So I was sitting in the Athletics Kenya waiting room when a young man struck up a conversation with me. Now normally I'd be my usual, introverted self and promptly snuff out the conversation, but since I have this blog to think about, I put on a smile and chatted him up.
Turns out he is an aspiring marathon runner who only has 2 full marathons under his belt. His first was a 2:25 effort in the 2004 Nairobi Marathon and his latest was a 3rd place finish in last year's Barbados Marathon.
He is training for this year's edition of the Barbados marathon where he is aiming to win the whole thing. Apparently last year, he was in 2nd place with a few miles to go when he received poor directions and went the wrong way! By the time he got back on track, he was in 3rd place and had to settle for that at the finish line.
Furthermore, he had sorted out his visas just a couple days before the race and arrived in Barbados the day before. Let's hope things work more smoothly for him this time around.
But the title of this post was "Friendly Runners..." which has been my general impression with the runners I've met so far. So many of them are looking for the right opportunity to prove their talent and hard work so they seem to be willing to share their stories.
Njuguna informed me that many of them train on the outskirts of Nairobi and I hope to visit them there next week.