Nairobi Marathon 2007

Posted: October 29, 2007 in marathon, New York Marathon

After training for 4 months I participapted in 2007 Nairobi Marathon on sunday. My goal was to atleast run under 3 hrs or better still try to beat Lance Armstrong time 2hrs 58mins at New York Marathon.

Perfect day for a marathon

I arrived at the Assembly area 7.00 am, one hour early to the starting time at 8.00 am. The weather was fine, cool temparatures with little wind. The runners were excited, talking of targets and comparing previous personal best times.

One guy told it was his first marathon and he planned to run a sub 3 hrs time. I was cynical about his ambitious target for someone who has never run a marathon before but who was I to doubt anyone, I wished him well.

The odd one out

The Half marathon runners were first to take off then the announcer requested the marathon runners to move forward. My plan is always to start from behind to avoid the scrum that takes place in the front. One pretty girl caught my attention, she was short and baby faced, she looked out of place among the twenty and thirty something runners. I said hi and asked her what her target was and she shyly responded, she would be happy to finish. I wished her well.

The Race Begins

8.00am and off we went running. My race strategy was 4 mins per kilometre and not to drink too much water. My strategy was put to test immediately after the start when everybody seemed to burst out sprinting. The question on my mind was should I join them?the answer was no, the sprinters were novice who didnt know a marathon is an endurance event.

When I got to the 10k mark I checked my watch it was 39 mins. I was a minute faster than my target time. I decided to slow down abit, I took my first water, only two sips. At the 15 K mark the crowds of spectators had by now gathered and  cheered us on. At the 20K mark I checked my watch again and I was behind my time by 7 mins, Instead of slowing down I had stopped running at my preffered pace.

Stomach Pains

I stepped up my pace and at the 25K mark I started developing stomach crumps and for once I had doubted if I would finish, I pushed on. At the 30K mark the stomach crumps disappered and my time was 2 hours 7 mins and know my ankles were aching with pain. For maximum mobility I adjusted my leg swing to ensure my feet got a full swing. This helped  to lift my pace.

At the 35 K mark my time was 2 hrs 30 mins, to hit my target of sub 3 hrs I had to run at a pace of 4 min per 1K for the last 7 k. At 35 K mark my pace was slowing down and there was nothing I could do about, it was clear my glycogen levels were running out if not already depleted and I was hitting the wall.

Final Push

Cheered by the crowds I kept running and reached the finish line at a time of 3hrs 6 mins. I had missed my target but happy I had shaved 20 minutes from my last years time. I got my certificate and my finishers medal.  Now I will just have to wait and see how Lance Armstrong does at New York Marathon on 3rd November.

Exhausted, I slogged to an ice parlour to eat a cold ice cream. I then went for a  free massage, painfull but relaxing. I then Joined the spectators to watch the other runners finish.

We are all Winners

After 7 hrs I decided it was time to go home, as I was passing the gates where the athletes entered to get to the finish line, the baby faced girl from the start line was finishing, it was  unbelievable, she was still running when so many runners had given up. I cheered her on and joined her to run to the finish line. She was the last runner to finish but she achieved her dream “To finish” 

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