If running/ walking 10kms and sleeping 6 hours straight after doesn’t inspire me to write something here, then I may as well hand in my resignation. Yesterday I participated in my first ever marathon. I was overwhelmed by the number of people or companies that have paid 20k to a telecommunications company to just sweat it out on a Sunday morning until google told me that, more than 800 marathons are held throughout the world each year. So I guess we are not special.
Despite all the other races in this city the MTN Kampala marathon has to be the most anticipated maybe because it started this whole sweat for a good cause business before any one else in Uganda as far as I know and there is always something to be said for pioneers of things. The causes that filled our billboards/ TV screens for which we ran this year are , to improve maternal health and reduce children’s exposure to cancer by removing and replacing asbestos roofs from classrooms.
I never picked a cause. I knew I was running for myself , just to try the marathon once. See if it will kill me. Use it as a yardstick to measure my fitness. Break Sunday morning routine. Push myself. Take a nice picture or 6 and say I accomplished something other than graduation in 2017.
I coped better than I had hoped but I reached some place and I was officially done running, so I started observing and asking friendly people why they are running. The conversations went like,
Friendly Humans : Hi
Me: So why are you running?
Friendly Humans: Huh? What do you mean why am I running?
Me: Why are you in your running shoes on a Sunday morning, sweating in the middle of the city and ready to pass out?
Friendly Human 1: I was an athlete in school, so running is a passion of mine.
Friendly Human 2: It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to work out for the rest of the year.
Friendly Human 3: For fun. I have been doing this since 2008. It is a lot of fun.
Friendly Human 4: For the cause.
Me: Oh which one? Do you know you are the first person I have asked who has said they are running for the cause?
Friendly Human 4: I don’t know what you mean by which cause. Does it matter?
Me: Of course not.
Friendly Human 5 : For the cause. The one that has to do with cancer.
Friendly Human 6: I am running for myself. I have been practicising and everything.
There is supposed to be a deep mysterious analysis from these responses but I am in no position to do that considering my own reasons. One thing is for sure though, the thousands of us who decorated the streets of Kampala with our marathon kits, perspiration and body odor on the day of the Lord in the name of a good cause care very little for the same.
It is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is, a whole lot of money is still collected and if MTN Uganda and it’s partners treat it with more respect than it does our data bundles, then we have accomplished things our own government is seemingly incapable of. We are doomed if they don’t, because we most likely won’t be paying attention to ask for accountability.
For now we shall enjoy the thrill of reaching the finish line intact, hanging out in our corporate tents with friends, bonding, taking selfies, posting them with long inspirational captions, until the next marathon.
Otherwise how are you doing?
Photo Credit: Someone at New Vision