Sunday, June 21, 2009

Kinshasa, not an expat runner's paradise

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 mans 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.

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