I saw the starter aim his gun upwards...almost towards the helicopter! I knew the time had come. I wanted to make sure my watch will start well, so I started it some seconds before the gun went off. The gun went off and we dashed forward to avoid a stampede.
For the first two kilometers, as usual, the pace was very high as athletes struggled to take vantage positions in the leading pack. The pace then slowed down a bit as we approached 5km but finding the crowd at the lead too large and inconvenient to be in it while tackling corners and picking water at the aid stations, I felt comfortable running some few meters behind them. I found two other friends from Eldoret who liked my pace and we decided to do it together, crossing the 10km mark in 31:50. If only we could maintain, ours was the best pace to take the marathon. Unfortunately, we lost each other before 20km.
The 11th edition of the Stanchart Nairobo Marathon in 2013 started outside the Nyayo Stadium with the first half of the race covering much of the city streets while the remaining half took us (the athletes) past the stadium to run two loops on the Mombasa highway before returning into the stadium to cross the finish line on the 400m track. Being the biggest marathon event in Kenya, everything came to a standstill for a few hours of the morning in the city as over 21,000 participants comprising of men, women and children from all walks of life took to the streets to support the 'seeing is believing' initiative that works to eradicate avoidable blindness in children under the age of 15 years.