So day 8 of the trip, our last day in Nanyuki, and the official R&R day. And Lucy’s idea of R&R is for everyone to get up at 4am and for a select few to do a half marathon, at altitude, and on the equator! To be fair to her, Lucy and her husband Ed actually did the full marathon.
The setting for this was the safari park at Lewa, an hour and a half bus drive from our hotel, mostly in the darkness, but we arrived in Lewa just at first light. The event itself was huge, with runners form all over Kenya, as well as a few from our UK team; Alice, Tom, Meika, Pete and Jim all went for the half marathon, along with Mathenge, George, Caroline, Faith and Kip from the Nanyuki team making 12 with Lucy and Ed in the EGHO colours.
The race started not long after first light, but by the time the first of our runners, Pete, came home with a time just over 2 hours, it was already getting pretty hot. By the time Ed (4 hours 6 minutes) and Lucy (4hrs 19mins) came home it was very hot, and the sun high in the sky.
The team still had time in the day to visit Agnes, the local community nurse, at the remarkable clinic that she runs on the Lewa reserve, and even to have an impromptu game drive in the coach! Sadly most of the local wildlife had been scared away from the part of the park we were in by helicopters, for the safety of the runners, and so we didn’t see a great deal, though the scenery was magnificent.
The team left Lucy, Ed and Angus behind in Lewa, and headed back to Nanyuki for our last evening of the trip. Dinner tonight was served a bit early, useful for a very tired group, and was a fantastic barbecue, which went down very well, before people started heading off for early nights ahead of tomorrow. A few goodbyes were said, Ellie was staying on a few more days, and Alice, Tom and Jim were all staying another week to climb Mt Kenya, and none of the four of them was willing to get up at 4am again to wave us off!
The journey home. Another 4am start, and a long drive to Nairobi ahead of a very good flight home. Only about 2/3 of the seats on the plane were taken, giving us the chance to spread out a bit, which made the whole thing go much easier than on the way out.
More goodbyes happened at Heathrow, before the remaining 12 got on the minibus back to Torquay, along with all the extra bags that needed to be brought home. Mandy, our bus driver didn’t bat an eyelid despite the fact that we filled the luggage compartment completely and still needed to put baggage in about 4 of the 16 seats in the bus. Most of us finally got home at around midnight, tired, happy and satisfied that we had been a part of an extremely successful trip.