Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Jogging in Jinja

Race day arrived. My first half-marathon, after weeks of training ...maybe as many as five(!)..I could finally put into action what I had trained for, read about and chatted about.

After all my nervous energy in the weeks before-hand, I was surprisingly settled; I possibly secretly hoped that the torrential downpours would cancel the run! Nevertheless, getting ready in the dark and rain in a tent for the half marathon didn't put us of. The rain eventually died down and the weather was kind to us.

We knew that the Source of the Nile Marathon would not be in the same league as some of the 'big races'; Boston, Chicago, New York, Paris...but there were lots of things in common with our race, I'm sure!

A starting line - We had one of these..and we even had a compere at the microphone... after all the runners sang the Ugandan National Anthem he went on to give us some relaxation tips and techniques.. "Breathe in..aannndd breathe out, Breathe in...and breathe out" -most useful advice!!

Timing chips and bibs - Yes, we had these too. We still do not know if they worked and there was a mix up with some numbers so my friend is know Iqbal!

Marshals - Again, we had a few of these,strategically placed on the long straight roads, funnily enough none were at the roundabouts!! I hope they did end-up catching the runner that jumped on the boda!

Spectators- Lots in Jinja town cheering on the elite 10km athletes, but for the lonely long distance runners they were few and far between! I did my best at encouraging them to clap and cheer for us but most of the locals looked at the two white females in bewilderment. Some did cheer, mostly in the form of, " Muzungus, you are too slow!" and other similar words of encouragement!

Medals- Sadly none of these-but I will remember my first half-marathon nonetheless.

Scenic route - We did have a great route (for the most part) and my buddy and I could forget the pain in our knees for a few seconds at a time when we admired the views of the Nile.
We chatted and ran the whole way, negative thoughts were not shared and quickly pushed out of our mind, but oh how the knees ached at the end! We were very pleased with our 2 hour 28minute finish time and even more pleased when we opened the champagne at the end!

My thoughts as I crossed the finish line..."a full marathon...not very likely!!!"

My RW magazine arrived in the mail today and I am now hunting around for my next half! But, for now my training is over, I now have to find other things to write about on my blog.
This week I am off on a long weekend camping, in search of adventures in Africa. Let's hope there are many!