Surprise as Bensouda and Fiolina train for marathon

Wednesday March 18 2020

Since Bensouda was walking, I let the rest run ahead and walked with her. ILLUSTRATION | J NYAGAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP


I hope that the organisers of Kakamega Forest Marathon have enough space to accommodate all the runners who will throng the county.

And given the way people — elites and amateurs — are seriously training in preparation for the marathon, I also hope that the organisers have enough medals and prizes to give out, now that I oversee record after record being broken.

I don’t know how you are preparing for this marathon, but allow me to share how my Mwisho wa Lami team, which keeps growing every day, has been training. I am also aware that many other teams from across the country are preparing for the race.


Friday, November 1: This was our first training session — Pius, Nyayo and I. We ran for over 30km, although Pius’s magic watch captured only 6.6km. Maybe I have outgrown my stylish white Reebok Sports shoes but it was a painful run and I developed blisters for the first time in my life.

The next day I had difficulty waking up because my muscles were aching. It took a massage by Fiolina with hot salty water for me to be able to walk.

Sunday, November 3: Despite committing to join us, Nyayo did not show up that morning. Pius, Tito, Rumona (Ford’s beautiful wife) and yours truly were all set for the training. We ran up and down a hill the whole day.

By the end of the session, my chest was literally on fire. I was using Pius’ old shoes and thus my feet were more comfortable. Pius advised that we take lots of water, which I did. Including that evening, when I took more water at Hitler’s.

Tuesday, November 5: Pius had left for Nairobi, and I had to oversee the training session. He left me with a programme to follow and his old pair of running shoes. Nyayo and Tito joined us. We met at Hitler’s to begin the run that evening with plans to go around Mwisho wa Lami village then back to Hitler’s. Just before leaving, someone called my name.

I was surprised to see Bensouda. She was wearing a red and green tracksuit.

“I will also participate in the marathon. I want to train with you,” she said. I allowed her to join us. We started with body stretches (as had been advised by Pius) before we left. Since Bensouda was walking, I let the rest run ahead and walked with her. She was sweating profusely less than half a kilometre later. She removed her jacket and requested me to carry it. I liked how it was smelling.

I also enjoyed walking with Bensouda. We took a short cut back to school and arrived long after the rest had left. We took about two hours to cover the 6km.


Bensouda requested that I go with her to her place. We boarded two boda bodas. She was still sweating when we arrived.

As she went to the bathroom, I took a full jug of juice. Pius had been reminding me to take lots of liquids. I left Bensouda’s house very late.

Thursday, November 7: We met at the school football pitch. The team comprised Nyayo, Tito, beautiful Rumona, Clinton — Alphayo’s grandson — and Kuya. Being a gym person, he wore a tightfitting sleeveless vest that exposed his huge muscles.

Kuya led us in stretching, although his stretches were more geared towards helping us build muscles than run. Several children joined us and, by the time we started running, we were about 10 people, even though many dropped out along the way.

We were very tired. After the run, Kuya, Nyayo, Tito and I walked to Hitler’s for hydration. On Friday, I updated Pius about the progress we had made. He was very happy to note that we had been consistent in our training and asked that we now start doing longer distances. He suggested we do 15km on Saturday.

In the meantime, he was trying to register us for the marathon. He wanted the names of the runners, and their T-shirt sizes. I couldn’t provide this information as the team was still growing.

“OK, can you get me a team name so I can register you then we can discuss other issues later?” he asked. I suggested Mwisho wa Lami Runners but he rejected it. He also rejected Pacesetters of Mwisho wa Lami. I asked him the name of his Nairobi team so we could copy from them.
“Urban Swara,” he said.

“OK, call us Rural Swara” I told him. And Rural Swaras we became.

Saturday, November 9: This was our first day for a long run. The previous night, Nyayo had been at Hitler’s till late, and I was thus not surprised when he failed to show up for the training. Kuya, Tito, Clinton and Rumona came. After stretching for about 15 minutes, we left at around 7.30am. We met Bensouda on the way and she joined us.

I told her I had to keep pace with the rest and thus could not remain behind with her.


“I must be with them since I am the trainer,” I said.

“And me? Am I not important? I don’t need to be trained?” she asked. “Look at them and me. Who needs training?”

Disappointed, she took a boda boda and left. She sent me a message later asking that I organise for a private training session with her. I am considering seeing her today evening.

Everyone arrived at Mwisho wa Lami Primary at 11am. We stretched and called it a day. As usual, the three of us went straight to Hitler’s to hydrate our thirsty throats.

Later in the evening, when I went home, Fiolina, the lucky laugh of my enviable life, said she wanted to join Rural Swaras and participate in the Kakamega Forest Marathon. When I asked her what had motivated her, she said I had been at my very best since I started running. "Isn't it obvious Dre? "Imagine if both of us run?" she added with a cheeky smile on her beautiful face.

Have you registered for the Kakamega Forest Marathon? What are you waiting for? Go to and register today!