Monday, 22 May 2017

When I arrived in Canada in readiness for the ScotiaBank Ottawa Marathon


In the first few days when I arrived in Brighton, Ontario, I remember doing an easy run in an almost empty park with tall trees and strange sounds coming out from creatures and birds in the forest and had a strange feeling that I had been there before. Looking at the trees around to see if I had ever seen any kind before, everything looked strange, even the grass looked thinner and lighter greenish here than I had seen anywhere else. Then it hit me! I had actually been here almost thirty years ago! Yes. It was the same feeling I had while exploring the world as a 5 year old kid.
Canada, especially the area where I now stay with a great friend hosting me ahead of the IAAF gold label Ottawa Marathon, has the best trails ever for a distance runner to train on. There is also a tartan high school track at a walking distance from where I live, and it is free.

At the moment, there is no free tartan track for athletes to train on in Kenya, so you can see how lucky I am to be here. If only I would be able to bring the altitude and the faster training partners with me here. I will only have to use the track one more time before the marathon as time is already running out for any more hard training.


Erin McDougall who is himself an ultra-marathon runner, together with his family, have been, to me, as amazing as the sub-two hour marathon attempt by Eliud Kipchoge, in hosting and showing me the places to do my training runs around here. In their home, I feel that runners are a family and have a lot to share in common, no matter their background. Erin's wife and first-born daughter are also runners and are easier to get along together since they understand what we mean by pace, marathon, easy, fartlek, track intervals and other words related to running.
Running here also feels quite easy. I can remember only a few times that my pace showed a pace of 3:00 minutes while doing hard tempo runs in Kenya. I have enjoyed my easy runs in Canada. Especially as the weather temperature begin to rise, training here is becoming such an amazing experience that only a person who is coming down from higher altitudes can appreciate.
Over the weekend in Ottawa, I also met Noel Paine; another great friend, runner (has run everything from the 100m to 100km ultramarathons and ran 258km in 2.5days for his 40th birthday), writer for the Canadian Running magazine, and a shoe ace who has been doing running shoes and other running related product reviews for many years now. He did help me choose an ideal racing shoe for my marathon and I am looking forward to seeing how it will work during the race.
About a week ago, the weather here was very cold, but is now quickly changing to warm. Hopefully, the weather will hold it there for a while, until after the Ottawa Marathon, before getting hotter.