Running With the Kenyans!

Oh ya, I’m in Kenya, Africa. I was planning on writing a blog before I left but my days leading up consisted of packing and making millions of copies of my passport, that I did not have the chance!

So, I’m in Kenya with a journalism class from IU, reporting on HIV/AIDS. I am focusing on nutrition and diet how that affects HIV and other diseases that people are living with. We have just arrived in Eldoret, Kenya and have not started reporting yet, but if anyone is interested in our work  you can go here in the next couple of days:

When packing and getting ready for the class, I was not sure what to bring running clothes wise. My professor assured me that running would be possible, (we have a curfew and other strict safety rules) only if I had a buddy. So, Monday evening I set out around the house that we are staying at in search of a running buddy. Leonard, one of the guards of the house, said he would run with me and I gladly accepted. He is in his 30s/40s, tall, but not the typical Boston elite runner. He said he runs sometimes and I had an easy time keeping up with him, thank goodness. So, we set out at 6 a.m (8 hours ahead of my Indiana hometown time if anyone was wondering) and started up at a brisk pace. The temperature was great, probably in the 60s, so I was in my typical shorts and t-shirt running style. I guess it is the typical American style. When we running and passing and getting passed (of course) the other Kenyan runners they were all wearing running tights and windbreaker jackets! In addition to me being the only girl running, the only white person on the road, I was also the only one wearing shorts. My running partner, Leonard was also wearing longer shorts, which also made me believe that he is not a regular runner.

We turned onto a long dirt road called, Old Nairobi Road, and ran about 2 miles down it then turned. I timed our run at 40 mins and LEonard it was a little less than 5 miles, so I’ll take it after not running for a week and spending two days straight on an airplane!

It was really cool seeing all the Kenyans running. It wold have been cooler to talk with them a little but I kind of just nodded while they stared at the little white girl running. I also found it interesting that I did not feel the altitude at all! Some other girls said they had trouble breathing when we got to Eldoret, but I felt fine! Maybe I just need to run a little faster!

Leonard can not run with me everyday unfortunately, but he did tell me about another loop that is close to the house that I can run with another student or by myself that is safe to do. I am not worried about people, but more of the cars rushing by on the wrong side of the road! I do not think I will get used to that.

If I do happen to run into any elites I will return with the secret to running and winning Boston! (I wish!)


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