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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

When Robie Creek Race Calls, You Participate (2006)
By Dr. Vincent Muli Kituku

Ask any past Robie Creek Race participate why he/she did it and the overwhelming majority will claim insanity. Others will say they have always wanted to do it and felt, now was the time. A small number of participants say they decided to do it because it's fun.

You would be shocked to know a large number of people just decided to do it, without years of either mental or physical preparations.

I thought it was an irrational move, to set a goal, on the 13th of January 2004, to be ready and participant in the Race in three months time. That year the Race was done on the 17th of April. For those who have been involved in physical activities, this may seem like an attainable goal. I had never participated in any sport related activities beside, coaching soccer teams comprising of 1st and 2nd grade players. I weighed over 240 lbs with a 5' and 10" height. A five minutes run/walk exercise on a treadmill was the best my endurance level could take at the time.

Knowing what I now know, when Robie Creek calls, you participate. Your extra pounds won't stop you. Your age, after you hear the call, becomes irrelevant. And there is never a minute you consider why you can't do it, even if you miss the registration that seems to close before it's opened. This year's registration took only 1 hour and 36 minutes.

Let's get to the point. The race this year was on the 15th of April. I was doing final stretches (not running or walking hard) on Tuesday the 11th in the YMCA men's locker room. I met some friends who were interested in how prepared I was for the Race. As I shared a basic wisdom, that the most critical and needed preparation is mental, another YMCA member happen to hear my statement about Robie Creek. Robie Creek called him.

He came close and asked the Race was and I told him in four days. The next question was, "How long is half a marathon race." I responded, 13.1 miles but added a qualifier, this is Robie Creek, the toughest Marathon race in Northwest America. The next question told me I was now engaged in a deep conversation with a typical and possible victim of the Creek's spell. "When is the registration?"

Registration had occurred two month earlier and the following day was the pick-up time. I also mention to this stranger, whom I would have ignored, that there are people who register but can't participate due to various reasons. Then I said, albeit casually, you can go to the pick-up line and see if there is anyone who would like to transfer their registration to you. The sparkle in that young man�s eyes scared me. I had to leave the locker room.

This stranger thanked me endlessly until I extended my hand to shake his and told him my name. I can't recall knowing what his name was then.

You must be me to understand my astonishment when, a few minutes before the race started, I saw the grinning face of that man. On his short's right side there was an official running number - 2512. We hugged. My attempts of congratulating him for his miraculous presence were minimized by his evidently appreciation for my contribution toward his being there.

Jerome, the man I met in the locker room, cleared the race way before I forced myself through the finishing line. I could not let an opportunity slip away from me. I needed to learn what would make a sanely looking person make such a decision. I promised to pay for lunch. We had it on the first Wednesday after the race.

Allow me to state that whatever you value, you can always find the time for it. If anything is of any perceived importance to you, your determination relegates any obstacles to minor inconveniences.

Jerome shared a quote that, "The pain of discipline is much easier than the pain of regret" by Paul Tsika. He had been involved in physical activities, ones that require basic discipline. An opportunity presented itself. He can never suffer from the pain of regret in this department.

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