When your legs get tired run with your heart – A slogan from Kilimanjaro Marathon, 3rd March 2019.
I opted for a boda boda to the view as opposed to walking with my Team Jasho mates. I wanted to reserve the little energy I had for my 21kms run. This year was different, I hadn’t run even 10kms before the race day. I hadn’t bothered to train, a decision I paid for the whole way. As I approached the start point you could hear the excitement. The noises of victory and conquerors. People who would do whatever it took to get the medals, later on I did see these victorious faces. As runners with serious injuries did everything but drop off the race so as to earn their medal.
When the gun went off, I started my strava and off I went. Running like it was my last day to live. Starting off with a four minute pace and an aim of under two hours to finish the 21km race. This would be my personal best and nothing would get in my way of getting it. Who am I kidding…..? That’s someone else story. I was the one dragging her feet regretting her life decisions. ‘I would be asleep or cheering. Why the hell do I keep doing this to myself,’ I thought. I kept whining like an ignored cat till the cheering squad disrupted me. They came just in time for the hills. I paced and sang with them. The vibe was crazy. The motivation would make a crawling toddler walk almost instantly in order to follow the chants. As much as I enjoyed it, my lungs, were not too happy. They summoned the rest of the body parts and shortly after their meeting, my legs stopped. No warning, no nothing. I immediately noticed people getting on to boda bodas and I had this cheeky smile. Then again, was that really the reason I came all the way from Nairobi, so I walked until I was tired of walking and the race. Hence I decided to just run and get it over with. Each step was a reminder of my procrastination, my lazy days, my unwarranted excuses, wrong meal choices and lack of training. At this point the 42km elites were running their last 15 kms. Two hours were out and by the route maps and time target my friends (doing the 42kms) had, I would also be cheering them. I really didn’t want to cheer them as they overtook me. This clearly motivated me. As I cheered the Kenyans passing by, I couldn’t help increase my pace. It was a loyalty pace of sorts – Kenyans got to stick together kind of thing.
I got distracted by the majestic look Mt. Kilimanjaro was giving. She proudly stood up showing off her might and power. If you have climbed her you know what I mean. I got someone to take a picture of me with her in the background then continued with my run. Some lady caught up with me, I bet I must have been her human marker for a while, the stop allowed her to catch up. Most runners have markers, they help you keep focus and achieve your goal faster. She needed to finish strong – for her kids. They had paid for her to run the marathon and were waiting at the finish line. She could hardly walk a few months back due to a lifestyle disease and her doctor recommended aerobics. In turn her aerobics instructor recommended long walks from time to time. These walks eventually turned to jogging and runs. Now here she was, inspiring people around her to get fit and do the ‘impossible’.
By the time she was done with her story it was time to give my best run, one kilometer to go. The last kilometer is always the hardest. My feet were tired, the body parts were constantly having their meeting and I was dying. Luckily my heart was of a different opinion. She pushed and pushed. When I was almost giving up I remembered there is this one person who might be waiting at the finish line. Plus I also wasn’t about to disappoint the finish line photographers. So I finished strong, with a smile and two hours earlier than I had initially planned to. Now all I wanted as a cold drink, good food and a rest. Bye bye to all the after marathon plans.
Check more information for your next run.