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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

Robie Creek Vs Everyone (2006)
By Dr. Vincent Muli Kituku

The force that calls thousands year after year, to subject themselves to a battle against them in the Robie Creek Race makes you wonder, "What makes people swim in shark infested waters or hike in avalanche prone mountains in dangerous seasons?"

There is a human desire to challenge, albeit as insane as it may sound, ones abilities, spiritual, mental or physical in circumstances that make common sense a meaningless possession. How else would you explain when you hear a 70-year old say that he has challenged Robie Creek for twenty two consecutive years?

One clarification is in order at this point. This Race is like any other addictive human experience. Some do it once or twice and they wisely rest their ambitions. Then there are those that have no clue how not to be in the Race once they try it. Strangely, these are my comrades.

It was my sober desire to be back after my first year, 2004. However, a business opportunity placed me in another state on the day of the Race. That is when I learned the addictive nature of this event. At exactly 12:00 (noon), Boise time, the starting time of the Race, my body jerked. I spent the next three hours estimating where I would have been had I participated in the Race. All this occurred as I was giving a presentation.

The agony of not being part of the Race was relatively worse, to me, than the grueling up (8.4 miles) and down (4.7 miles) hill experience. Not to mention being outrun or outwalked or simply passed by people 30-40 years older than you, walkers, and ipoded participants.

It's a week and two days since the Race. This is the first time I could sit and put some perspectives in words. The events of the day need several scribes to attempt to formulate basic details in a language people who have never been part of it can understand.
I will go to my grave still amazed and appreciative of the caring nature of the volunteers who make the experience humanly all along the Race Course. They provided water, music, fruits and words of encouragement. The music and the oranges rekindled my determination at very critical moments, even the runner who finished first admitted he was about to give up at the 4th mile. That mile and the 11th were two of my several critical moments.

My calmness on the Race day surprised me, maybe this is what makes people do the Race for years. Be calm. I left home after some house cleaning and even stopped to visit with a neighbor. At the park where the Race starts, I visited with friends and strangers and only had to use the portables once. When passed by a participant who would have made me blame my abilities two years ago, I was inspired to push harder instead of panicking.

I had prepared since September, doing about 20 miles/week, even during cold months as evidenced by my participation in the YMCA sponsored Christmas Run on the 17th of December at 15 degree temperature. I had gone to the top and back several times, sometimes adjusting my body for each step before landing on snow. I had goals for the day: stay strong to the finish, minimize the number of those who pass me from the 7th to 8.4 miles mark. Finish between 2 and 2 1/2 hours.

That last goal didn't happen. I will be back. Maybe those who do it year after year, have their last goal pending, unachieved while still within a striking distance.

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