‘Tis the season for outdoor activity! And November was the month where charity marathons broke! We had the RunKuwait 5 &10K charity race on November 11th, and Gulf Bank’s 642 Marathon taking place one week later on the 18th. So, with this smorgasbord of philanthropic activity at our fingertips, we decided to get up off our lazy Saturday behinds and do something good for our bodies, minds and souls. (After all, we’re always preaching to you lot to do the same!)
So, what do you need to know before partaking in a marathon or run? First, accept your abilities. Know if you’re walking, running, or jogging and respect the pace you’ll be going at. One of our team is a runner, and committed to running the 5K length alongside her Orangetheory Fitness community. Two of us, however, decided to walk it, leisurely – unapologetically, and at our own pace.
Now, keep in mind that all marathons tend to start early, and stay true to a trend of taking place on a Saturday. So, waking up on a Saturday morning before 8 a.m. is never ideal, but after our experience, we now know that the benefits to come out of it a few hours later will be truly rewarding. Also, getting to the Run Kuwait village that early in the morning offers a calming drive, but consider this: since a popular spot for marathons is on the Gulf Road, pivotal parts of it may be blocked. This was a factor I hadn’t considered beforehand, and ended up awkwardly finding parking in a semi-close-by location, providing a nice warm-up walk to the venue.
After registering and waiting it out with the crowd throughout commencement speeches delivering words of encouragement, and a fun group boosted Zumba warm-up, we were off! Walking a 5K is way easier than I thought it would be.
Any number is intimidating once you add the metric kilometer to it, but unbeknownst to our daily knowledge, plenty of us have walked a 5K way more often that we think! You know what it means? Walking from the Scientific Center to Marina Crescent and back makes a 5K. And alternatively, for more heritage-centric walks, a round trip trek from Souq Sharq to Seif Palace also adds up to a 5K (or roughly 10,000 steps on your pedometer!)
Walking a 5K was super easy, but we can’t speak for our brave coworker who ran the marathon! At a good ten minutes before we approached our turnaround point, she passed us with focus, form and intent, pushing herself towards the finishing line.
And while it took us a perfect hour to conclude our (admittedly, leisurely) stroll, her recorded time of achievement came in at 32 minutes and 43 seconds! Well done!
Overall, our experience ‘walkathoning’ was extremely pleasant. The event hosts are skilled at ensuring their events are extremely well-organized and thoughtfully planned out to every detail. Healthy nourishment tends to be offered, like pre-activity bananas, and volunteers stand throughout the marathon/race track handing out bottles of water and acting as cheerleaders to everyone participating. It’s always nice to hear someone pushing you positively to achieve your goal.
But lest we forget a little plus to sweeten the deal, a goody bag! Most marathons offer that type of perk upon completion, and it’s always fun to collect on your way out – you never know what you’ll find inside as an enjoyable token for your labor.
The post-walk/run feel-good energy was abuzz, giving us a high that only spending time in crisp, fresh early winter air can provide. All in all, it was the perfect way to kick-start our Saturday mornings – and the best part? We all got home by 10 a.m.
Except for me, who did Zumba two hours later. That, I don’t recommend.
Did you miss out on both RunKuwait and Gulf Bank’s 642 Marathon in November? Don’t worry! NBK’s annual Walkathon is happening this month! For more information, check out their website at www.nbkwalkathon.com.