Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Things started to get back on track in June.  I'd been advised nothing fast, and nothing hilly, so that's what I tried to maintain.  I also tried to not do too much too soon, and with 32, 35 and 46 mile weeks (the last skewed because of 2 longer runs), I finished the month on a positive note. 

I successfully resisted the urge to run the 2 races I'd planned.  The Mount Evans Ascent - 14 miles up the highest paved road in North America was a no brainer.  A local 5K was a much harder decision, but the right one.

Then on the last day of June - I went to Africa !

Kenya to be precise.

A couple of days in Nairobi, then 4 on Safari, finished off by a couple of days in a remote village to see how rural Kenyans live.

Amazing and humbling at the same time.

I was only able to get one run in while I was there.  Partly a factor of the dangerous nature of the place - Nairobi - also known as 'Nairobbery' isn't particularly conducive to running, and then the obvious dangers of running around in the open carnivore inhabited plains at the safari.

The one run I did get in - a short 3 miler - was a great experience.  I ran with a Masai Warrior out of the safer confines of the electrified fence surrounding the tented camp, and out into the Masai Mara.

Here are a couple of photos of him.

I'd heard stories of people going on safari and not seeing much in the way of wild life so didn't know what to expect.  Either through good luck, or because of the timing of the migration pattern of the animals from the Masai Mara in Kenya down to the Serengeti in Tanzania (it's the same plain - just named differently in each country) - we got to see a ton of animals.

People talk about wanting to see the 'Big 5'.  The lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo and leopard.  We saw them all in a single day, plus thousands of giraffes, zebras, wilderbeasts, antelope, gazelles, hyenas, baboons, cheetah, monkeys, hippos, crocodiles, to name but a few.

Some of the photos from the trip - all taken with my point and click camera and not with a massive telephoto lens - below.

An incredible experience.

Then we spent some time in a small village, 30 miles north of Eldoret in Western Kenya.  2 years ago Eldoret was at the center of the ethnic killings that erupted after the contested elections and you could still see some of the damaged buildings from the lootings and violence.

The roads are terrible, the people very poor, sleeping many to a single mud on the floor, but everyone seems happy.  Quick to burst into song and truly making the best of what they have.  It helps keep things in perspective.  A running injury that keeps us out of a race, really isn't that big a deal.

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