I grew up in Africa and love it’s big skies, variety and history. Kenya was an idyllic place to grow up, and although No TV or any of the other luxuries we are used to back home were available, the sunshine, the sounds and friends cured most things short of school. Kenya also has an exceptional history in long distance running, and I can recommend the book Running with the Kenyans to anyone.
But Egypt has serious history and it was there I landed at midnight, taking the usual while to acquire visas, and the like. My parents had offered to combine helping out with a holiday and the plan was to jog from the airport into Cairo and hit the pyramids for sunrise.
I was profoundly tired. The running I’m used to it but the lack of sleep was really getting to me, especially tasked with running through a busy polluted city in the dead of night over uneven pavements. So I spent a few hours racked with self doubt, just putting one foot in front of the other while being fed and watered at pit stops and passing mosques, traders and donkeys.
But the night is always darkest before the dawn, and with the first rays came the sight of the great Pyramids of Egypt. The pain and malaise eased as I skipped around amongst them, with no other tourists, and a smattering of camels and their owners.
So it was a grateful thanks to my folks at the airport, and almost a dread of Dubai. I’d already knocked out a couple ultras in the last 24 hours, and was to start again in 4.5 hours. The plan for the flight was to eat and sleep. It was brilliant prior to boarding to see so many kilometres being logged by the 5×50 challengers and the fundraising total for SAMH Rocketing.