photo credit:Lukenya Trail Run
The Lukenya Trail Run, 18 was my 2nd marathon of the weekend, after a killer 20km at the Alliance Classic Run. This run would be quite different with almost a similar terrain throughout which promised to be beautiful run.
I thought I would wake up tired considering my cold/cough had persisted giving me another chance to run it out. Does this really work many ask, this would give me another chance to prove it. I actually woke up fresh and energized got to the meeting point just on time. It was a chilly Sunday morning with little to no traffic. The road to Lukenya Getaway where the run was being held had lots of lorries hence no Sunday traffic was a joy. We got there among the 1st group of people. The registration table was well organized and we quickly got your bibs and t-shirts.
In no time it was run time. The time between registration and race time went by so fast we didn’t even get time for our traditional before race selfie. On well the briefing with (Vincent) the organizer was short and precise. In 10, 9 ……1 and off the run started. This time I had opted for a 10km wasn’t too sure if my body would even handle that but you will be surprised what the body can handle. I can’t remember starting with a bang. I strolled asking myself if I was really doing this. As the music got louder and faster so did my pace. Suddenly I was off just ruing into the flat not so plain surrounding. I remember passing a few people who were ahead of me. However, I did meet my competitors so to speak. A group of 5 – a couple and 2 ladies. I would be the 5th party. We ran together the whole way consciously or unconsciously. It’s like we were pacing each other. We were in each other’s sight at all times. When one lagged behind they would just push themselves to catch up. Funny thing is we didn’t even say hi after the run.
Back to my run, at some point I could feel the ascend. Some ascends are so dramatic they always want to announce their arrival whether you want to know or not, this was one of those. Though it was gradual my muscles screamed and ached mostly due to the previous day’s run. It was just a few kilometers so I had to be or at least pretend to be strong. I had 4 people to keep up the pace with. Yes, yes unnecessary pressure is sometimes the motivation you need to see the finish line. I decided to ignore the pains and keep running. As I looked ahead, the beauty that graced me was unbelievable. The nature ahead made it all worth it. These are the times you just want to stop but you remember as you go further it gets better. True to the “theory” it does get better. The formation of the clouds and how the hills and trees are just piping through is gorgeous. As you look beyond the open land the vegetation is arranged in different shades of green as though the artist is/was show casing his best work in the gallery that is worth millions. As this point I just stopped to take it all in. Am on the generation where capturing it mentally is not enough, so I took pictures with my phone. Picture after picture but none of them did justice to this amazing scenery.
Photo credit:Lukenya Trail Run.
I therefore continued with my run. My pacers were nowhere to be seen and catching up seemed like so much work. Then one of the runners who I had left at the water stand (maybe 3kms back) passed like lighting. His strides were so long like 10 of mine – I think. The way the wind carried him downhill with his har and black outfit complementing each other made me want to try this. I also wanted to fly. I wasn’t sure I could but the only way was to try. My music here seemed like a distraction. I wanted to hear if the wind actually whispered as I passed. I wanted to feel and sense everything as I attempted to disorient my body. Then there I did try it. I just let go and ran. Am not sure if I was screaming or not but I know it felt great. I felt as if the wind was carrying me. The speed at which I had imagined I was running at was ridiculous. Unfortunately, I got tired quicker than I thought. My nose was running, my cough threatened to kill me so I took a break. I walked as I watched cattle. These looked different, I thought to myself. As I looked closer I saw they were actually wilder beasts. This was the closest I had ever been to wildlife. Wildlife that was free running no cage, no guide, no gun, no tree( to climb if things went south) As I was taking pictures I couldn’t help think what if they just decided to run with me or chase me. What if they confused me for some cruel human who had threatened their lives awhile back. But you know what those animals were not interested in me. They just continued feeding, playing whatever it is they do.
Photo credit: Lukenya Trail Run
At this point I could see the 4 somewhere as I was contemplating on if I should or should catch up, I heard a voice saying” you need to run”. Out of curiosity I saw a gentleman determined to finish his race. He caught up walking and said “you know at some point we have to pass them”. I just laughed as my thoughts were confirmed. We slowly challenged each other passed 2 by then the other 2 were long gone. Of course they were other runners but I hardly noticed their progress. Then we approached the last hill which was 1.2kms to the finish. Vincent had warned us about it. We decided that we need to finish this run with some energy and there it was. Somewhere along the finish line, the hills and passing the 2 runners, the gentleman told me his story. How he was athletic, broke his leg went into depression added a whole ton of weight and now he was back to redeem himself. The determination and motivation in that story was why I ran that day. To just hear what he went through and the support he got from his friends and family. It’s amazing the people we meet on the tracks. Sometimes you get lucky enough to meet someone who will change your life in one way other.
Medal number 5 attained. It was yet another memorable run and a true definition of you can do what you put your mind into.