Today we went to a Kenyan track meet in the town of Machakos. Our running coach for this trip, Abel, grew up in the area and ran races there when he was younger.
Everyone was extremely welcoming as most of the Kenyans have been. Numerous people came up to shake our hands when we entered the stadium. The track was made out of a softer foam like material. It looked like something that Americans would practice gymnastics on. A few of us entered into a 1500 meter race. Within 3 seconds of the start there was a very distinct separation between the Kenyans and Americans. Shoulder to Shoulder was not the winning team. Many of the runners and spectators congratulated us when we were done racing. It was eye opening to see such a large contrast in equipment the runners had. Some had very nice Nike or Adidas gear, some wore old shoes or spikes and some of the runners ran in socks or even barefoot. Regardless of age, ability or gear they all lined up to compete because they love to run.
After lunch in Machakos we went up to a little spot where you could poor water on the road and it would give the illusion that the water was running uphill. After that quick stop we continued back to Nairobi; the drive took longer than expected with the bad traffic. When we got back to the Kopling Guest House for the night, we finished with a quick jog to shakeout our legs. As we ran down a side road we were joined by several cows (on the other side of a fence) including “megacow”, easily the biggest cow any of us have ever seen – who is not to be messed with!