British 10k – the start of my marathon journey

How does one train for the marathon from scratch ie from never having run before? Rajen, our CEO talks about his “accidental” running journey from a 10k race to the London marathon.

Coming from a nation filled with running talent where even an unknown runner could go and win a race at the global race, I was the other extreme of the talent scale.

I had never run more than a few yards (running for the bus – sometimes) and lazy was my middle name. Going to the supermarket (200 yards) needed a car journey as far as I was concerned. That is, until a few years ago.

That’s when I decided enough was enough. Tired of people gasping when I told them I was a Kenyan who had never run past 500 metres.

I decided to train for a 10k race – the British 10k. One of the best 10k races in the UK, it offered a spectacular view and more importantly  (as far as I was concerned) – there would be tons of runners, and hopefully some of them would be slower than me:-)

How does one train for 10k?

Week 1 of my training was painful – I forced myself to go to the gym and train on the treadmill every other day. “Train” is the technical term, in reality it was half walk, half run, try and increase time spent on the treadmill each day…. day 1 was 4 mins! By end of the week, I had got to 6 minutes. A long way to go still!

But surprisingly, it got better in the second week and I was able to stay on the treadmill much longer. By the fourth week, I could run for 6k on the treadmill without stopping! In 6 weeks, I got to 9k. Of course, it took me a long time to run that distance, I was so slow. But I was able to run without stopping.

I was ready for the 10k.

The route is beautiful and the atmosphere is electric. The race route passes through all great London icons – the Big Ben, the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey etc. And if you get tired running, the crowd carries you through so you dont stop running – it is an amazing race. I finished 10k without stopping once and probably making it to the record books as the slowest Kenyan runner! But I finished.

The 2009 One Cause Marathon Team

The British 10k was the start of my journey for the London marathon.

In 2009, I trained with the first group of One Cause runners for the London marathon.

Needless to say, that training took a lot longer but having completed the 10k, I knew that I was able to run at least that much! The British 10k was a great springboard for this next challenge.

After months of rigorous training, I completed the route and maintained my unofficial record as the slowest Kenyan runner ever.

Incidentally, a Kenyan runner – Samuel Wanjiru set a course record that year. He completed the race in 2 hrs and 4 minutes. Needless to say, I was more than twice as slow!

This year, One Cause has got 10 runners training for the British 10k this year and there’s still a spot or two left – want to run this beautiful race for us?

Please contact [email protected] if you would like to run it!

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