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Mzuri Sana

January 19, 2011

I’m getting some WIFI right now so I’m going to try to load some photos so I don’t drain my sim card again… let’s see if this works…

I’ll write later.

… The first bit of running news is that I’ve decided NOT to run London marathon this Spring.  At the beginning of last week it was 14 weeks out and that is when I like to start my Marathon specific workouts.  I was really behind the ball due to my injury and made the decision that I didn’t want to play catch up and sacrifice my preparation for such a big race.  I’d much rather save it up and run well in the fall, which leads me to another topic.

World Championships marathon.  Even though I qualified for the World Champs this year I’m not going to run them.  It’s going to be bloody hot in Daegu so you can throw a fast time out of the window.  That is not good for many reasons but the main two are that; 1) I want to ensure I have a spot on the Olympic team and I think there is a really good chance my 2:11:23 will not hold as one of the top 3 times so I want to run faster this Fall. 2) Even if I run well and finish, say, 17th in the World, AC will not recognize this towards carding if the time is slow (remember 2007 Worlds was won in 2:17).  I learned my lesson in 2009 competing at Worlds, which I don’t regret because the experience was invaluable, but at the same time I finished 25th and AC didn’t give a damn.  BTW in Great Britain if you finish in the top 20 at Worlds they count that as an ‘A’ standard towards the Olympics.  Also the Brits that are here are fully funded from GB athletics, including coaches and physio.

The trip so far has exceeded any of my expectations.  The running here is great and it’s awesome seeing so many runners out and about.  At the track on Tuesday I counted about 130 athletes and a guy who was sitting with Larry and I in the stands told us there are sometimes upwards of 200 on a Tuesday morning.  I ran around the track Wednesday and it is rough!  There is one spot where a big rock is eroding through the dirt, needless to say I won’t be risking my foot with spikes on this track anytime soon.

The culture that we are experiencing here is quite fascinating because of how different it is from Canada.  When we’re running out in the country kids get really excited to see a Mzungo (white person) and often throw out their hands for high fives.  Yesterday a kid stared at his hand after the high five in amazement.  It seems everyone is always out and about doing something as it’s probably more interesting than being at home.  There are little schools everywhere as the schools are small (one or two rooms mostly) and very few cars.  Today on my run this guy in dress shoes, slacks and a sweater started running beside me and I was clipping along at 3:45/km.  I’ve also seen a guy booting along in a full suit.  Every run I’ve been on I’ve seen goats, sheep and cattle wandering or being herded.  Most people ask “how are you?” and the response they are looking for is “fine” or “very fine”.

Of course there are all the amenities at Lornah’s HATC (High Altitude Training Camp) that one would want for comfortable living.  Three cooked meals a day, hot water, private bathrooms, WIFI (most of the time), lounge with TV, sauna, pool, weights and cardio equipment, ping pong table, laundry, towels.  This place is meant for training hard and living comfortably.

Yesterday on my run I was going up a slight hill and this boy on his bike carrying a water jug on the back was close behind. With the hill and the water jug it was tough work going up a hill although I got the feeling he wanted to pass (there was room to do so).  Once we crested the hill he went by me on the Dutch style bike and started to fly down the backside of the hill.  This trail had small turns and rolls.  He started going a little out of control and I got the impression the brakes weren’t functional.  A little more speed and one foot was off the pedal, then the other.  He’s flying now, handle bars flicking side to side and every once in a while there is daylight between his butt and the seat.  I’m seriously getting worried for this kid on this rodeo bull ride and then his water jugs falls off the back rack and  is bouncing off the side of his bike as it’s still tied up.  Somehow he managed to ride this thing out and I congratulated him at the bottom of the hill but I think he was still in shock.

Kids flying homemade kites by the rift valley.

Track session at the track one mile from HATC.  Asbel Kiprop was there doing a cool interval where he ran the first 300m on the track and then ran up a hill behind the stands, it was probably about 440m interval.

Iten.

Kids outside the HATC.

The kite flying kids loved to pose see their pictures on the back of our cameras.  Larry is there showing some of them their pics.

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6 Comments
  1. Kyle Desormeaux permalink
    January 19, 2011 8:46 am

    Sweet pictures Reid, keep them coming.

  2. Jay Dolmage permalink
    January 20, 2011 8:09 am

    Awesome stuff Reid — you should turn this into a magazine article when you get back.

  3. Rebecca permalink
    January 20, 2011 7:56 pm

    Heart-Warming…

  4. Chris Winter permalink
    January 21, 2011 7:43 am

    Love hearing about your trip Reid! Glad to hear your getting in some running too!

  5. January 28, 2011 7:35 am

    Incredible cultural descriptions, love it! I hope you are doing ‘very fine’.

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