Running in East Africa…

I have done something here I never thought I would do. Running in the city. I have been at it consistently since December and having just logged over fifty miles last month thought a few reflections would be fun.

Running here is like trail running, on concrete while dodging matatus (small minivans), buses, cows, people and occasionally dogs. My immediate neighborhood has amazing sidewalks (for the area) which are pictured below. Most of the other places I am dodging mud puddles, cars and people without the luxury of a separate sidewalk to run on. 

Running in this altitude is crazy! We are over 5,000 ft above sea level. So instead of being frustrated by my slower running times I pretend that if I was running sea level I would be able to cut a good 30 seconds off my mile time…pipe dreams perhaps but it keeps me moving :-). That and the way the heavy smog makes the most gorgeous sunrises…

If I carry small change I have my choice of places to stop and refresh on long runs. While I have yet to take advantage of a ugali break mid run or even a soda for hydration it’s nice to know the option exists.

There are moments when I am running here where I feel that I am going very fast (like when I am passing all the crazy traffic) and other moments where I realize how very slow I am (when all the local runners are passing me as if I was standing still).

One of my favorite things about running here is how quickly the environment changes within the course of just five miles (or 6km) my view can change drastically (see below)

Most excitement was the day I got bit by a dog … hard…and had to get rabies vaccinated and antibiotics (not cool!), jumped live electrical lines, was hit by a vehicle dodged sheep and was run into by a cow… Most runs are far less exciting :-).


I am currently training to chase down a 10k in under 6o minutes after running a 5k in under 30 and a mile in under 8 minutes (my previous goals)…I am thinking this 10k one is a bit more elusive and I may need more than a month to take it down!


My favorite parts of running are starting my day by praying (I pray while i run) and praising (love my worship music). I sure feel blessed and privileged to run here!