Kyaninga Triathlon: The Mighty Rim
I had never looked forward to something so much in my life! Well, I believe I said the same thing about my first trip to Kyaninga Lodge, but this time it was different. I returned to take part in the Kyaninga Triathlon, dubbed The Mighty Rim. Yes, I finally lost my triathlon virginity! Matter of fact, three days later, I am still aching – all over! I can comfortably say that my face is the only ache-free place on my body! Go figure!
What a fun day! My friends and I had been looking forward to the event for two months. We trained like lunatics, watched what we ate, and exchanged “progress photos” because we anticipated skinny dipping on the agenda. Because my friends and I were all triathlon virgins, we decided to make teams – talk about baby steps. We made two teams, comprising swimmers, bikers and runners. We were so badass that we registered for the daddy distance; swimming 1,500 meters in the Crater Lake, riding a bike 32 km in the countryside of beautiful Fort Portal, and running 8 km of the crater rim. I was the runner. Eight kilometers seemed like child’s play; little did I know that to conquer the hills, one must train in the hills – in this case the Kyaninga Crater Rim.
We had traveled to Fort Portal the previous day and checked into Rwenzori Traveler’s Inn; FYI, this is not a place to stay if you’re a light sleeper. It’s right in the middle of the town, with highway traffic and a loud disco a block away. It’s a challenge sleeping through that, but trust the body to give in.
The much-awaited day arrived: 21 March 2015. We woke up on a high note – full of energy, ready to win – and arrived at the venue only to find everyone else ready to win as well. There were athletes participating as one-man teams, two-man teams and us; both short and long distances. The weather had been extremely hot and dry for days – on this day, however, the skies blessed us with a drizzle that cooled us down a bit, calmed our nerves.
As the races commenced, I unleashed my weapons; I had the fastest biker and the fastest swimmer in Uganda. Everyone was very AFRAID, and for good reason: Michael (swimmer) and Ismael (biker) are beasts! Michael came in second in his race, and Ismael aced the bike race!
Then it was my turn. The Crater Rim is 4 km; extremely steep. Running it twice almost did me in. I pushed myself in the first lap so much that by the time I had to run the second lap, I thought I was going to die. I told my body to kindly hold on tight till we finished the race. I got so dehydrated, I entertained thoughts of taking a dip into the Crater Lake so I could drink some water. When I felt my legs couldn’t support me any further, I imagined what it would be like being chased by a lion! So I pushed on. I am so glad it paid off; I couldn’t bear the thought of letting the boys down. We came in second! It was oh so exciting for our team to be called out at the podium!
The Kyaninga Triathlon is organized by Rupert Barthorp. Proceeds from the Kyaninga Triathlon contribute toward The Maria Fund. It’s open to everyone; this year’s triathlon registered more Ugandans than before. Ugandan Teams came in second, third and fourth in the long distance race.
Let’s do this again soon…