My marathon adventure started in Nairobi by renting a car. I drove from Nairobi to Isolo where I had reacted a hotel for the weekend. Distance to drive was 300km but it took more than 6hrs. The traffic was chaotic. People are driving from 20 to 70km/h and they are passing you from both sides of the road. Car crashes all the time and people in the middle of the street. You can rent a car in Kenya, but make sure you are a skilled driver. Spike strips, big bumps, cows and everything else like that are bringing more excitement.
Registration and First Thoughts
The race weekend started on Friday with the registration. As soon as you arrive in the nature park the wildlife is right there to welcome you. Small Giraffe cob was on the side of the road saying good morning stranger, with a pack of zebras and their young ones. I was super excited when I saw that. This will be a moment to remember. The security for the event was tight. Car and all of us were X-rayed multiple times. We got our race tags with the number on it and made sure where to park in the morning. The weather was already pushing +30 and it was 9am in the morning so it really made me think my running clothes again.
What to Wear Then
I wasn’t going to go with tights nor the jacket like I had planned, I wanted to have small shorts and really thin sleeveless top. I chose my Stella McCartney purple top. It has air holes on the side, with technical thin fabric. It also comes quite up to the neck so that my chest wouldn’t burn.
I also chose grey Stella McCartney’s shorts, which are really soft and light. I was hoping that my thighs wouldn’t give me abrasion. Shorts were that much short that it won’t prevent that, but it was that hot, I was ready to take my chances. Shoes I have are Adidas UltraBoost19 and they were perfect with their “air conditioning”. The knitted fabric on the shoes was breathing nicely and I was thinking that they would stay dry for the whole marathon. The platform was dry and dusty sand, so I wanted to see also if the sand would go into the shoe.
The only problem that I had was my stomach, it had not functioned for the past four days. So on the last night, I had half of a liter of ginger tea with lemon and honey. I hoped that my stomach would calm down till morning. Now all I needed was good night sleep and off to the marathon with a smile.
Car was shown temperature +13 and it’s 6.30am in the morning when I arrived at Lewa. Now I’m thinking that I should have taken warmer clothes. I decided to stick with what I had and good because at 9am in the shadow it was +31 and in the sun on the savannah, it was probably more than 40 degrees. It was a really hot race.
First of all, I want to thank the Tusk organization for the perfect hosting of the event. Everything worked really good and the atmosphere at the event was positive and happy. People really enjoyed the race and the event. Good work and it was my pleasure to participate in the charity event like this.
EveryStepCounts, well that is true. 1400 runners started the race at 7.30am even though the original start was 7.15am but elephants decided to come on the route and we needed to wait before we got into action.
After the Race
This is probably the magnificent race I have ever participated. The route was fabulous and the platform was best possible. The hard sandy road was comfortable to run.
On full marathon, you needed to run 2 rounds and it was fun, that there was a big difference. Felt like I was running in different competitions. 1400 people running to the track at the same time, some running half marathon and it took 2hrs just to pass and looking for the place to do it. The atmosphere was awesome, supporting shout outs, music, and the drinking spots were bringing you into a good mood. There was a lot of drinking spots and good so, this heat was burning. I had a really good start and the midway my step was still light. I arrived at the turn at the same time when the first Kenyan was already crossing the Finnish line. It was crazy how fast they run a full marathon. It took 2hrs for me to reach the midway so I head to the last round.
Was really weird that on the second round I had a chance to run all by myself. Traffic on the track was gone because on the full marathon there were only 200 participants. Was really quiet, peaceful and I could just concentrate on my own run.
This joyfulness didn’t last long. The old bulge on the hip started to act. The pain started on the 30km mark, it was beyond bearing and I lost the lifting power from my foot. All the long uphills I needed to walk.
This was increasing my final time so I wasn’t making any records this time. I did get to the goal on my own and even running while doing it. I’m so happy for the experience and this was a training competition to after all. 5hrs 30min is a long time to run in this kind of heat and I could feel that in my body.
The event was great and will stay in my memories as a really good educational competition. My hydration went perfectly and I managed to time my gel intake also. Really good practice for the September.
When I reached the goal, the trophy ceremony had started and they were giving speeches. I was just heading to the masseuse and started the recovering process. Safaricom Marathon offered everyone a free massage, which was heaven even though it was hurting a lot.
Parties at the scene continued long till the afternoon and it would have been nice to stay there for the band but I needed a shower and get some food. That’s why the hotel was calling my name straight after the masseuse.
Its good from here to continue the training, now that I have some rehabilitation for the hip flexor. I also need to start having longer runs so that I can cross the finish line in the 100km run.
Thank You for the Great Experience
Thank you for the day Tusk and Safaricom. Next year I’m interested to come and run this again, in these landscapes and I won’t be scared easily by the heat. Here is a link for more information and you can also sign in for the race next year.
I want also to say thank you for Adidas for the perfect running gear. They were perfect. Especially the UltraBoost 19 running shoes. I have never run with better shoes like these ones and the size factor that I was thinking, should I have 1/2 size smaller so that the shoe would feel more fitted. These new type of shoes you don’t have to take a little bit bigger size than your actual foot. In these circumstances, this was a perfect fit. My feet swell up during the race because of the heat, but the shoe wasn’t small at all. Sand dust did get inside my shoe though. Not so much that it would have bothered me. At the finish line, I was looking at other runners sandy toes, mine was less. If you are looking for a perfect running shoe, I would happily recommend this UltraBoost19 from Adidas. No abrasion, no blisters and I was running 5hrs 30min straight. This was the perfect condition to get them and nothing.
My over all position was 97th. Winners time was amazing 2:20.04 Maivo Duncan from Kenya and fastest female runner was Emmah Kilole 2:50.31
Keep following me, when I push to the limits!