Trail blazer, this is the kind of run you don’t want to miss. It screams all sorts of adventure, and even more adventure if Team Jasho (TJ) is one of the organisers. Most TJ hikes, oops, runs are known for their terrain. The hills are no joke. No matter the distance you run, you will encounter one or two hills probably just as a welcome. Moreover, the longer the distance you run, the more scenic the route is. This is always a motivator to sign up for the longer distances.
The run started promptly after a welcome and briefing from the organisers. It started with a bang but I was too excited about my route to even run. It was photo time for me. Besides, it was the first few minutes I would easily catch up. All those hilarious yet not so hilarious signs made it difficult to just run. As if that was not enough, The Forest was so scenic, you can never get enough. A few minutes into the run, I came across, I’d turn back if I were you sign. Instead of laughing it off, I should have taken it seriously. The series of hills that followed, let’s just say I thank God I lived to tell the tale.
The weather was perfect. The skies were super happy that day, giving us their pleasantries as we ran – not too hot nor too cold. The open valleys gave a sense of freedom and happiness at the same time. I remember stopping my run to just take it all in. No camera, just me and the moment. One of those rare times I took mental pictures. I was almost 5kms in – semi dying again but all that faded for that one perfect moment. That moment where all your stars seemed to have aligned, aligned to favour you.
This was after a few sips of coke and Fanta. My new remedy for energy during a run. Ooh yes I got this at the water point where water melons and the actual water were served. Thereafter was downhill. I liked the downs. They gave me an opportunity to recovery and catch up with those who had left me at the hills. Now with a sugar rush you can imagine the thrill, speed and adrenaline involved. Then – a rude shock, yes, an unexpected hill. You could hardly see where they end. At the peak where your real self comes out you meet a photographer. I know for those people who ‘ never ‘ have bad photos, these are the kind they burn.
The view at the top makes it all worth it. The run continues with a rocky downhill and an interesting path towards the forest where you doubt your steps but the arrows come to your rescue. The place was well marked no way one could get lost. From above you could hear screams of joy from the 6 line zip lining. That must be their 4th line I recalled, having done it twice. I went into a nostalgic moment to the point of losing body control and falling. It was painful but I didn’t give my brain time to absorb it. I stood continued with that peak of my momentum. Soon the rush would be over and I would crush. Before that happened I wanted to have covered a number of kilometers.
The last 2 kilometers are always torture for me. They are out to finish me the same way a female prey mantis finishes her partner after they mate. Only the super lucky ones survive. Almost at the finish line, I caught a glimpse of the person who is always supporting me during these runs. Not a runner but hardly misses my run. Normally, I would push and finish strong for the video or photo but this one was different. The little strength I had left was for Wildly, my tree. I got to plant a tree after the run. We all did, well, most of us. Kereita would take good care of Wildly and the rest of them till there were all grown. It’s one of the initiative TJ does, last year we planted trees at Karura. You get to enjoy a run, make an environmental difference and earn a medal while at it.
I almost forgot I also got to celebrate an amazing soul who turned a year older. What a cool way to celebrate the 1st half of your birthday. Maybe I should also try it for mine.