LIFE BY LOUIS: The 7 types of marathon runners

Thursday November 30 2017

It was my 15th appearance too, and being the

It was my 15th appearance too, and being the first man from Matimbei Village to achieve that feat, I deserve to address the international media. ILLUSTRATION| IGAH 

More by this Author

This year marked the 15th edition of the big marathon in the City. The annual marathon is sponsored by a major bank that does not have kiosks and agents in every small shopping centre.

It was my 15th appearance too, and being the first man from Matimbei Village to achieve that feat, I deserve to address the international media and later be invited to the big house near the arboretum so that we can exchange pleasantries with the main headmaster of this Country.

These are the kinds of people that I encountered during the marathon.


Although the Mr Kenya body building championship is an annual pageantry, there are more than 200 men aged below 25yrs who claim to be former Mr Kenya.

That tells you that the throne is full of impostors. Nonetheless, because no one is checking, the former Mr Kenya is still young and fit enough to turn up for a chance to get noticed for his big muscles.

Although he should have ordered for an XXL t-shirt for the run due to his mighty frame and thick arms, he went ahead and ordered for small size.

As if that is not gross enough, he promptly took the already tiny garment to his estate tailor to further cut it by half.

He therefore shows up for the marathon with his thick biceps and sinewy abs bursting out of the poor t-shirt.

While the rest of you are on your way to the finish line, you will see him crawling in the opposite direction.

He will be out of breath and having friction-burnt his thighs that force him to walk with his legs apart, he will strike a really pathetic figure.

Going forward the girls will have a poor perception of him. After finishing the 10km run at around midday, he will be seen conducting some complex stretching exercises by the roadside to try and salvage his dented image.


This is the gadgets person, more often than not a lady runner. She will have a gadget tied up on her upper arm to measure calories and chlorophyll and cholesterol.

She will also have Qatar Air branded earphones pinched from her last international flight covering half her head.

She will have a heartrate monitor on her wrist, a GPS system on her waist, another gadget measuring her breathing on her chest, a big wrist watch, a small 40inch TV on her back, a solar panel, a HDMI cable and a small pin charger.

She is in constant communication with a submarine in the deep seas of the Mediterranean, and is closely monitoring the Korean nuclear program during the run.

The only thing she can’t do is run, and she is a ripe customer for the strugglers van or ambulance.

If by any good chance she finishes the 10km race around 1pm, the whole world will know that she did. She will clog the social networks with screenshots of the kilojoules and megawatts and decibels per hour that she burnt.

She will also post photos of herself looking like a busy telecommunications mast. ?


He is the one of the blue Subaru Legacy fame. He is the sports representative from his local bar since he is the only one who is sober enough to run on a Sunday. He will emerge from an estate bar glorified as a Lounge at 6am and head straight for the marathon. He will spot his target, a gorgeous light skinned lady, at the starting point.

He will approach her with sly and generally irrelevant questions about race route and duration of the 3km fun run. Luckily for him, all the light skins are feeling polite this morning and she will strike a rather encouraging conversation with him. Suddenly he will notice a figure blocking him from the sun, and a lanky gentleman will bend casually and plant a kiss on the light skins forehead while intoning; “Baby, I am your quenching water at every pit stop, your only gold medal at the end of this race, your one million bob prize money at the finish line”.

Jamo knows a threat when he sees ( or hears) one, but he will copy the pick-up lines for his future heists. He swiftly moves towards a group of giggly college girls where his lucky star might yet shine.


He is fresh from a prestigious public university in North Eastern province and recently employed by a company that happens to sponsor its staff for the marathon.

The only reasons he is here is because Angie from Accounts is running too, and there is food at the company tent plus chances of getting free alcoholic drinks thereafter.

He is in the wrong running gear and he keeps mentioning loudly the name of his employer so that other runners can hear.

They will run in a group from his office, making unnecessary noise and creating an unwarranted show and generally making complete fools of themselves.

He will not show up to work until Wednesday as all his toes will come off and his feet will be flowery with reddened blisters. His escapades during the after marathon party shall be the subject of a warning letter from his manager. ?


The only reason she came is because her boyfriend runs and she fears that he will be snatched by those superfit girls who are flaunting gorgeous bodies at the starting line.

No one looks gorgeous at the finishing line unless you are just handing out medals and water. She will hardly keep up with her boyfriend during the run, and at some point he will be man enough and abandon her at Museum Hill. She will pout and rant when they finally meet at the finishing line several hours later. ?Divorce court will have a busy week after that.


Because all men with dark lean meat and who end up taking home the gold medal plus the Sh2m prize are called Korir. He is here for business and has no time for small talk.

After agreeing on a strategy with his aging coach, he will join the elites at the front.

He will run, win the prize money, address the international media and leave the stadium without any fanfare. He also runs in Chicago and New York marathons where he also keeps a secret white girlfriend away from his rural wife.

His rural wife is faithful and she religiously brings mursik and glittering neck sashes and flowers to the airport when he returns home with more money and medals.

Despite spending most of his time in Europe, his accent remains unchanged and he will blubber when addressing the media at the finishing line, but then again who cares when you have Sh2 million in your purse.


We show up in every marathon religiously although we always painfully bleed the registration fee and fail to collect our kits in time.

Once in a while we pretend to have forgotten to register online because we had no bundles, and we go and run for free thus missing the blessings of supporting a worthy cause.

We shall later squander the registration fee that we saved.

On our way home ?we shall pass by the local where we gob roast meat and escort them with alcoholic refreshments to celebrate finishing the 3km fun run.

Because we are all busy neuro-surgeons on call, we shall carry our phones and keep them on full alert during the entire run.

We shall dutifully keep checking for missed calls and messages during the entire duration of the run. Our statistics will read as follows after the run:

Time taken to finish the fun run = 2 hours

Time taken to take selfies and brag on social media = 4 hours

Time taken to place unnecessary calls = 30mins.

Finishing time = 1pm

Time of leaving ?the stadium while trying to milk free things from the corporate tents = 5pm.


At the end of the day, it is all for a worthy cause.

Do you have feedback on this story? E-mail: [email protected]

                                    1. 8196101083 2018-01-23
                                    2. 2172121082 2018-01-23
                                    3. 6616301081 2018-01-23
                                    4. 9711621080 2018-01-23
                                    5. 4071601079 2018-01-23
                                    6. 8575311078 2018-01-22
                                    7. 6504161077 2018-01-22
                                    8. 6475951076 2018-01-22
                                    9. 1312951075 2018-01-22
                                    10. 2746621074 2018-01-22
                                    11. 151871073 2018-01-22
                                    12. 4637141072 2018-01-22
                                    13. 5414891071 2018-01-21
                                    14. 392961070 2018-01-21
                                    15. 9593791069 2018-01-21
                                    16. 9326521068 2018-01-21
                                    17. 8204451067 2018-01-21
                                    18. 3174701066 2018-01-21
                                    19. 1649671065 2018-01-21
                                    20. 5257251064 2018-01-21