Day 81: Kass Marathon Recap

Home sweet home

I figured its time I sat down and look back at my first attempt at a marathon and how it went. What I did right, what I did wrong, and how I can improve.

First things first, I did not finish. There are many reasons for this and I wish I could have done things differently. A lot of things went wrong and I realized that I did not plan adequately and took a lot of things for granted.

How far did I go? I only did 30KM of the 42 in a time of 3hrs 14 minutes. Not so bad for someone who is overweight and had only trained for approximately 2 months with no training plan at all. Could I have finished the marathon? From the depths of my soul I believe I could. By the 30KM mark I was tired but not completely drained. I think I could have gotten the remaining 12K in about 2hrs(putting into consideration my level of tiredness).

Reasons (maybe excuses????)

  1. There are a few reasons I did not finish but the most significant one was that my brother, who has never had a day of training in his life, could not go on.  My brother Jason, is 16 years old (I had to sneak him into the race because you had to be 18 and above to run- not my best sister moment) he just finished his 3rd yr of high school and is starting his senior year next year. He plays basketball and rugby for his school team and he is fit, tall and fast. I talked him into running with me and I don’t think he has run more than 10K continuously in his life.  I just threw him into a marathon and the fact that he did 30K is unbelievable.
  2. My other partner for the race was my other brother Norbert. He has did not start running until I talked him into coming to the Kass marathon with me. That was two months ago. He went with me to the Nairobi marathon last month so he was a bit more prepared than Jason to run. But at the 25K mark he was also calling for us to get into the trail bus. I felt that I owed it to both of them to stop where we did.
  3. Even though I truly believe I could have finished, I know that I was not a prepared as I should have been. I did not have any have a solid plan that I followed. My longest run was 20K and this was 2 weeks before the race. Going for this race was a last minute thing and I think I paid for that.
  4. For my next marathon (you better believe there will be a next and a next…) I plan on actually getting plan on paper and preparing religiously. I also plan on doing this alone unless I have someone who is as committed and is training just as much as I am. Because this was my first, I felt that I needed a safety net of people around me and ended up getting two guys who were not ready for this and could not give me the support I needed. {Caveat: I hope it doesn’t come off as if I blame by bros for not finishing. It was all on me, they just wanted to support me and I did not prepare them enough, they did more than their share and I can’t believe they went as far as they did}

Now to the actual recap:

The race was to start in Kapsabet town and end in Eldoret where I live. This is about a 45-minute drive. We could not spend the night is Kapsabet because it would be too expensive. The plan was to get up at 4am, get to town and get a bus that would take us there. First off, I could not get myself to sleep the night before no matter what. I tossed and turned the whole night and only got in a few minutes of sleep here and there. I even got up and at 3.25am thinking it was time. To make matters worse, I finally managed to fall asleep after this and by the time the alarm clock rang I was sleeeeepy.

I got myself up and went over to wake the boys up to moans of how much they hated me. We had no time for breakfast (mistake) and only carried energy bars to sustain us through the race. We got to the bus station at around 5 and there were plenty of other runners going to the race (we were the only amateur runners present. Everyone else is an elite runner that does this for a living. Oi)

When we got to the start, it was about 6am and the race was to start at 7am. After looking at all the runners, I knew that there was no way we could make the race and so we cheated :-D. we started running at 6am giving us a head start of about an hour heheheheheheheh(evil laugh) P.s it didn’t really help and they overtook us and left us in the dust. The lead team was running at about 3min/km (sweet Jesu how can anyone move that first for a whole 42) the winner had a time of 2hrs 14 minutes.

The route is nothing but hills. After our first 2KM we encountered a hill of that was never ending 2.5k of a steady incline and that was when I doubted that I could actually finish.  The sweet gods had mercy on us and we had a down hill that helped us recover.

The race was fun. We ran a lot of it but also took time to look around and enjoy the view. The Eldoret-Kapsabet area is beautiful. It is right in the rift valley and the landscape is amazing. Its made up of hills and valleys and the fun part was all the kids and even adults who had woken up early to stand on the side of the road to cheer the runners. At one point a bunch of young girls who saw me running came along side me and ran for about 1Km with me. They were the sweetest little kids and still in primary school. I talked to them a bit and they wanted to know what I did and when I Told them about law school, the little girls said they also wanted to finish school and go to law school. These are girls in a tiny village and the fact that they aspired so high made me incredibly happy. The spectators on the road had never seen someone as large as me run, it was a spectacle to them, and you will see why after you look at the pictures I post. I wasn’t sure weather to be offended or happy that they were so surprised. They kept cheering me on and keep going. One even wanted to take me to his house and slaughter a goat for me. (They would be traumatized to hear I am a vegetarian)

I’m glad I went to the marathon. I learned a lot and next time, I won’t be signing up for a competitor’s only marathon. Damnit I want to have at least one person who is slower than me.

Oh and before I forget the rest of my siblings, were supposed to be waiting for us at the finish line by 11am but instead decided to go drink wine while we waited for them for an HOUR. can you imagine anything more selfish??

Now for the fun part…… PICTURES.

Start line: 6am in the morning no light

the country side

more scenery

people waiting for the runners: since we had an hour head start, we were the first ones they saw 🙂

more people lining the streets

First stop at the 15K mark for water

We had been running for a bit over 2 hrs when the men caught up with us at the 19K mark. they had done it in 59 Minutes

me running towards the police car. thats how we knew the elite runners were coming. the sirens were blasting to make sure no walkers were on the roads.

these were the female runners. they caught up with us first. apparently they give the girls a 30 minute head start.

first woman had a time of 2.41 this is a tough race of of all the hills and high altitude

And now you see why i was the fattest female there.

my bro and I running to wars the 17KM mark. thats the furthest he has ever run.

my two younger brothers fit in. i was the sore thumb.

This Sign welcomes you to Eldoret. We take running seriously in Eldoret. Martin Kiptolo Lel is a Kenyan long distance and marathon runner. He won the London Marathon in 2005, 2007, and 2008, the New York City Marathon in 2003 and 2007 and the Great North Run in 2007 and 2009.

the end of the Road for us.

had to find the 42KM mark and take a pic

the morning after the race, my brother jason insisting that he will never run another marathon again but he is ready for a 100m race.

He won!

Rematch. he won again. How skinny and tall are these guys. why did the genes skip me 😛


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