01 02 03 Africa Expat Wives Club: Nairobi's Standard Chartered Marathon 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Nairobi's Standard Chartered Marathon


My husband did the Nairobi Standard Chartered half marathon yesterday morning. Last year he ran the ten km race, but this year he decided to step it up this year and go for the twenty one. He’s complaining a little about his sore ankles today.

I know that it is not really my story to tell, especially as I stayed home with the kids, avoiding an early wake-up on a drizzly Sunday morning and hellish traffic, but quite a few of my friends took part and there were a couple of funny stories.

First, my husband signed up everyone in his office – all profits go to the eye charity ‘Seeing is Believing’. In return, participants get a free pair of running shoes, a t-shirt etc. In a ‘eureka’ moment, my husband also asked our fast, young (23), fit gardener if he wanted to take part. He was enthusiastic and together they did some training. Jared donned his new running shoes and even produced a stop-watch. When he ran around the block in half the time of my husband, I got quite excited, thinking that perhaps he would be picked up as semi pro. runner with tons of potential. After all, I googled it and discovered on Wikipedia that of the ten fastest male marathon runners in the world, seven are Kenyan.

In the event, both did well. Jared did get to the end before my husband among the thousands of other runners but he wasn't miles ahead. What he did say was,

‘it was so annoying, there was this really fat woman running in front of me the whole time and I just couldn’t get in front of her however hard I tried. I simply couldn’t understand it!!’

After two hours, my husband was just completing the half marathon when he was lapped by the whole marathon winner who was trailing the chase car with a big digital clock on the back, entering the stadium. I gather that was quite exciting. My husband thought about taking a photo with his phone, but then decided he did not quite have the energy.

During the race, another friend got wiped out by a wheelchair that was careering along a downward slope. She was most indignant,
‘I didn’t even hear it coming!’

Apparently the event was better organised this year with whole marathon, half marathon and 10km runners all starting at different times. I heard that last year you could hardly put one foot in front of the other due to the huge numbers of competitors.

I spoke to a non running friend on the phone this morning,
‘You’re not going to go all ‘mid life crises’ on me and do the marathon next year are you? Promise me you won’t.’

A few people we know have taken up marathon running just before turning 40.

‘No, don’t worry,’ I said. ‘I absolutely hate it.’

But after I hung up I thought. Perhaps I am missing something, perhaps I should? I wonder if I could?...

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