If you ask me, last weekend was arguably the best weekend i have ever had, since i can remember…. Yeah for real. My producer from KBC calls me on Monday and asks, “Hey are you free on Friday? Have you ever been to the Lewa Marathon?” Well, a journalist’s rule number one, you are always free! Then he goes, “I am sending you to do a story for Grapevine, ok? Rodgers from Gina Din will call you!” And what do you know? I was xtra excited to get on board! People at my other 9-5 BBC office are like the coolest ever, well our 9-5 is actually somewhat like 10-4 there :) So i asked my boss to allow me to be away on Friday and he said, “Just finish your work by Thur and go” coooooooooooooooooooool right? YIPEE!
When Rodgers Wabito finally called me, i got the idea that i was going to be among a few other media representatives from several media houses who were going to cover/ spectate/ camp at the Lewa marathon, doesn’t that sound like a whoooole package?
It was finally Friday!! Special shout-out to my girlfriend Louise and my sis Pollyne for the great assistance, they helped me pack my bags on thur evening till 1 a.m into Fri morning! You would think that i was going on safari for a whole week, but lets just put it this way, you would rather carry a lot un necessary things because in them you’ll never miss the necessary!
This was the very first safari i was going to without any of my friends, so i was very careful not to be late. Maybe that’s why I was the first person to get to Stanley hotel where the bus was picking us at 8 a.m, trust the rest of the African timers. And they started coming through, the only other girls in the team,Vera, Chinekeh, Rachael, and the many boys! Out of that whole lot i only knew Rodgers and Elvis the photographer, the rest of the team, i had either heard of them, seen them at several events or never so you can imagine how interesting an experience it was for me.
Departure time was 10 a.m, and no sooner had the bus left than it was song, dance, all sorts of drinks from wine to brandy and mchomgwano, there was even a vuvuzela, i guess it was either Moria’s from Gina Din or The Star’s energy ball of a photographer geez whats his name? The light dude hiding in the pixx. Nway and there was a very loud familiar looking dude seating next to me in the bus, turns out it was HHHassssan Jumaaaaaaa from KTN. In pursuit of pleasantries here and there, he even showed me his national id, his name is actually Jumaa, with the two A’s, he says he is Digo from coast so they have to pronounce it as Jumaaaaaaa! This one is for Marcus and all the other people who were wondering, LOL
1st official pittstop was at Nanyuki big bar for nyama, that wasn’t its name but goddaymn we sinfully ate, hot ass fat chapatis, viaziz, nyama boilo, then nyam chom, then chicken fried then more nyama, then more nyama and more nyama and the boys kept telling me eat up! When we get there, you’ll be sooo hungry!
We FINALLY got there at about 4 p.m, it was so HOT, dusty, bright, and busy. All other campers/ fun lovers/ athletes and what a view were busy trying to get accustomed to the place, getting the relevant tent/meal cards and tags. Its then when i saw one of the boys tweeting, and i found out that all this time he was the one and only @Mwanikih, 4 the record he is soooo tallllll! and so coool :) Here is some photographic evidence, see! and we became BBF’s from then onwards :)
Friday evening was basically all about getting accustomed to the cold pricking weather,probably lows of around 5 there. After dinner, which was pasta, macaroni and minced meat! In the wilderness, seriously Safaricom, it was time for the much coveted bonfire :) P.S that’s a pixx i took of the REAL bonfire!
Now i know that a bonfire doesn’t only emit heat but a lot of stories, bottles of wine and all sorts of alcoholic drinks, laughter, new alliances, hundreds of people of all race and kind and most of all, a special kind of warmth like no other. Despite all that, i was still a tad cold so i found myself singing, “She needs more wood for the fire ….”
It later turned out that there were some dudes of Caribbean decent at the fire, they told me that back in their country “wood” is sheng’ for Penis. I know you all know the song, and that we knew that in it wood must have been used metaphorically but the hell i didn’t know it was penis!? The fire-place makes you drowsy, and its worse when you had been sipping since 10 a.m so between 11pm and midnight it was tent retirement. For the record each tent had two beds, each bed had sheets, a blanket and a bed cover, one reason why i now LOVE Safaricom!
Saturday the big day was finally here, got woken up rudely by obnoxious photographers whose tent was next to mine at 5.50 a.m, shouting, ” wa wa wa wa wa! checki hiyo sunrise wa wa wa wa checki checki hiyo shot wa wa wa!” I did shout,”SHARRRRRUP!” severally but it seemed like, the more i shouted the more i woke myself up. Breakfast was served at 6 a.m, the game drive car was ready to pick us by 6.30! And at exactly 6.45 i did my standup, at 7 a.m the sun was overhead and the running wild kicked off!
HIGHLIGHT OF MY TRIP!
This annoying white woman was in the same game drive rover with me, Philip Mwaniki, Hassan Juma, Elvis, Patrick Wanjohi and the driver of course et al. Ideally when you are in the wilderness, you don’t need to be told much as its for your eyes to see, she kept yapping back and forth, how she knows of animals, and how her husband is racing, how she had wanted to race but couldn’t because she was pregnant and all that while we were all like BLA BLA BLA BLA…..We got to a certain stop and the runners were passing, then all of a sudden this mama started jumping up and down screaming,”OMG OMG Itttsssssss Niiick!!” What all the Africans heard, “Aaaa Ssssnaaake!!”
It was pandemonium, geez! I literally jumped to the car’s rooftop, the driver almost crushed into a spring, Philip Mwanikih dropped his headphones in the 70 cms long grass, Patrique was already praying to God, and Hasssan Jumaaaaaaaaa, “Sneki, eti nini? Wapi hiyo sneki? Eti sneki iko wapi?” It took a good 15 minutes for us all to recover from that extreme of fear and shock to wow, that was silly and soo funny! Turns out she was just overly excited cheering at her husband, NICK!
After the race, it was lunch time, amazing buffet in the wilderness, again Bigup Safaricom, then a cold roofless shower under the scotching sun, that felt GREAT, then drinks, then a nap, then dinner, then drinks, then the bonfire, then drinks, then socializing, then more drinks, then the big screen oooh, i think i was too high to even recognize that it was present, then news that Ghana had beaten USA, then it was CELEBRATIONS galore! When i woke up Sunday morning, i had a headache, then i thanked God i was in my tent in my bed, and alone, but i noticed i slept with my boots on, i was without my scarf and earing! Someone later called me, claiming that he had salvaged them, i don’t know how true that is ;-) but lets just say that i now know the other reason why they call it the,”LEWA” marathon! Sululululululu! Well, events of that night still remain misty blue but certainly and definitely nostalgic! After breakfast (check out that combo!) we hit the road back, sadly!
In summary, this year the Safaricom Lewa marathon brought together a well organized event of 1,000 runners, 99 co-operate teams of 4 or 5 people each, a nuts media team of 30 or so. You can be sure that the next marathon will be kick ass! Try be there! Special shoutout to Rodgers, Japho, Hasssan Jumaaa, Philip, Patrique and SAFARICOM :)
Spotted this angels playing with water under the heat of the moment! And bar no. 1