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Standard & Chartered Nairobi Marathon

Monday, October 29, 2012

What a start to a marathon:
The Night before it was pouring proper tropical rainfalls. In fact the noise of every new down-pour woke me up, so I didn't get all that much sleep.
When I finally got up at 5am, it was still raining heavily. Dragged myselve out of bed and kept wondering how this will go. I don;t run in rain any more because of the RA, joints hurt too much if I do.
But then I said the weather in town can be different from where I live, so I went.
When I reached town the rain there had stopped and the roads where drying up.

I is amazing how many people there are these days. 10 years ago during the 1st Standard & Chartered Nairobi Marathon I think we were less than 5000 people. Now it is near to 20,000. Also the HM has gained popularity. People do not feel shy any more to walk it. So it was the race with the most people.

It took us a while to get over that starting line..... LOL
Then the race started with some obstacles. First one of the helicopters with TV crew was flying so low, that all our hats threatened to fly off. Some people had to dash back to retrieve theirs, but I managed to hold onto mine. Then 300m down the road I saw people running to the side of teh highway we were running on. The whole highway was flooded with water and we had to squeeze by on the sides.

The first 10km is a loop meandering through down-town with a lot of running back & forth, which is actually fun, since you see who else is running.

Doing my run-walk-run intervalls off course I heard a lot of typical Kenyan rude commments (of course they assume as a white person you don't understand Kiswaheli) like, "this white woman is already tired, how will she finish" etc.
I smiled to myself, knowing very well I will overtake those guys in the end.... LOL
The first 10km went VERY well and I actually felt like the 1min walk intervals were too long. But I continued with 4:30 min run, 1min walk, since I knew I was not fit enough to do shorted walk intervals.

The second 10km is a long striaght run down the Mombasa Road Highway and back. Here I slowed down very much, since I was getting tired.
at about 13km I realized I was starting to feel hungry and almost a bit faint. While I was wondering what to do, I came across a Lucozade waterstation. That cup of Lucozade (an isotonic drink) gave me the energy to continue.
This was amazing, since normally they only provide water on the marathon, but Lucozade had relaunched their sportsdrink, since it is now a proper isotonic drink (and no longer the sweet pap it was before) and decided to sponsor.
ON the last 3km I realized that I am really not as fit as I would want to be, since usually during the last 3km I would just run and not walk any more, slowly increasing pace. I still found myself doing a walk break during the second last km. But did manage to run the last 1km and to increase my pace on the loop inside the stadium
The stadium now has a big screen on one of the sides and you could see people finishing on it. Off course I did not appear, since just that was the time they were doing the presentation to the winners of the Half Marathon.

People were so many it was difficult to friend my running friends and I actually saw very few. Since most were going for a drink to a friends bar afterwards, I decided to head home. IN the afternoon I went for a sportsmassage and today I am feeling good.

Ok, somehow I do not manage to upload pictures.

Here are some observations:
- Real heros: I saw a young guy, who obviously had had a stroke, his left arm being crippled in the typical position and the left leg having hardly any muscles, overtake me on the last 4km at a good fast pace
Another one: a guy walking with a crutch, who was finishing the Halfmarathon

- typical Kenyan way:
Amazing how many people not only carried their cell phones on the run, but actually used them. Saw several making calls to tell their friends and relatives to tell them they are running in the Marathon right now. Later I saw one Lady, who slowed down 100m before the finish line, to call someone, probably to tell them she is finishing......
When the military band was finishing their entertainment they crossed the race track 20m before the finish line, never mind the tired runners coming in....... Someone almost collided with a big Tuba....

Sweet gestures:
Some of the Ladies in the wheelchair race where struggling, so runners sarted pushing their wheel chairs to ensure they reach the finish line.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • LAURIE5658
    Oh Steph, THANK YOU for writing this blog and how very interesting. Catherine is do run very interesting races. I love your blogs like this because we get an idea of what Kenyan races are like. Thank you for that and CONGRATULATIONS on your finish!!
    3007 days ago
    Thanks Guys. Marathons and other races here in Kenya are really interesting, but I also love the way people are getting a more realiztic attitude towards running. People are realizing that not everyone is a Paul Tergat and it is all about participating and finishing.

    3007 days ago
    Interesting race and a nice finish time !! Awesome you feel fine post-race as well.
    Your blog is well written, even without photos I can picture the race from your vignettes
    3007 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon It sounds so different than a race her in the US. Quite an experience. Jeff recommends practicing running straight at the end of some of your weekday runs, if you want to do that in the race. I think its as much about fitness and getting the feel for running straight. I actually need to slow the run a little, even if the average pace with a straight run is faster.+
    3008 days ago
    That is awesome, Steph :) Way to go!
    3008 days ago
    Steph, you run in such interesting races! I'm surprised by the number of people who are using their cell phones in races here, too. Mostly to take pictures, but I've seen people make calls. I actually did it myself, just once, 2 years ago in the San Antonio Marathon. This was when I was having foot problems and I called DH to tell him not to worry when I didn't show up at the finish line at the expected time.

    You did great! Hope you can get those pictures uploaded.
    3008 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    Very sweet gesture.
    3008 days ago
    3008 days ago
    Congratulations! Sounds like a very interesting marathon. Thanks for sharing your story!! Again, congratulations!! emoticon
    3008 days ago
    Thanks Seabreeze,

    I am actually really happy about how everything went.

    3008 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6329775
    You did great STEPH! Congratulations!
    Sounds like a few obstacles (water and helicopters)!!!

    And you feel pretty good today..... that is awesome!
    3008 days ago
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