Urban Swaras Starting Line run 590 @ Cafe Detour (former Spring Valley Oven)

You know how sometimes there’s just one of those super eventful running weeks in the Kenyan recreational running community? This has been one of those weeks! Where to start?

First we had some superhumans conquering Mount Kilimanjaro (yes, the actual mountain, not the beer) in 24 hours, amongst them our very own Cheruiyot, Victor Kamau and Hermann Kambugu. A huge round of applause to them! They, along with a few hundred others, then descended on Moshi for the Kilimanjaro Marathon. Whilst normally this would see bus loads of Kenyan runners flood the Tanzanian mountain town, this year was a much quieter affair for public health and safety reasons. Nonetheless, a number of Swaras called Lutheran guesthouse home for a night or two, as they sweated it out on the hilly trails of the marathon and half marathon. Well done to Sheila Ommeh, who did her FIRST marathon there exactly one year ago, and smashed her goal this year to hit a personal best and do herself and us all immensely proudMany other runners achieved equally outstanding results, and rumour has it they also had a pretty good time celebrating 🙂

Saturday’s run was at Forest Breeze Gardens, another foresty run with some lovely leafy, tree-strewn routes that pleased the crowds and gave Swaras what they craved.

Photos from all of these can be found in the Starting Line:

All in all, one pretty great week! Well done to all who did something that they’re proud of.

This week we’re taking a detour to Cafe Detour, formerly known as Spring Valley Oven which is in – you guessed it – Spring Valley! Expect a mostly tarmac-based run (to practise your speed? enjoy some flatness?) with some little trail interludes.

Full details on this week’s run, and the link to register, in the Starting Line (which has everything you need for a happy running life so don’t miss it!)

A reminder to all of you that have stories to tell and experiences to share (in other words, all of you): the elusive Urban Swara newsletter editor is accepting submissions for the next edition of the newsletter, so get your articles, or even just article ideas in asap. Deadline for submissions is 15th March:


Urban Swaras Starting Line Run 589 @ Forest Breeze Gardens

I hear all Swaras and guests got back to Nairobi from Graceland in one piece which can only mean one thing: they outran both the hills and the elephants! Highlights of Graceland 2021 include a one-man band, entire classes of Graceland girls cheering on exhausted but happy runners, and some cheeky little Swara-dipping (like skinny-dipping but wearing a Swara t-shirt). On behalf of the whole club, thank you to Wachira Nderitu, for this fantastic 10th edition of the much-loved Graceland run.

Meanwhile, those of us that remained in Nairobi had a casual , laid-back run at the Ngong Road Forest Sanctuary, where it seems all of Nairobi were out in full force, either running or biking with one of the many clubs that descended upon the newly rediscovered centrally located green space. Check out all the photos to get a feel for the visuals behind the stories! Starting Line:

Our next run will be at Forest Breeze Gardens, a new venue for the club, located off Ngong Road in the Lenena/Riruta area. Expect monkeys and greenery and trail! Full details in the Starting Line:

Thank you to all the Swaras that ordered from the Duka La Swara, you may see a LOT of Swara goodies around town now as everyone has received their merchandise and is flaunting it already. Look out for the next Duka La Swara opening, it’s a most elusive of online popup shops 🙂



Urban Swaras Starting Line Run 587 @ The Shed, Kitisuru

Ngong never disappoints, and we sure had some non-disappointing hills and trails on the Matasia Loop run this past weekend in Ngong. Never before have I heard someone ask where the 5% non-trail was in our advertised ‘95% trail’ run 🙂 , and I take that as due credit to our Trail Fox, Benja, who is able to sniff out anything trail-y within a 35km radius! Well done to all those who ran/walked/crawled, and to those who didn’t, don’t worry, there’s more where that came from. Find some photo highlights and results of the January Swara running challenge:

You should have received an email about the upcoming 10th edition of the Graceland Upcountry Run, from our ever-gracious host, Wachira Nderitu, so that gives us all something BIG (well, there is an Ultra distance) to look forward to this month in addition to our usual Swara runs! Carve out the Saturday 20th February for that run.

This week we’re heading to The Shed, Mwimuto/Kitisuru, for another foray into unknown and undiscovered trails. See the Starting Line for the full lo-down on what to expect from the next run:



Urban Swaras Starting Line Run 586 @Matasia Loop, Ngong County Offices

This past weekend we had some surreal sights: the run appears to have been flagged off by a four-legged bovine as opposed to a yellow t-shirt wearing biped, and there were sightings of Swaras wading through water longer than was necessary to cross the river, in search of a mobile phone in its depths. All this because of the love of running!! Thank you all for sharing your photos and experiences, they’re priceless! Plenty of photo highlights in the Starting Line:

A huge congratulations to one of our club legends and (young) veterans, Cheruiyot (of Show & Tell fame, and author of ‘An Ultramarathon Story’), who completed the Salomon Mount Kenya three routes challenge comfortably under the gruelling 24 hour goal. His strength, determination and absolute sportsman spirit has inspired many of us, so let’s all give him a big cheer for his incredible feat! Huge well done to Victor Kamau, an ultramarathon and sky running pioneer, who also took part in the challenge, and though he had to pull out because he was unwell, he completed two routes in an amazing time, and he has inspired many to follow in his footsteps through his understated extraordinariness. Three cheers to them!

This weekend we’re going to Ngong County Offices for a splendidly loopy run, with distances from 5km to 35km. Full details below. Bring a friend, bring yourself, and be sure to bring your trail running shoes!

Full details and registration link in the Starting Line:



Urban Swaras Run 585 @ The Forest, Kereita

It’s not often that we as a club have to apologise, but with the mix-up of last week’s run we found ourselves in a position where we felt the need to apologise profusely to all of you. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation, we strive to not have to apologise too often. Thankfully everyone seems to have had a great run nonetheless. Starting Line here:

This week were heading to one of our most scenic and refreshing runs of the calendar: The Forest, at Kereita. This venue has it all: a restaurant with a view, endless miles of forests, waterfalls, rivers, fields, and hills; and even some extra activities for you to make a day of it, including zip lining, archery, and mountain biking. See full details below. Be sure to read the Starting Line fully and carefully, there are a lot of instructions! Register for this week’s run and pay for your registration in advance to avoid any delays.

Also, there are a number of rooms still being held for Swaras at Lutheran Guest house in Moshi for the Kilimanjaro Marathon. You have until end of today to book your room or these rooms will be relinquished to other runners looking for rooms. Contact Nelson on Whatsapp +255 787 728 528 to book or by email and mention you’re a Swara member. Non-Swara members please contact him from tomorrow to allow for members to fill up the rooms reserved for members first. Thanks!


Urban Swaras Starting Line run 584 @ Kasuku Centre, Kileleshwa

First things first, the Duka La Swara shuts its virtual doors TODAY, 11.59pm, so place your orders before then to ensure you get the Swara goodies you want. The link is here including images and descriptions of all items, and the order form:
This weekend just gone found us at Leleshwa Getaway, where we endured the heat and then enjoyed the breakfast and beautiful grounds of our host venue! Thanks to all who came, including innumerable new Swaras and guests, welcome to you all!

This Saturday we’re giving your poor car tyres a break from the bump country roads, and sticking to a closer location, running from Kasuku Centre in Kileleshwa. See you all there on Saturday 23rd January from 6.45am to 7.30am for flagging off.

Full info in the Starting Line:



Urban Swaras Starting Line run 583 @Leleshwa Getaway

Dear Swaras,

We may not have been planning for rains this week, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned this past year it’s that even the best laid plans are likely to be scuppered by anything from rain to a global pandemic! So in typical Swara fashion we embraced the rain and had a ball.

A BIG welcome to all our new members! We’ve had an influx of new members at the beginning of this year and I hope you’re all as excited as I am to get to know them, run with them, learn from them, and have a good ol’ Swara time with them! Meet some of them in this week’s Starting Line and some muddy photo highlights:

HUGE HUGE well done to some of our members who undertook the ambitious and audacious CircumMountKenya epic adventure last week, with the Ultra Running In Nairobi Club, led by Wingkei Chan. They completed more than 370km over six days, going all around Mount Kenya and towns such as Kimunye, Timau, and Naro Moru. Let’s all wish them a speedy recovery from their outlandish exertions.

This week we’re running from the beautiful Leleshwa Getaway, just the other side of the national park in Kajiado County (next to Kitengela Glass). Expect views of the city, the occasional ACTUAL Swara sighting, and the venue has installed a pool since we last visited, so for 200ksh you can enjoy the pool and even make a day of it!

Be sure to bring m pesa to pay your subs for the quarter or year ahead, our Treasurer is ready to tick your name off 🙂

Full info in the Starting Line:

Don’t forget, the Duka La Swara is open for one more week! Please note the change in jacket model. Place your orders now to avoid disappointment! Full Duka open here:



Urban Swaras Starting Line – Run 582 @ Club Legend Karen

This running year has already got off to a great start, and we kicked things off with a run from Arboretum last Saturday, exploring all of the neighbourhoods around the park with some excellent urban trails, true to our name, Urban Swaras!
Find photo highlights in this week’s Starting Line, as well as club leaderboard for 2020!

This coming run, on Saturday 9th January, we are heading to Club Legend, and it is the annual ‘bring a new runner’ run! We will have a special 5km beginners’ trail, so bring someone alone from your office, your compound, or your church who has been meaning to try out running. We will be running around Karen/Ngong Road area, with mostly tarmac and a little smattering of trail, so perfect for a beginner, and we’ll have a sociable but socially distanced breakfast afterwards to get to know everyone and catch up after the holidays!

Be sure to bring m pesa to pay your subs for the quarter or year ahead, our Treasurer is ready to tick your name off 🙂

Full details, map and registration form in the Starting Line:



Urban Swaras Starting Line 28th December – new year run @Arboretum

I sincerely hope you all had a beautiful holiday celebration, whether you celebrate Christmas or not! Many of us were at Karura Forest on the 26th, bumping into each other on the trails and enjoying some calm nature after a lot of indulging, no doubt.

Find some photos and inspiring Strava art from WIngkei Chan and Sarah Wawa in the Starting Line:

Next Saturday, the 2nd January, for our first run of 2021, we will be meeting at Arboretum, for a new years’ run. We will be both in the park and on the roads outside, so there will be something for everyone. Be sure to join us, and bring along any friend who might have ‘taking up running’ as a new year’s resolution!

On behalf of the Urban Swaras Running Club I wish you all a very happy, prosperous, and fun-running 2021! 

Full run info in the Starting Line:



Urban Swaras Starting Line Christmas edition, Boxing Day run @Karura Forest

This past week has sure been an eventful one in the Swara calendar. Last week a number of CRE members delivered two cars full of donations to Run2gether training camp on behalf of the club; on Saturday we had a brilliant forest run in Ngong Road Forest Sanctuary, and on Monday we had the first Urban Swaras virtual AGM (needs must, as they say). Find images and highlights in the Starting Line:

Thank you to all who were in any way involved or attended any of the above, what a fantastic way to (almost) end the Swara running year! We’ve also had so many great achievements from Swaras this year, from personal triumphs, to recognised prizegivings, and all of you, however big or small your achievement may seem, is worthy of celebration and recognition, so I hope this holiday period you give yourselves just that!

Congratulations are in order to our new Patron, who is the same as our old Patron! James Wahome, it is an honour to have you serve us.

What better way to detox after a heavy holiday meal than a Swara run on Boxing Day? Join us on Saturday 26th December at Karura Forest for a leisurely Boxing Day run.

Full details in the Starting Line:

And most importantly of all, have a happy, merry, joy-filled (even if not run-filled) Holiday!