I sprinted downhill. It was not easy catching up even on the last group that had already started. The obstruction of the slow runners and the insensitive drivers on the road made it tough to progress. I decided to do my best. My normal pace is usually eight (8) minutes per kilometer. This time I was doing five (5) minutes per kilometer, which stretched every bit of me. I registered significant catchup with some runners and felt that I could win this race. I started imagining standing at the winners’ podium as among the top three. That is when one of my shoelaces gave way. I went off road, bent, tied it and resumed. In a pace of one minute, four runners went by.
Mid-way through the 10km stretch, by standers threw some negative vibes at me and a group of other three people closely ahead. “Gwe ofwaki?”. “Mzee okadiye. Tambula. Abaato bayisekodaa!” “Osembye.” meaning – “What is killing you?” “Old man you are weak, walk. The youth have already passed by.” “You are a loser.”
The negative energy was too loud.
As I always do, I try to focus my mind on something bigger when people try to discourage me. “It’s the heart that informs the brain to tell the body is tired. Keep moving. You can win this race.” These words kept running through my mind and helped me block out all negative voices of the folks on the roadside.
It gave me energy. As I turned the Kinawataka corner and started the tough ascent of the road that connects to the Nakawa court, I came accross two ROM ushers who gave me some words of encouragement, “You are doing great. Keep up the pace.” I thought, maybe I am among the top 10. I put in my best. I ran my best time of 11 kilometers in 57 minutes that is 5.1 minutes per kilometer. I sprinted towards the finish line bypassing some three people on the hill just to the finish line. I felt so good. However, all this did not matter as I was so behind the winners that no one took note of my arrival when I reached the finish line!
I later got to learn that the first runners arrived 15 minutes earlier!
That is when it occurred to me. I was supposed to participate. Not to win. This is a family run. Not a race to pick winners. I sat down, relaxed, joined my family in the after running exercises and enjoyed the morning. This run was a great success. Kudos to our Parish Priest Rev. Fr John Mungereza; and His Assistant Rev. Fr Paulino Mondo for this initiative to run for the young ones affected by the HIV/AIDS. The money collected will help Reach Out take and keep more young children in school. There is no better fulfillment than the satisfaction one gets when they support people who may never meet them to say thank you. That is what all the people who turned to run on that 1st December 2018 at Mbuya Church got.
This year’s run was a special one. We had the Sheikhs and people of different faiths joining Mbuya Parishioners to join hands for the common good. That is what makes the Mbuya community special one. On behalf of the ROM Board of Directors, I take this opportunity to thank all of you for the support especially our main sponsors. Keep it up. And to you all runners and Parishioners for the love. Let’s make 2019 run bigger and better. As we enter the Christmas season, this is the best time to reflect, plan and share. Wish you success.
Bernabas M. Mugisa, Mr. Strategy, helps plant the seed of transformation. Visit www.mustaphamugisa.com to start your journey of transformation.