By Markus Roessel for mzungo.org, Iten/Kenya, 06.01.10
The clouds are moving slow - so are we. It is early in the morning and there is not much conversation at this time of the day.
We lace up our muddy runners and walk the dry and lonely dirt road up to the main junction beside the police station. We meet Tarus, Sam and some other runner. Handshakes and tired smiles. The roads starting to get lively. Iten is getting busy again.
A bunch of guys already finished their morning routine and are just lining up for a bit of light stretching across the street. Italians would sit in a in a cafe and have their daily espresso. Runners in Kenya are stretching and checking out other runners. It is more about chatting and absorbing the early morning activities than taking care of the stressed muscles.
“Puuuhhh - It is cold” Sam shouts as he rubs his body and starts to move his legs. We slowly move on towards the clay road. The pace is easy and after a short chat, silence returns. Our little group is jogging on towards the sun. It is getting warmer but the pace remains easy. No one is talking. Still silence – beautiful.
“How are you - how are you...” the kids beside the road are shouting and waving. Fat mzungu is passing by and it is the highlight for the kids. School starts today and the uniformed pupils are on their way. Some are running with us for a few metres and some are just watching and wondering. The peaceful mix of soft wind and the intensity of the light make a 60 minute morning jog in the kenyan highlands something extraordinary.
A solo running mzungu, Koen Raymaekers, a Dutch 2:12 guy, turns right towards Eldoret. We turn around, back home for breakfast and a bit of stretching beside the junction.