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Vincent Kituku

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Toastmasters Magazine Article: Vincent Kituku: Overcoming Life's Buffaloes
Meet Idaho's Latest Exports

Dr. Kituku Elected Grand Marshal of Boise State University Home Coming

The Race for the Cure   |   Year II: Racing for More Than Cure
Racing for the Cure While Praying for Sue   |   The Road to Conquering Robie Creek
Dr. Kituku featured in the Idaho Statesman   |   Claiming Idaho's Highest Summit
Leading Amateurs to Success   |   Robie Creek Vs Everyone (2006)
When Robie Creek Race Calls, You Participate (2006)   |   Doing Robie Creek as a Non-Kenyan Marathoner   |   What makes the Robie Creek Race Less painful

What Makes the Robie Creek Race Less Painful 2008
By Dr. Vincent Muli Kituku

Why people, including yours truly, chose to participate in the Robie Creek Race, defies sanely thinking for a large number of us. We just have to do it. Before you do it, the race seems to haunt you—reminding you of a goal you haven’t accomplished. Yet after your first taste of the painful thrill on the other side of the mountain, you want to do it again.

As a chronic repeater of the annual 3rd Saturday of April ritual, rationalizing why I do it seems the only reasonable thing to do. Like parents who know that each child brings to life different kinds of joy and/or challenges, each year’s Robie Creek Race leaves me with a chapter of its own. Some of the content in each chapter has my input—the things I did. The rest of its content is filled with God’s blessings—heartwarming, albeit unexpected encounters with stories that make the final mile to the summit less painful.

Helping first timers get race tickets is a special input. It’s ironically satisfying to see their expressions and/or hear them tell their experiences. This year I did it with my 15 year old daughter. She described the whole experience as intense! Doing Robie with a loved one does make the experience memorable and the pain less punishing. Finishing time didn’t matter. Finishing with my daughter meant everything.

At about the 7th mile, a 70 year old man, caught up with us and recognized me. He slowed to express his appreciation for the articles I write that are printed by Idaho newspapers. He reached underneath his t-shirt and removed a paper with a color photo. It was him and his daughter finishing the Portland Marathon.

He explained that his daughter was ahead but waited for him so that they could cross the finishing line together. “That was so nice for her to do!” is all he said. This man’s face changed as he told me what happened thereafter. His 42 year old daughter died eight days after the marathon. I gathered the courage to ask him what caused his daughter die at such a young age. She developed severe headaches and a few days later.

Such encounters permanently imprint themselves on your Robie Creek Race’s chapters. You can’t forget the face. You recall your snail speed at the moment the story was told. You have a clear idea of the mile point at which it happened. You appreciate the short moment you forgot about reaching the top of the hill to listen to a fellow racer/walker.

It was thrilling to know that two of the ladies I had found tickets for completed the race in respectful times. The brightly astonished faces as they describe how the corners kept on increasing yet unable to reveal the last one to the top or finishing point reminds repeaters of their first experience. But the man’s story and doing Robie with my child was an experience of lifetime.

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