Sunday 30th October, I was soo stoked to be part of over 20,000 participants in the Standard Chartered Marathon taking place in the Nation’s Capital Nairobi. The 14th Edition of the race sponsored by Standard bank and Athletics Kenya supports their flagship project ‘Seeing is believing’ which aims at raising funds for the needy community.
There were entries in the full marathon, 42km, 21km, 21km wheelchairs, 10km, family fun race of 6km and the new category of the CEOs 3.4km.
I was amped for the 21km half marathon among other 7000 vast crowds at the start line to a point I did not hear the start gun boom off. The elite runners had a five-minute head start from the rest of us, as it is supposed to be. Running for a reason was the goal, but for them, the cash prize of Ksh1.5million was the fuel for their speed. For the rest of us, shedding calories, fulfilling resolutions, completing bets or dares from friends and running to support a worthy cause kept us grinding.
Starting point from Nyayo stadium headed up Uhuru Highway towards the CBD was fun, with everyone overly excited and putting their best foot forward. Everyone bright in their apparel, earphones plugged in and sportswear brands were as colorful as the rainbow, the journey was only sweet at the first 5km.
The course meandered through Nairobi’s busy streets, Haile Selassie, Harambee, Parliament road, Kenyatta Avenue and University of Nairobi close, the main link being Uhuru Highway. With strategic water points to re-energize, the race got real at 8km. I kept an easy pace to avoid an early burnout and my pace mates fell back on this mark. All this time I’m regretting my inadequate preparation as my feet felt heavy.
12km mark on the museum hill overpass was a sigh of relief being half way done. The banter from the runners had calmed down. Everyone seemed to be in deep thought and questioning the objective of the race. The reflection of the sun on tarmac did us no favor and the water was really essential. 16km I had some gas and my only motivation was passing people who were walking-running but my feet and legs muscles were really hot. I really did pass over a thousand people at this.
After enduring the unforgiving course, I hit the finish line in 2hours, 15minutes. The overall winner in the half marathon crossed the banner in 1 hour 2minutes, congratulations to Rueben Limaa. He was closely followed by Dominic Kipyegon who had 1.03 and third was Kenneth Rotich at 1:03 as well.
The full marathon winners were Jane Jelagat for the ladies category in 2:34:18 and Robert Kiplimo in 2:13:27 each bagging the top cash prize of 1.5million.
For this kind of long run my take out I that preparation is key, you need to be fit to avoid stitches and muscle fatigue, have a heart of a champion and be with friends to steer you from start to finish.
See the Full KenyanVibe crew in the next race.