Ooh, it's been awhile. No reason except I haven't felt like I had anything interesting to say.
Last Sunday's long run was out to CHS (Comprehensive High School) Bambui and return, 15 miles. I thought I'd see Benedicta or Ennis who went out after me, but I didn't realize that the hill they went to climb was actually another hour away from CHS. I thought it was close by. So those two did 4-4.5 hours with a killer mountain climb in the middle. Ah, I am glad I'm not running the full Mt. Cameroon course!
Speaking of which, we (the Mezam Stars Athletic Club) are now all registered for the Mt. Cameroon race. Fon Charles and I for the Veteran's course, Ennis for the Juniors (hmm, we may not be sure of his age, but he's definitely over 18. . .), Benedicta, Fon Charles and his wife, Paul and Richard for the full course and Emmanuel for the Relay. And, because we are on great terms with our Provincial Delegate and he's had VSO volunteers work for him, he was able to get me registered for the Cameroonian fee rather than the Foreigners fee which was more than I could afford.
Sunday, 17 February, the Mt. Cameroon Race for Hope.
In addition to that, there are races nearly every weekend for the next few months. This is the season. Mt. Batia over near Bafoussam is 3 February and Emmanuel and Benedicta are planning to run that. There is going to be a local race (~10K) here in Bamenda sometime in early February to celebrate 11 February which is some national holiday. There is a mountain race near Batibo one week after Mt. Cameroon, but we doubt many people will be running that. Early March sees another mountain race up in Nwa. Late April should be the Njalla Quan marathon in Limbe which is my next big focus after Mt. Cameroon.
I spend quite a bit of time talking Emmanuel out of running races. Because this is a way of earning money for them, they all want to run everything, and they don't think very strategically about the cost/benefit ratio. For instance, Emmanuel went all the way down to Eboloa (in the South Province) last weekend to run a mountain race. He came in 4th which was a bit disappointing, he thought he had a chance to win. But even more disappointing was that he only received 10,000 francs for the effort which only covered half his transport (and no food or lodging or anything else). And they knew that this race had a reputation for not giving the prizes as advertised. But I was not able to talk him out of going.
During the week, we are spending two afternoons a week at the Pakku Vita which was (a bit regretfully) my suggestion. I was really not enjoying being the main object of attention for a couple of hundred young men in the stadium. . . However, at the Pakku Vita, there is a nice (?) set of stairs (33 steps) so Emmanuel is thrilled that we get to do stair workouts now. Great training for the mountain. Ugggh! I'm up to being able to do three rounds of "hops" and three rounds of "frogs", but I should be doing five. Next week. . .