A friend challenged me to a 10-km-run in Kololo last Sunday. He even offered to pay. I acquiesced graciously. Eager as a beaver in my running gear, at 7am, I joined hundreds of other suicidal innocents at Ambrosoli International School in Bugolobi.
When I called my running partner, I found that, like a true Ugandan of Dutch nationality, he was sound asleep in bed. “I can’t possibly make it in time, Linds”, he slurred, and hang up. Somewhat lonely, I hurried to join other runners as the emcee called out, “10km only! 5km stay behind!”
Dear reader. Next time you hear those two words, please-just stay behind for the shorter distance. About two minutes in, I passed a man who was panting heavily, and walking already. I smirked as I jogged on.
Another few minutes, and I approached a fellow who cried out, “I swear, there’s a limit!”
With a disdainful glance in his direction, I trotted on. After what seemed like an age later, I decided to pause for a breather and realised that I was going to faint. My head swam. My insides creaked. My body, in short, was not happy. One of the organisers approached me cautiously.
“Gggggggrrrhhhhhaaa!” I gasped.
“Are you alright?” she queried anxiously.
“Hhhhoooooooooo!” I wheezed.
“Where is the nearest taxi stage at?” She begun to sneer.
I hastened to explain.
“No, I usually run 7km with my friends once a week. But I have been working 14 hour days you see. My body cannot take it right now!”
As I strolled my broken spirit home, I varied my explanations to passing runners.
“I usually run 8.5km with my friends, you know. But I’ve been ill and really did this to please my friend who wanted a partner”.
As I hailed a boda, another passing runner wheezed out, “Wow, you’ve finished the 10km already!”
“Hell’s yeah. I usually run 12km once a week, so this was a piece of cake!”