point on the entire course so I picked up the pace knowing that it would not be much longer and I would have accomplished what I had set out to do. With sheer determination and a sigh of relief I crossed the finish line of my 4th continent in 5 hours 30 some odd minutes.
Writing this account 5 days later and after traveling through the Masai Mara area I am searching for words that could adequately convey the emotions I have felt, the sites I have seen and the people I have met. I have been unable to post any of this earlier as Internet access was virtually non-existent as was phone contact. One cannot begin to imagine the beauty that is exclusive to Kenya and it’s people. However, while admiring the beauty one also cannot ignore the stark contrast of poverty and the hardships of the people. We were able to visit a Masi Village just outside the Governors Camp gates. While the men greeted us outside, the women, in two long lines, sang and danced around us eventually leading us through the village door into the courtyard. Children popped their heads out of doorways, goats roamed while the rhythmic singing had us all mesmerized. The men later gave us a demonstration of the jumping dance that they perform during ceremonies and, as I was later told, to attract a girlfriend. Singing a chant about their experiences during a hunt they jump extremely high into the air. As David, a Masai and also our waiter at the camp explained, the higher one can jump the more attention he can get from a possible girlfriend. After watching the men from our group join in, Randy as well, this courting ritual probably would have been less effective for them! Life within the village is still very traditional. The men spend their day with the cattle on the land protecting them from lions and other predators while the women tend to the household and village needs. It is the woman’s responsibility to build their home, a process in which she uses a method of forming cow dung and dirt for the walls and grasses for thatched roofs. The children of the village are lucky to be able to attend school, as the village leader believes that an education is important. Even with the hardships that the people must live with I saw that they were happy and extremely proud of their Masai heritage. I walked away saying goodbye feeling very heavy of heart and lucky to have had the privilege of seeing and meeting such generous people.
Later that day we went on another game drive (we took at least 2 per day) and witnessed the amazing animals within this area. We came upon lions resting, so close we could almost touch them. The males, very large and regal are extremely beautiful with their full manes. Leopards, we were only lucky to see one, will take their kill and carry it up a tree safe from any other animal which would want to feed on it. Impalas as well as zebra are plentiful and roam freely as do the elephants, bushbuck and our friend the lowly warthog. In the river lurk the extremely large crocodile waiting for a baby hippo or impala to come within range. I had only read about the wildlife within Africa but to actually hear and see it is something that everyone should witness at some point in his or her life.
I feel extremely blessed to have been able to run a marathon in such a beautiful and challenging area and to have a life long dream to visit Africa come true. I urge anyone who has a sense of adventure to come to Kenya and run the Safaricom Marathon. It will prove to be a life changing adventure as it was for me. As I was running to raise awareness for the disease of addiction there were those who ran to bring awareness to the hardships that the Kenyan people endure. Today our planet is getting smaller and it is everyone’s responsibility to help those less fortunate. Once again I am asking for your support in my endeavor to bring quality care to those with the disease of addiction who cannot afford it. At the same time, please look at the world at large. We in America are so very fortunate to have so much and it takes so little to change the life of a child in Africa.
I am sorry for this very lengthy blog, but trying to convey what I have seen and learned is extremely difficult. What I have written only begins to cover the tip of the iceberg…wait; I’m not there yet! Next marathon is Iceland so please come back to Run7On7.com for my next blog.