Ultrarunning in Nairobi
Ultrarunning in Nairobi can only be described as a force of nature that has taken the city by storm over the last couple of years. The number of Nairobi recreational runners participating in each of their successive ultra running events has been building up at a phenomenal rate. For the uninitiated, an ultra running event is any race exceeding the 42.2km marathon distance.
Admittedly, the Urban Swaras started organizing the annual Mt Kenya Ultramarathon event about four years ago, but the latest kid on the block, Ultrarunning in Nairobi, has captured the imagination of the recreational running community in Nairobi like no other.
Who wakes up to go for a 100km run, then follows up with a 50km run the next day? Who does 50km runs, seven days in a row? These are some of the feats Wingkei Chan, the man behind this new wave in town has pulled off on a whim. His incredible superhuman endurance has challenged a few other runners to follow in his footsteps. Some of his protégés recently pushed the envelop with a run up and down Mt Kenya (you read right!) from Old Moses to Lenana Point, not once, but twice in a single day…I know, I know just how crazy that sounds! Hats off to Victor Miringu and Joshua Cheruiyot for that astonishing accomplishment. And if you think these are just boys engaged in a p**sing contest, then you haven’t met Katara Wawa and Claire Baker. These ladies have proved time and again that they can go head to head with any man, sometimes running rings around the cocky males who come to the sport unprepared.
When and Where
Ultrarunning in Nairobi organizes an ultra running event once fortnightly. They are continuously introducing new routes and locations. Some of the routes they’ve run to date include a 50km Ngong Hills circumnavigation, a 100km All-Bypasses run, Last Survivor on Ultra Trail Mt Longonot where you run up and round the crater repeatedly till you drop out, and Last Survivor on loop around the Oloolua Nature Trail till you drop out. The last survivor on the recent Oloolua Nature Trail challenge, Victor Miringu, did a whooping 114km in 18 hours 49 minutes!
How To Join
The group is fairly informal, with no special requirements to join their events. Simply head to strava.com, and request to join.
For more information on their activities, visit the Ultrarunning in Nairobi Facebook page.
This is an extreme endurance sport. If you choose to take part, be prepared to undergo extreme physical torture, and possibly loss of lucidity some of the time. However, the sense of achievement gained once it’s over, makes it all worth it.