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Sierra Leone Marathon 2014

The Final Countdown

No, not that 80s' anthem that you are now humming in your head, it's the final countdown to the Sierra Leone Marathon! Less than one month away and it seems to be approaching very quickly!

 

All the runners from Kiln have been doing their big runs and getting the long miles in the bank. My longest was over the bank holiday weekend when Charlotte and I braved the fields and hills of Caterham and the surrounding area, to try and make our 20 mile target run scenic, interesting and also to practice a little for the off road running in Sierra Leone.  Well to be honest, the conditions were absolutely nothing like those we are going to encounter over there.

 

Muddy _trainersFirstly it was cool and drizzled constantly and secondly, the trails through the woods and fields were so sodden and muddy that for about 8 miles, the focus was on not falling face first into huge muddy puddles! The final few miles had us encountering lots of hills, including one that went on up for about one and a half miles. But determined and focused, we battled on and achieved a little under 20 miles.


Fortunately, the route in Sierra Leone is flat and dry, so in some aspects a little easier, there's still the heat to be accounted for. England has unfortunately not given us any opportunities to run in the heat at all this year, so it looks as though we'll have to acclimatise quickly when we arrive!


I had a little hamstring pull which had been niggling, so I had my first ever sports massage.  My prior experiences of massages had been relaxing rubs to ease muscles. Well, a sports massage is not at all relaxing. Painful and sore! I actually ended up with bruising as a result of it! But it seemed to help with the issue, so I'm not going to complain! 


Another piece of preparation has been organising and receiving the travel jabs that are required. Luckily injections don't bother me too much, so the couple I have had so far haven't been too much of a hassle. There's a couple more to have, then the malaria tablets to collect and start taking just before we leave.


I've also had an absolute nightmare with my passport which went missing in the post! Despite secure delivery it has somehow gone astray, so an emergency trip to the Immigration and Passport office has been required to get a new one ordered. Once that arrives, I then have to still squeeze in a getting my Visa for Sierra Leone sorted!  All this in the next weeks.  

So all in all, a tense final few weeks getting ready to go!


We had a visit at the Kiln offices from a few of the girls from the SCOSL charity to talk us through what to expect when we get there, and give us more insight into the wonderful things that charity does and what parts of the charity work we'll get to see when we get there. It looks amazing, and I really can't wait to go now, despite all the hurdles to overcome in the next couple of weeks.


I know that it'll all be worth it when we get there!

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