The longest run I’ve done is about 11 years when I participated in MTN Kampala marathon. Then, I used to play and train intensively as a junior soccer player in one of the sports clubs.
I had not planned to do the half marathon but a relative had already purchased the kit and got registered but on the actual day of the run, he decided not to do it. So he instead asks me if I would willingly go and participate in his spot. Which I gladly took on.
Banange, running 25kms isn’t something you just wake up to. It needs practice. None the less, I made it to the finishing point. I remember it was about 2hrs something. I remember MTN used to issue digital certificates to those who completed the marathon. Oba bi kyaliyo?
Anyway, that is the longest I’ve run/walked in a single day.
Back to the 7 hills hike.
About 2 weeks ago someone in our hiking WhatsApp group suggested that we could do a one day hike and cover all the 7 hills of Kampala. According to some experienced hikers, this hike could take about 6hours with a 30min break.
Guys, when that suggestion showed up, my heart and mind felt its something I could do but I wasn’t sure if my body could handle. Remember the furthest distance I’ve ran/walked was 11years ago for 25kms. Of recent, I’ve hiked 10km and jogged 14km. So going for a 45km hike wouldn’t add up to me.
Anyway, I was like, let me go. If I die, I die.
We set off at 7 am from Naalya Motel with a group of other experienced and newbie hikers. Roughly a group of 15.
We found our way through Naalya, Kyaliwajjala, Namugongo, Kireka, Kinawattaka, Mbuya, Bugolobi, Namuwongo, Muyenga and the hike continued.
Personally, since I wasn’t well conversant with the route, I decided to stick around with a person who knew it and I made sure I stay in the midrange. Not in the lead and not at the back. This made me a bit comfortable knowing that there are some people behind me. But also some people at the front that I look forward to catching up with.
Friends, we walked. I started counting hour to hour. We who set off at 7 am hiked all the way straight to nearly 12noon at our first stopover and refreshment point in Mengo in the vicinity of Kabaka’s palace. At that point, we had already covered a total of 22km.
After nearly a 30mins break, we set off again but this time, I went with another set of hikers who were pretty in the lead. We set our feet through Mengo hill, Lubaga hill, Namirembe hill, Nsambya till we found our way through Kololo hill then ascended into Naguru, Kyambogo and then back to Naalya.
Well, there are two spots for me to remember on this hike, the Naguru stretch from Uganda-China hospital to Police headquarters and the other was the stretch from Kyambogo past the NCHE offices. These two milked me down. I felt like giving up but the spirit was in high gear. This was between 35/40km.
My purse to push even harder was seeing ladies in the group even go harder. Some are mothers if not all and I saw them do what they could to go ahead and further. I was like if they’re not giving up. I’m not. A special shout out to them. Btw, almost all ladies made it to the finishing point.
Things to keep in mind even for my up coming Rwenzori hike.
Focus on your next step. Not the time nor the destination.
Realising that hikes this long can nearly tear down your spirit easily makes it for your mind to give up on the way but focusing ONLY on your next step makes you push even further.
The body may be worn out but if the spirit his high, most certainly you can make it to the finishing line.
Get a good pace and keep up to it. Don’t go too fast and don’t go too slow.
Keep within. Just make sure you’re not at the very back.
Keep going. Just go.
All in all, I couldn’t be any happy after finding myself at the finishing point. The moment was priceless. Never had I thought that a day in my life I could hike 42km in a single day. And yes, I did it in a total of 7:35:02
For my #HamzaToTheSummit hike, I would say that this 7 hills hike has contributed so much as I get my body and mind ready for the Margherita summit push.
Anyway, in one of the comings days i’ll write about why I think, hiking is a mind game and NOT about physical fitness.
Is a digital media professional with over 5 years of experience in digital content design and publishing. He has seen this blog grow to over 10k visitors a month since May 2017. When not on his computer, he travels, swims and jogs.