I spent a week in Kinshasa before finally moving to Bukavu and was able to run four times there, which was nice. However, the ex-patriate community there is currently living under fairly restrictive rules – certainly restrictive if you are a runner. We are not allowed to walk on the streets. We must be driven (or drive, if you have a car) everywhere. The one saving grace is that someone has decided that it is safe to run this one loop along the river around the Embassies. So, in order to get a run in and get back before the drivers changed shifts, I awoke at 5am, and was sitting in the car by 5:30am. It was barely dawn when I started running 15 minutes later, but that also meant it was cool and quite pleasant. White man’s loop is a bit more than 2.5km and by 6am, there was quite an international crowd of us walking and running around. One thing I appreciated was that it was relatively flat, so I began to feel like a runner again for the first time in months.
The nice thing about the run was the river – the Congo river – and looking over at Brazzaville on the far shore. It reminded me a lot of running on the banks of the Nile in Jinja, Uganda.