2018 Lewa Marathon was analogous to life – suffering for the future good
6 days ago, 09:15
I ran the Lewa Marathon, a half-marathon to be precise. Although I have ran the same course before, this time it was a different experience.
I practised, talked to different marathoners, and slept well but in the end, it was a gruelling experience that felt like deliberate mental and physical torture.
We were up at 5am for breakfast. I sat next to legendary marathoner Henry Wanyoike. His advice was that I must have two bananas for energy.
A friend, Kennedy Kihara, a great social marathoner, advised that I have to maintain my own pace.
We got into vehicles and drove to the starting point. Here, a sea of people prepped themselves up. I kept close to Ken hoping to leverage on his pace.
At 7.15am sharp, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, a marathoner of repute herself, flagged us off.
The huge number of runners kicked up a storm of dust. This was not part of my plan and I had no plan B.
I stayed behind Ken and at the 5km mark he told me to deviate and shake hands with the First Lady, who had used a different spectator route to watch us punish ourselves up hill. “Really!” I told him. He said, “Yes!”
We quickly shook hands and returned to the track. The dust was so unbearable that I had to make an erratic decision to run ahead of Ken.
Big mistake. I lost the pace and pushed myself to an unsustainable pace. Hydration became necessary and instead of sipping a little, I gulped half a litre of water.
The water went straight into the bladder. At the next station I was desperate for a toilet.
A large number of people ahead of me had made a similar mistake, necessitating a queue. We were running out of time, so we decided that the Lewa grass needed to be hydrated.
By the time I got back on track, Ken had left me far behind and there was no way I was going to catch up with him and keep his pace.
Fortunately, my time was within my target. I was doing between five and six minutes per kilometre. I wanted to finish the race between two 2 hours and 15 minutes and 2 hours and 30 minutes.
At the 10km mark, my time was hovering around 55 minutes as I went up a hill.
At the top of the hill, I lost my concentration to the beauty of the surrounding environment.
BACK ON TRACK BUT LOSING RHYTHM
It suddenly became difficult to concentrate on my original task. Eventually, I convinced myself to focus on where my next step will be.
I was back on track but still not able to get the original rhythm. With the runners now well spread and with no dust, I forced myself into some form of pace while listening to the feet of the runners as they ground the soft clay soil.
It wasn’t much of music but it helped me to focus on the task or running instead of ...
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