Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fun Run

So, Arua had its first ever Fun Run.

The entry fee was equivalent to $2.50, and only about 40 people participated, but it surely made for a fun morning.

It was fun for me, of course, because I wasn’t running. Notice that all my friends were actually dressed for the race, but not me. I named myself the official photographer and cheerleader.

I did, in fact, take pictures of every runner and sent them to the mayor for him to print if he wished, and I took pictures of the 20 people from the YWAM base that ran, so they could put the shots in an end of class video for their graduation.

It was the place to be. I looked up after the race started, and here came Florence, my language teacher.

But let me back up a little.

To get to the race, we were walking the mile or more from our house to where the race was starting, and one of our friends drove by and offered us a ride. It resulted in us being the first people there. Once everyone had arrived and race time was about 15 minutes away, the mayor’s youngest daughter decided she wanted to run and asked if Kylie would join her. Kylie didn’t even pause to think about it. She said, “Yes.”

As everyone lined up, I kept thinking that Kylie had no idea how long a 6K was, but she was determined.

Jack, our favorite piki driver, had been asked by the mayor to lead the race for the front runner. Karis and Caleb stood sadly by me as everything started to happen,

and at the last minute, Jack said, “They can come.”

They hopped on with huge smiles and were so excited to get to be a part of the race, too.

The first place runner was actually a professional runner for Uganda. As he came around the second loop to finish the race, he lapped Kylie and her friend Nikki.

They didn’t care. Kylie was still all smiles.

The mayor called the car following the last place runners (Kylie and Nikki) several times to try to get them to pick up the girls and move the race along.

Kylie told me later that she and Nikki did get in the car once while they followed the new “last” place person for a small distance. Jack also told me she walked a bit, but I was still proud that she finished. The mayor quit after 3K (along with 4 other people).

This was the famous finish line....toilet paper.

After the first place finisher, came Felix.

He is a 10 year old boy who had never been in a race before. He came to the race with his sponsor family just to watch, but when they asked him if he wanted to run, he said he really wanted to.

He was wearing flip flops.

I snapped this picture of Felix finishing his first lap and kicking off his flip flops for his sponsor Dad to pick up, and he finished the race bare foot.

He was later given several prizes for awards, and some gentleman in town promised to buy him running shoes. As a matter of fact, the man came through, and I delivered money for his shoes last Wednesday.

Some of the government officials have even eyed him for being a runner for Uganda. Felix may have quite a bright future ahead of him.

Doug finished in good time,

and then we just waited for Kylie.

The cool thing was that Doug had enough cool down time and Karis and Caleb had both finished long ago with Jack,

that they all waited for Kylie and then ran with her the last 100 yards or so to finish the race.

She and Nikki were awarded something for coming in last (2 handkerchiefs each), and since Kylie was also the winner of the “youngest runner” award, we declined and let another kid have something.

I mean, when you win a handkerchief, what else do you need.

This is Kylie standing beside Mayor Asiki.

This was the press at the awards ceremony. All the reporters were holding up their recorders.

Radio is the main form of communication here, and I realized it the next day, when people came up to me and said, “I heard Kylie’s name on the radio for winning at the fun run.”

They probably knew more about the race than I did.

The mayor thought the race was successful, and he wants to have another one…next month.

We’ll see how that goes.


Stefanie Kellum said...

That was an amazing story. You guys are naturals at jumping right into local events. Love it. And yay, Kylie and Doug!

Stevens Family said...

That was a great story!!! The last line about the mayor wanting to do it next month - priceless. Love you guys.