Lewa Marathon is the only marathon in the world where spectators include wild animals. The start of 2008 Lewa Marathon had to be delayed by 15 minutes because a lion was sunning itself on part of the marathon circuit. The tight security team had to use a helicopter to evacuate the king of the jungle.
Elephants also came close to the route but the security team was swift to push them back. Sounds like a lot of fun! Just a note, since the marathon started no runner has been unfortunate victim of an hungry leopard or lion. Its a private Ranch and I bet the animals are well fed.
The winner of 2008 Lewa Safaricom marathon, Benson Kaptikou finished in a slow time of 2.21.39 to win a cash prize of US$2,000. He admitted he had sold his only goat for US$20 to raise bus fare to travel to the ranch.
“I have always believed that life is a gamble and that is why I did not have second thoughts about it” he said.
The marathon is held inside a wild life ranch located in Kenya on the slopes of Mt. Kenya. Its run on dirt roads 5,500 feet above sea level. Lewa Ranch offers a camp site with entertainment. The money raised from the marathon goes to wildlife conservation.
Feeling like running wild! Visit Lewa marathon official site to see how you can participate. Participation is limited to 750 runners.
If you are from North America and around the world you may also try the following site: http://www.tusk.org/safaricom-marathon-2009.asp
Once in a while I check on AP News, odd stories section for something out of the ordinary. Last week I found this interesting story of one nude runner,
“Police in Lincoln Nebraska arrested a man on Saturday night for running on a Lincoln bike trail in his thong underwear.Police say the 26-year-old man was arrested for indecent exposure. Officers said they found him running around Holmes Lake wearing his socks, shoes and, of course, the thong.” source : Ap news
The story of the runner who broke her leg and crawled to the finish is the best running story I read in 2007.
Claire Markwardt’s horrific fall in the final stretch of the Ohio state high school cross country championship was full of courage and perseverance.
Nothing heroic about falling in a race, but when you fall and crawl the final 45 feet to the finish line, you are a hero.
According to media reports, the horrific drama unfolded, as she entered the stadium at Columbus’ Scioto Downs, with about 400 meters to go, “she heard her left leg crack, she thought it was just a simple muscle pull and kept running” because, as she says “There was a runner from one of our rival schools right in front of me, and I kept staring at the back of her jersey and pushing myself to catch her.”But some 200 meters later, Markwardt heard the leg crack again and she then fell down infront of the crowds. One of Markwardt’s teammates, unaware of what had happened, encouraged her to get up. She tried, using her right leg. But as soon as she shifted weight to the left, the loudest crack yet came. She just couldnt stand on her feet. “At that point, I knew what had happened. I knew my leg was broken pretty badly. And I knew I couldn’t get up again. So I started crawling,” she said.
In today’s world where so many are uninspired or give up too easily Claire is really awesome and unique.
I love Haile Gebreselassie for many reasons. This is one,
Like my English teacher used to tell us, Smile and the whole world will smile with you.
What do you do when you are short of confidence? Every time you come close but fall at the last hurdle? Running naked was the answer for one Golfer.
Stewart Cink had a long list of missed opportunities. Nine times he held a lead after three rounds only to lose at the end. On Sunday he finally managed to hold on to a lead and win PGA Travellers Championship.
When asked by reporters how he sealed the deal this time, his answer was “My wife Lisa advised me,” “sometimes you have to be willing to run naked across the green!”
On Sunday Stewart threw caution to the wind and not worried about the consequence.
Its amazing what you can achieve when you don’t think about what people are saying about you or what is gona happen. Focusing on the Process is the difference between winning and losing.
Read Stewart Cink Full Interview.
After three months of marathon training on road I have decided to shift my next three runs to running on a grass track. The purpose of the shift is to give my legs, especially the ankles a break from the hard tarmac surface.
One way I avoid suffering an injury is to alternate my training surface. I run on tarmac for a few months then shift to a grass track for a short while.
Yesterday was my first run on grass and its was one of the fastest run I have run for a long time. Three months of running on tarmac and doing hill runs has made me strong and fast.
Benefits of a Track
1. Speed work, A flat surface allows you to accelerate as fast as your legs can run.
2. Minimizes Risk of Injury, Whether the track near you is a grass or an artificial track, the soft surface reduces the risk of a running injury.
3. Helps In Injury Recovery. After a running injury I start running on grass first before getting back to road running. If it feels good on grass , its safe to run on tarmac.
3. Easy to Measure Your distance. A standard track measures 400 meters. Two and a half laps is equal to a Kilomete. By calculating the number of laps, times 400 meters you can easily tell the distance you have covered.
Every time I finish my run I feel so good.
Scientist in Germany published a report in March that proves that running can make you high. According to the paper my feeling of joy is not just a matter of feeling satisfied with doing something difficult like finishing a 10k but a result of biochemical effects on my brain.
The paper says, when you are running chemicals are released that alter your mood and those chemicals are endorphins. Endorphin is the natural hormone that is responsible for feeling happy. Running does elicit a flood of endorphins to the brain. The more endorphins a runner’s body pumps out the higher you feel.
This report explains why some us find running so addictive.
“Happiness is Running“
Growing old doesn’t mean you have to be sick, bored and unfulfilled.
Anyone who has visited runners world website must have read about Sister Madonna Buder. The 76 year old Catholic nun has completed over 300 marathons and 34 ironmans (2.4 mile swim, 112mile bike run and a 26mile run). This nun is one of the many running inspiring stories around.
She took up marathon running at 49 after she heard from a runner that it harmonizes the body, mind and spirit.
At first she had self doubts whether it was okay for a nun to compete. She doesn’t worry anymore. “You don’t need to apologize for the gifts you’ve been given,” she says. “Only apologize for not using them.”
She is quoted as saying “I train religious” I believe Pope Benedict would agree to that!
I was listening to Kobe Bryant interview on CNN sports and from his comments, I have to say being a pro athlete is difficult. While for recreational runners like us we are happy to have a good time, for the pro athlete taking second place is not good enough
LA lakers had just lost to Boston Celtics (131-92) in the 2008 NBA championship and even before laker’s players had swallowed the pain here was Kobe speaking to press.
The media guys can be insensitive: this is how they opened the interview, “Kobe how does it feel to be here”
Kobe Bryant “It sucks”
His patting shot “second place means you are the first loser”
Better luck next year L.A Laker’s fans
My last sunday morning run was affected by my travels to watch Kenya soccer team play Zimbabwe. After spending a four hours bus ride on Saturday I woke up on Sunday morning feeling exhausted and I felt tempted to put off my morning run.
But for me a sunday is never a sunday without running just like my mother who a sunday is never a sunday without attending mass. Every time I talk with my mother on the phone she has never hidden her displeasure with my choice to spend sunday morning road running. She would rather have me singing in church but I politely remind her I don’t know how to sing!
Effects of Travel
I first did a few stretches and hit the road. I normaly take a mile to get my lungs to adjust to running but this time my panting was heavier than normal and my legs felt heavy. I thought of stopping the run and walk back home but instead I decided to jog and see what would happen.
It was after 45 minutes of running that the panting disappeared and running got easy.