Why would I even use the term Kenyan marathoner? Those who have seen me at the 6 to 8.4 mile range on the Robie Creek race might think I just flew over East Africa let alone being born, raised and married within the Kamba people of Kenya customs.
But then, should non-missionaries quit pursuing the hope of eternal rest just because they were never able to preach in strange lands? Or should those who can't afford diamonds quit romantic gestures-like cleaning the dishes, vacuuming or treating in-laws with respect? Or should non-monks relegate never to desire or summit to tenets of tranquil living?
As a non-Kenyan long distance runner or any kind of serious runner for that matter, Robie Creek Race may be for you too. You will suffer. If you are slow the suffering process takes longer. But you will experience the intangible reward of achieving a physical goal that seems to elude less motivated desires.
It suffices, as a motivating factor, to bear in mind that over 75% of all participants walk at some point. Crawling or having someone else pull or push you while not among the things prohibited like ipods, should be the yardstick that Robie Creek is not the mountain you should attempt to conquer.
The first battle for you is the mental preparedness. If you don't believe you can make it, stay home. The mental thrust needed for the uphill punishment is not for doubters.
Probably nothing will serve you better than building endurance. Can your legs withstand intense pounding (especially if you, like me have accumulated bodily blessings that are easily noticeable), from your weight and the motion against a stubborn element?
Forget your Treadmill. The only way to be ready for Robie is to do your thing is to run, walk or run and walk combination on the actual course. Very few non-runners can find a practice area that can accurately represent Robie creek. But, you know reading here and there adds on to your knowledge bank—that’s the same with exercising and stretching here and there in preparation for the race. Any motion counts.
The weather conditions during the race. Don't let anything you can not control stop you from focusing and acting on what you can control-like getting out and working on the endurance.
Being humble about what happens to you at the race is a vital. You will see someone probably twice your age pass you. Registered walkers are known to finish way ahead of someone who proudly signed in as runners.
Bless the loyal band of volunteers along the whole race. Oh how Robie Creek would be a site of miserable faces and unfulfilled dreams if it were not for the caring hearts and helping hands!
Learning why other non-runners are crazy enough to take such a beating has become the most inspirational part and a main reason why yours truly takes the beating. After the first race consumed my focus, each of the other races has produced a human story that becomes the connecting point to that particular race.
Shared punishment is somehow less painful. You can be assured that doing it with a loved one or a buddy gives the whole experience another meaning.
Never underestimate the satisfaction of owning a t-shirt that disturbs a part of your mental and physical wellbeing in addition to the time you devote to just making it happen. Sorry, but the t-shirts are not handed out until you cross the finishing line. But again, that t-shirt is something of value.