Ushirika Kericho 10K!

Posted: July 7, 2013 in Robert Brouillette

    

On Saturday July 6 2013, I raced the Ushirika Kericho 10K road/trail race. It was a 3 hour drive from where I’m staying now, Mosoriot, to the race event city of Kericho, Kenya. I was thankful to have Olympian Laban Rotich drive Simon, Jonathan, and I to the race and back to my place. Friday afternoon we left for the race and with the long drive ahead I just put in my Yurbuds sport earphones and listened to a bunch of music. Along the way I saw a lot of Kenya whether it was the mountains, tea plantations, farms, mud huts, etc. I waved and smiled at a lot of children and received the same thing back. Once we arrived in Kericho we got a hotel for the night and headed over to a restaurant for some supper of ugali with mixed beef and cabbage. After that we went back to our hotel for an early nights rest just after 8:00PM. In the morning I put on my Running Room track suit, Conestoga College singlet, Nike GPS SportWatch, and New Balance 1400 racing flat shoes. We all headed over to the restaurant for a cup of tea and some bread slices about just over an hour before the race was supposed to start at 9:00AM. Laban drove us over to the race site where Simon, Jonathan, and I did a 30 minute easy warm up and some stretches but for whatever reason the race didn’t start for another hour so at 10:00AM. It wasn’t a big deal to me but the longer we waited to start, the hotter it got. The director brought all the men and women over to the start line, did his opening speech, gave a little prayer for all the racers, and then the race began with about 30 women and 90 men with a total of 120 runners (don’t officially know the total number of runners yet). So when the whistle blew, everyone darted off at full speed while I still sprinted out but held back a bit to save my energy for when I’ll really need it later. With the hot weather and high altitude I didn’t know how things might go so I treated this race as a fun race meaning I still went hard but didn’t stress out about time or placing. My 2 months of training here in Kenya is more important than one little city race with no reward to me other than my first international race and a good overall experience. Anyways, I went out in a 3:10 for the first kilometer then went either 3:30 or 3:50 for the next few because the road was unpredictable with rolling hills, pot holes, etc. At about the halfway mark (5K) we entered a tea plantation and the next 4K would be on rock and dirt trails through the field of tea plants. There were some seriously big hills in here that caused me to run some 4:00+ kilometers. I was surprisingly stronger than the racers around me on the hills and passed a few people but never got passed myself. I either held my place or pasted a few throughout the race. For the last kilometer, it was back on the road again to the finish line where there were lots and lots of Kenyan spectators cheering me on yelling: “Go mzungu (white man) go!” There was no real finish line as you just ran into a mob of people at the end of a road, where the race director gives you a little square card with a number representing the place you finished in. My card said “82” which means I came 82nd out of about 120 Kenyans for my first international race ever. Like I said earlier, I’m happy with whatever result I got as this race was more for fun and to get the experience of what a race in Kenya was like. They’re was no official time but according to my Nike GPS SportWatch I ran 36:50 minutes, but the race director gave me his email so I can contact him to get my official results. In Canada I bet I could have knocked off at least 3 minutes off my 10K time here so you can really see how the Kenyan climate and altitude really affects you. After everyone had finished, the race director called everyone over to form a group where he have his closing speech about the race before calling up Olympian, Laban Rotich, to give a speech about his running success, who then called me up for a speech. I was caught off guard but willingly went up in front of everyone and said: “Hello everyone. My name is Robert Brouillette. I am from Ontario, Canada. I have come to Kenya for 2 months to do high altitude training for my running. I have run Canada College Nationals last year and will go again this year in the late fall (everyone clapped). I’m honored to represent my country at this 10K race. Thank you for having me (everyone clapped again even louder)!” and then I sat down with a big smile on my face. After that the race director called up the top 10 men and women for their prizes. Before we went home I met with a woman named Caroline Kilel, who was a 3rd place finisher for women at one of the recent Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon’s. Overall I am happy with how the race went because I was able to do my first international race in Kenya, raced with my friends Simon and Jonathan, and got to experience what a race against a field of Kenyan’s was like.

SUMMARY
Race = Ushirika Kericho

Distance = 10K
Time = 36:50 min. (unofficial)
Pace = 3:40/K
Overall Place = 82/120 (unofficial)

SOCIAL MEDIA
Facebook photo album of my “Kenya Trip 2013” so far including race pictures =
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151700220623874.1073741845.511403873&type=1&l=b1e20bf819
My Facebook = https://www.facebook.com/RunnerRob4Life
My Twitter = https://twitter.com/RunnerRob4Life

The boys and I before the 10K race!

The boys and I before the 10K race!

Me after my first international race in Kenya!

Me after my first race in Kenya!

Laban, the boys, and I in front of the tea plantation that the race went through!

Laban Rotich, the boys, and I in front of the tea plantation that the race went through!

– Robert Brouillette

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Comments
  1. Yvon says:

    Excellent job Robert and it’s also great to deal with surprises like unplanned speeches! We are all proud of you regardless of where you place in the race cause you are always trying your best which is #1 for me!!

  2. Joyce says:

    I am so happy for you. This one brought tears to my eyes. I’m glad they have welcomed you into their country and I can just imagine the grin on your face when you were asked to come up and speak. love ya lots

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