Last Saturday i ‘ran‘ my second 10K just 6 days after ‘running‘ my first half marathon. This was the Heart challenge put on by the Heart-to-Heart Foundation (a Kenyan Medical Charity) which is dedicated to the control, Prevention and Treatment of heart diseases in children.
As usual, my day started pretty early. I ‘slept in’ a little though and didn’t get out of bed till 5:30. I was really sleepy. For some reason i average about 5 hours of sleep right before race days I didn’t have much in the way of breakfast due to stomach discomfort and nausea and so off i went, on an almost empty stomach.
I got to the race venue (Uhuru gardens)
in good time thanks to there being no traffic jam which is one thing that had me worried earlier on. I immediately noticed that the Karen Hospital run was not a huge event. Yes there were quite a lot of people but not as large a number as am used to. There were a lot of Primary school kids with their parents in tow. The atmosphere was close-knit i guess you can say.
There was on-sight registration/packet pick up going on for those who hadn’t had the time to sign up for the race earlier. The race didn’t start at the appointed time (7am) which was a huge disappointment for me because I had to wait for close to 2 hours for it to start. They really should have just said that it would start at 8:30 or 9. Plus it was quite chilly (not necessarily bad conditions for a race but i just had a t-shirt on. No jacket, so i was freezing)!
There was an MC and Dj keeping the crowd (read kids) entertained while the latecomers trooped in. I got hungry in the process and got some freshly made pop corn from a vendor there. That was something i would not do before a race but i quickly realized that this was going to be a not-so-serious run for me even though my ‘illness’ had cleared up by then.
After a few pre-race announcements, information and a warm up session, the run started at about 10 to 9. I got stuck in the middle of the pack. The roads had not been closed off since that was a ‘small’ race and so we had to use the sidewalks. There were law enforcement officials present to flag down traffic when needed as well as ambulances to keep the participants safe.
Remember this picture that i took 2 years ago?
Yep. Its an annual event and this year is my first time taking part! Glad i was on the road as a participant and not a spectator in a vehicle this time round 🙂
Because a lot of people chose to walk, there wasn’t much room to weave through people and run. As a result, i walked for the better part of the course occasionally running whenever i saw an opening to do so. I actually didn’t mind the walking. I found it to be quite relaxing. It allowed me some time for reflection and when i didn’t want to think anymore, I had my music with me 🙂
The course took us from the National Museums of Kenya-Uhuru gardens, down to Nyayo stadium, down to Mombasa road, up Aerodome road heading to and past Moi Educational Centre, all the way past T-mall and back to Langata road heading towards the starting point. There were some inclines along the way and I was glad i didn’t have any major running goals this time round. My only goal was to finish the run. I have to admit that i did have major bling envy at the end of the race because some of the top finishers got medals
It took me 1hr 20min to finish the run which was okay. (Edited to add: It was actually 1hr 30min). The sun did come up before i was done but thank God it was behind me and that I had on a hat. I also had drinking water from one of the water stations so that helped. The race shirts were beautiful but made of cotton material (not dri-fit) so they didn’t allow for sweat-wicking. As a result the back of mine was drenched. Plus i had my tiny back pack with me.
After finishing the run, i took the obligatory post-run pics and then picked a spot and sat down to have a bite. This time i brought my own post-run snacks. There was no food being served, just vendors selling snacks. I had some chocolate milk, a banana and cake. This is actually a great post-run snack although i felt that i hadn’t exerted myself enough to warrant it. But i was hungry because…missed breakfast and all!
I didn’t hang around for much longer afterwards. I got my certificate and headed home where i showered and had a power nap (like i always do). I wasn’t tired at all. Just sleepy. That wasn’t a very eventful day for me which was okay for a change. It allowed for me to have a mellow-chilled out weekend.
I plan to participate again next year!
Check out my first 10K here.