Our second weekend in Dar, the Rotary Club held a charity marathon to help raise money for a cancer ward of the Children’s Hospital. What’s funny is that it wasn’t really a marathon, only a half marathon and then the walk portion of the fundraiser was a 9K. Such a funny distance, right? We have no idea why they made it 9K, but it probably was just the distance to do a loop around half the Peninsula. In the morning, Mike and I were waiting outside the our hotel for our friends to pick us up when the marathon runners whizzed by. They had a 6am start whereas ours was closer to 7:30am.
Man, were they fast! We drive up to the starting point and there are just buses and buses of schoolchildren unloading. All in their school uniforms with the marathon T-shirt on. Many of them had dress shoes on and I kept thinking, wow, they are going to walk 9K in those shoes?? We lined up at the start and there must have been hundreds and hundreds of people, mostly locals. There was an even the police marching band to start us off complete with clowns walking around in stilts. Our little expat group ran ahead of all the walkers. Thank goodness the first half was pretty shady. It was really cute watching this young schoolboy keep up with me in his tiny dress shoes. I heard “click clack click clack” behind me and I thought someone was wearing cleats, but it was really this little boy of 8 running in dress shoes! The second half was not so shady. We went up Toure drive along the ocean and it was just BLAZING hot sun, relentless and pounding. They at least had water stations along the way. I had never run as far as a 9K before (just my annual 5K Komen Race in Central Park) so I knew it was going to be tough to run the whole way. Plus, this would be my first long run since my knee injury in the summer. Well, the sun pretty much killed me. I walked probably the last 2K, but I’m pretty happy with that! I didn’t feel awful afterwards and my knees were only sore for a day. I was really nervous about it but I’m glad I did it. 9K under the hot African sun, check! Next up, Mike wants to do the Kilimanjaro half marathon which involves running up a portion of the mountain. Hardcore. This was the only photo of us after the race from a friend’s phone, not the most attractive but feeling accomplished!