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Date : 21st November, 2014
Time : 58’31”
Total Distance Run to date : 350 km
Run map and details : http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/640879031
Kenya, the spiritual home of middle and long distance running. Really, I should be spending weeks here. In fact, I should spend every January here at a Rift Valley training camp preparing for my globe-trotting.
And the girls will never forgive me if I come to Kenya again without them. Especially Sienna for whom a country with lots of animals and lots of running is just about perfection. So they’ll have to come too. Liz will then get her wish for a proper break from the rest of us. The school will, I’m sure, be accommodating.
Back in the real world, I land at Nairobi airport at 9 pm, make my way to the hotel and settle down for what I hope will be a good night’s rest after a day in which I’d been in Rwanda in the morning, Burundi in the afternoon and Kenya in the evening.
No such luck. Mr Hotel Manager, what were you doing in my room at 3 am? The blaring music and car alarms surely came from outside. Those other odd ringing sounds were from the room next door. Apart from the fire alarm bleeping every minute, there really wasn’t anything to investigate in my room.
And so it was that, after a thoroughly refreshing 3 hour sleep, I got up at 5.30 and made my way to Kenya’s Arboretum. Where I met the delightful Lucy Thuo and other members of the Urban Swaras running club (picture above).
The Urban Swaras club seems to me to be just about the model running club. They have c. 150 members and at least 60 of them are out running every Saturday come rain or shine. They run in and around Nairobi with regular trips further afield. (They were just back from Mount Kenya where some of the club members had done a 50k run.)
They have a small subscription fee which covers water and fruit etc and they subsidise members who can’t afford the fee. They also have people who mark out the course in advance with chalk meaning that everyone can run at their own pace without fear of getting lost. All in all, very impressive.
And how was the run? Well, it was great to be running with people again after 3 days running on my own. I chatted with a number of runners and ended up running a lot of the way with Abdi who, it turned out, used to live about 100 metres away from me in Camden. It’s a small world etc.
Physically, I found it tough. Plenty of excuses – it was my fourth run and fourth country in less than 72 hours. The altitude, at almost 6000 feet, definitely had an impact (as I mentioned every 5 minutes to my fellow runners). Sleep had been elusive for some time. However, I guess the truth is that I need to book that training camp in the Rift Valley and get fitter and stronger!