So I just finished a Running Times article written by a Mazunga (Swahili for “white guy”) who trained in Kenya for 3 months. Besides the obvious fact that Kenya has good runners, and lots of them (the author ran 31:14 in a 10k and finished 200th. The winner of that race won a bull by the way…); he made several other observations.
1) They ran on dirt roads almost 100% of the time.
2) Every run started as a shuffle. and…
3) (The focus for today) Kenyans almost always trained in groups.
When Stephanie Pepper was named East Nasty of the Week (ENOW), she said that she ran mostly for the community aspect, saying that it was restorative. I think that she gets it. Running in a group spurs you on to faster times, and keep you accountable and motivated, but none of us are going to be professional runners, so that’s not the important stuff. The important stuff is the shared experience of heat, cold, hills, long runs, shin splints, IT band problems, new shoes, faster times, slower times, etc… The fitness gains are just the icing on the cake.
If East Nasty is anything – it’s welcoming, let’s keep it that way. Introduce yourself to a new face, invite new runners, join folks for a beer afterward or organize your own weekend run and brunch!
See you all on Wednesday for the long Shelby Loop (run #4).