in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/MKIFjlZr62g5gFLr?ref=Link

#SwarasEverywhere

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Urban Swaras Starting Line 12th October – Run 570 from Karen Primate Research Centre

After what feels like decades, this weekend saw the resumption of Swara club runs, and the look of tiredness and satisfaction on the faces of those who hit the trail for this first run back says it all! I’ve never seen people so eager to chase hills and hunt out the next white chalk arrow. What a trail it was! Waterfalls, rivers, some stepping stones that made more than a few of us wobble; it truly lived up to expectations! And it was amazing to see so many new faces, we hope to see you again soon!See the Starting Line for full details on this week’s run from the Karen Institute of Primate Research (housed within Oloolua Forest): https://sway.office.com/8lFW41BdOm217gkA?ref=LinkPlease note, there will be no Swara online session this week, but we will resume next week!Photos from the running week gone by, and full details on the Saturday 17th October Run from Karen Primate Research Centre in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/8lFW41BdOm217gkA?ref=Link#TheProofIsInThePrimat

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Urban Swaras Starting Line 5th October – BIG NEWS

A huge congratulations is in order for one of our own…Eliud! No, not the Eliud we all followed on TV, our own Eliud, Eliud Chemweno. He completed a 100-km all-bypasses ultra marathon this Sunday 5th October, but whilst many have completed or attempted this, Eliud completed it in a phenomenal time, and did so to raise money for needy young people, to offer financial relief for education. We also congratulate the host of Africa runners that dominated the 2020 elite-only London marathon, I know there were celebrations across Nairobi which many of you partook in! And for those who did their own virtual London Marathon from your backyards, congratulations! Have a cup of tea in true British style 🙂 Check out the Starting Line here: https://sway.office.com/nVIyRnuSdohn4Req?ref=Link

Now we have some big news…Swara club runs are resuming! In line with the new national government guidelines, and with a view to adapting to the changing world around us, we will resume runs in a modified manner. Please find the Swara revised COVID protocol here and attached, and familiarise yourself with it. All protocols are for the health and wellbeing of all members, and the general public, so we ask you to strictly adhere to them. Please direct any questions to the club officials by email or Whatsapp (clairesimonebaker@gmail.com/+33615209676). More details on this week’s run in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/nVIyRnuSdohn4Req?ref=Link.

We will still be having our online session this Wednesday, and it’s a very special one! Women’s Power Hour will explore issues unique to female runners, and explore solutions to some of the most common problems, and outline how we all, men and women, can be allies to women in the pursuit of happy, health and safe running for female runners especially. We will have a number of members, men and women, sharing their personal experiences, and the conversation will be open for all to contribute and learn.

Join in the conversation on Wednesday 7th October at 6.15pm, with a short cerebral warm-up in the form of some Swara trivia with new quizmaster Ameet Shah!This week’s Starting Line with full details on this week run and how to register is here: https://sway.office.com/nVIyRnuSdohn4Req?ref=Link

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Starting Line 28th September

Our guest speaker last week, Hermann Kambugu, gave us all a bit of a ‘sofa safari’ as he not only joined us live from Kampala, Uganda, but also showed us his portfolio of runs covering more than 44 countries (yes, you read that right), including marathons, ultra marathons, and corporate sprints and relays! The beauty with running is that you can even travel on your doorstep…find a trail in a part of town you don’t know, ask a friend to show you a trail you don’t know, or follow someone else’s route. See what trails Swaras have been exploring this week in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/Ff50xzE15yLogrVd?ref=Link

Now more than ever it’s paramount that we look out for ourselves and each other. Run in places you know well, or run with someone, tell someone where you’re going, and even share your live location with a good friend or trusted family members, carry a whistle/road ID, and avoid carrying valuables where possible. Unfortunately there are always risks when running, but please all do your best to secure your own safety, and look out for fellow runners too! And as always, check in on each other. 

This week we’re revisiting an old favourite in the realm of Swara Zoom sessions; we have a second instalment of Kundalini Yoga with Lydia. Last time we worked on our core, and boy did we feel it afterwards! This time we’re using an ancient practice to stand strong in the face of chaos (I can’t think of a more relevant theme right now), and this energizing and physical routine will work on breathing, energy flow and movements to achieve it.

All you need is a mat/blanket/thick carpet and a quiet space. All are welcome to join, no experience necessary, and no specific physical requirements or limitations. Lydia is a Swara and an experienced Kundalini Yoga instructor, and several Swaras have regularly joined her online sessions since our first Swara session a few months back.

Join the practice on Wednesday 30th September at 6.15pm, with a short cerebral warm-up in the form of some Swara trivia with new quizmaster Ameet Shah!

Get full details in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/Ff50xzE15yLogrVd?ref=Link

#StandStrong

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Urban Swaras Starting Line 21st September – Show & Tell from the diaspora

What a week of beautiful runs! We had some joint birthday runs, and a number of socially-distanced birthday celebrations, with members of the club sharing best wishes and long distances all over the place! Such a beautiful display of running friendship and kinship, and I hope everyone that has a reason to celebrate this week will feel well surrounded with friends and family, even if it’s from a distance. Well done to all who ran, walked, rode, and showed immense solidarity in a variety of different ways. Some new challenges have also emerged, especially for the younger members…instead of running your age, run your birth year!

Find some photo highlights in this week’s Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/G8dDsRZi3hq5l0Kl?ref=Link

This week, as promised, we have a Swara Show & Tell from a Swara in the diasporaHermann Kambugu has shown up for innumerable editions of Nairobi Standard Chartered Marathon, Mount Kenya Ultra, and other Swara and Kenya-based runs, and has also been sent around the world to run in far-flung destinations as a running ambassador! We can’t wait to hear more, live and in direct from Hermann himself, live from Kampala, Uganda! Tune in Wednesday 23rd September. Remember to join at 6.15pm, for some running trivia to kick us off, this time led by Ameet Shah, taking over from Davis Munene!

Full details in the Starting Line, as well as details of a virtual from brought to you by Run Beyond and Team Jasho: https://sway.office.com/G8dDsRZi3hq5l0Kl?ref=Link

#SwarasAbroad

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Urban Swaras Starting Line 14th September

It looks like Swara mileage is going up and up, like the temperatures in Nairobi, much to everyone’s joy! Soon we’ll be complaining about the heat again, no doubt…what’s life if there’s nothing to complain about? And yet, we live to run another day! 

Find this week’s Starting Line here: https://sway.office.com/k3BBMgPTCErfnojV?ref=Link

Last week we heard from Peter ‘Chicharrito/The Inkalimeva’ Muia, in a fantastic Show & Tell, and this week promises to be another great online session, this time with our very own Six Star General; marathoner with swag; head cheerleader (always go to her if you’re feeling a little down on yourself for a pick-me-up), who is also sometimes known as F2 (ask anyone with links to the Hash House Harriers community why and how)…yes, it’s Felicita Kagwanja!

Tune in Wednesday 16th September at 6.15pm to hear Show & Tell with Felicita Kagwanja.

You can also look forward to another cerebral warm-up led by Davis Munene, so come on time with your thinking caps on. 

Find full details in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/k3BBMgPTCErfnojV?ref=Link

#ShowUsYourStars

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Urban Swaras Starting Line 7th September – Swara Show & Tell #7

Hands up who went running this Monday morning? My hand is so far down I’m going to have to dig it back up from where it’s been hibernating underground. My hats to all of you who still hit the cold, grey, rainy streets this morning, that takes true grit and determination! A wise woman once told me that your body also needs rest, so remember to treat your body to as much love as necessary so that it keeps working for you and doesn’t turn against you! 

Speaking of giving your body love, your feet are one of the most important parts of your body, as runners, and last week George Parkes of Run Beyond gave us some evidence-backed pointers on how best to treat your feet with respect, by being conscious about our footwear choices. Don’t forget, all members of Nairobi running clubs get a tasty 10% off all running shoes at Run Beyond, and they also do home delivery for any last-minute orders, or if you’re stuck at home/in the office. Check them out here.

This week we’re hearing from the smiliest runner I know, and one that has achieved some crazy feats that would reduce even the hardiest of runners to crumbs, but he takes it all in his stride. Tune in Wednesday 9th September at 6.15pm to hear Show & Tell with Peter Muia.

You can also look forward to another cerebral warm-up led by Davis Munene, so come on time with your thinking caps on.

Full info in this week’s Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/40zhGGy8Ds8aDksS?ref=Link#Show&Tell 

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Urban Swaras Starting Line 31st August – Not just running, but beyond…

If 2020 were a weather it would be a hurricane. With winds and rain that tear up everything in its path. But little did we know that when Swaras say they run come rain or shine, we really meant it. As the year passes us by, members of this club manage to find renewed stores of energy to accomplish great things and show that where there’s a will, there’s a way! From birthday runs, to never-ending hill runs in the Rift Valley, and mountains and PBs, we’ve had it all this past week! And we heard from heroic Swara pioneer, Sarah Wawa on Wednesday’s Show & Tell…could she have inspired us to go and knock it out of the park this week? Either way, congratulations to everyone! Find a whole bunch of FOMO-inducing photo highlights in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/VF3sphyYDctmIzAW?ref=Link

For those of you that are lacking energy or inspiration, don’t sweat it. Do what you can and be proud of every little achievement. Running is the most personal of sports…you can do it on your own, you can take it at your own pace, and you answer only to yourself. So keep running, and whatever you do, enjoy it and stay safe.

This week we’re hearing from someone who has done more for Nairobi’s running community than most, and in pursuing his game-changing business venture in Kenya’s capital he’s also broken down barriers between running clubs, and helped introduce many people to the Kenyan running scene through coaching and equipment.

So don’t miss An Audience with George Parkes, founder of Run Beyond!

This Wednesday 2nd September at the slightly earlier time of 6.15pm (talk starts at 6.30pm).

We will have something new to titillate you, courtesy of veteran Swara (that doesn’t mean old 😉 )Davis Munene…so be sure to tune in at the earlier time of 6.15pm for something a little special!

Full details in this week’s Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/VF3sphyYDctmIzAW?ref=Link

Don’t just run from A to B…#RunBeyond

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Urban Swaras Starting Line 24th August – Show & Tell #6

It’s OK. I don’t blame you; it’s cold, the constant threat of rain hangs over us, like a literal dark cloud, and motivation can be hard to find. But for those of you who go against your instincts, and find the strength to get out and about and run, no matter how short or long, fast or slow, I salute you all. In my eyes, and the eyes of the club, you are all running heroes! The club is here to try and keep everyone motivated and encouraging, and in turn we hope that all members can do the same for each other. So whether it’s giving someone Kudos on Strava, honking your car horn at a runner in a yellow t shirt and shouting ‘strong’ at them, or sending a message to a fellow Swara to check how they’re doing, let’s all continue to do our bit for  each other. Check out photo highlights from the week in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/iOFpSzr7YkfU7Onp?ref=Link

This week we return to Swara Show & Tell, with a Swara that doesn’t need any encouragement to do amazing things! Sarah Wawa has achieved many firsts as a top female Swara runner for both speed and endurance, and has paved the way for many other female Swaras, showing us just what is possible with the right determination and training. We’re eager to hear her story, and I hope you’ll all join us on Wednesday 26th August at 6.30pm on Zoom.

Be sure to tune in Wednesday 19th August at 6.30pm on Zoom.

Full details in the Starting Line: https://sway.office.com/iOFpSzr7YkfU7Onp?ref=Link#SarahWawaTheSwara

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Urban Swaras Club Meet & Social

Dear Swaras, 

It has now been six months of no schools, no normal workplace, and no Swara runs. It is high time we had a get-together, even it’s only a virtual one! So this week’s Zoom session will be a little different. No guest speaker, no VIP, no exercise session, we will ALL be the guests of honour. Join us for a Club meeting and social, where we can hear from the Club officials on what the club has been up to, and hear from all of us about what we’ve been up to as individuals, runners, and members of the community!

Be sure to tune in Wednesday 19th August at 6.30pm on Zoom.

Full details in this week’s Starting Line, as well as the link to order your road ID if you haven’t done so yet! https://sway.office.com/E4midaEC17BsrECP?ref=Link

#MeetTheSwaras