How’s that for an attention-grabbing headline?! And it’s true… well, partly! My team was asked to facilitate a meeting in Ghana set for Friday and Saturday. Needless to say, we spent more time travelling than actually being in Ghana! We were at the Airport in Gaborone by 08:30 on Thursday morning for a 10:30 flight to Johannesburg. We then spent most of the day at the Airport, only boarding the flight to Accra around 17:00 to land at 22:00. The following morning (Friday) we set off by car at the crack of dawn to reach Big Ada by 07:00 so we were ready to start the meeting at 09:00. Our flight back home was scheduled for Saturday evening, so I had only one chance to run in Ghana – Saturday morning before our meeting resumed!
Five Random Thoughts On My Run
“It’s too muddy! Should I turn back?” The last time I was in Big Ada was in September 2021 where I did four runs. So I was quite familiar with the terrain and my surroundings. However, this time the heavy rain on Friday meant that the 1.5km of reddish-brown dirt road from the hotel to the tarred road was completely muddy. I struggled to stay upright and before long my newly clean running shoes had turned brown. About 800m in, I was tempted to call it quits. But as I’d made all the effort to get out before 6am, I felt it would be a shame to abort the run now. I persisted and walked carefully in the worst areas. I was relieved when I got to the main road.
“It’s humid!” After navigating the mud, my next thought was how humid it was. I’d left winter in Gaborone (with a cold front on the way) and landed in Ghana’s hot and humid rainy season. So it was a bit of a shock to the system. When I later posted my run on social media, many in Botswana commented how lucky I was to be back in the warmth. But all I could think of on the run was how much easier this run would have been in the cold! We are never satisfied, huh?!
“I love running!” After a crazy couple days of travel and work, it felt great to have this time to run and reset the body and brain. It being early Saturday morning, there weren’t too many people about but I was excited to see a few other runners and walkers. As I was returning, I recognised one of the participants from my meeting. I was so surprised to see him as I think he was to see me. Later that day we spoke about running and he said in his younger days he used to run the Accra Marathon every year and his PB set many years ago is 2:58 hours! He also said he takes his running shoes everywhere he travels and mentioned some of the places he had run in.
“I have time for one more km!” Even though it was not the most comfortable run because of the humidity, I wasn’t ready to turn back at 2.5km. I decided to push a little bit more on the open road so I made it back with a total of 6km run. If it wasn’t for the fact I needed to prepare for the meeting, I would have tried for at least 8km. I was just having so much fun being out there again and spotting the familiar bright coloured kiosks I remembered from my last visit.
“I’m really glad I did this!” I ended my run by the riverside as I had done for every run on my last visit here and was happy I had stuck to my plan of running. The 6km run left me feeling invigorated and ready for the day. I took a few photos under the wonderful palms with the great Volta River behind me. As I walked back to my hotel room, I felt mentally prepared for another day of work, the three hour journey back to Accra and my night flight home.
Do you pack your running shoes when you travel? Do you feel connected to people when you find out they are runners?