Water stations and first aid points are situated every 2.5 km around the course. Each water station is equipped with basic first aid to help with minor medical complaints such as blisters.
A helicopter is on standby to collect any runner who needs urgent medical attention and take them to the Emergency Tent location at the finish. Should anyone require further medical treatment we have planes on standby to fly them to Nairobi.
First Aid stations are located at the following places:
- Safaricom Village- a First Aid tent is situated in the Safaricom Village . Open throughout the course of the event, for minor medical problems including stomach upsets, headaches etc.
- Emergency Medical Tent- Situated at the marathon finish this is for emergencies only. It is managed by AMREF and the flying doctors who will fly anyone that is seriously ill to hospital in Nairobi.
- Recovery Tent- Located at the finish this is for basic medical treatment (and massage) and is available for all runners.
To get help for yourself or a fellow competitor:
- Contact water station personnel
- Contact a member for the Lewa security force stationed around the course
- Get the attention of the Lewa light aircraft that will be permanently in the air throughout the race
- Flag down one of the motorbikes patrolling the course
Muscular aches and pains occur most commonly after an increase in training. Running training should be increased gradually so that you do not suffer prolonged exhaustion.
Separate your days of heavy mileage with one or two days of lighter training or rest so that your body can refuel your muscles with muscle glycogen. To reduce injury risk, vary your training routes, running surface, pace and distance, and do not always use the same pair of shoes.
If you have flu, a feverish cold or stomach aches, do not train until you have fully recovered. Then start gently and build up gradually. Do not attempt to catch up on lost mileage after illness or injury, as this may cause further damage or illness.
If you have flu it can take as long as a month to recover – so you should consider carefully whether or not you can run a race if the event will take place after you have been ill.
Drinking on the race day
Start a race well hydrated by drinking up to half a pint (250ml) of water or sports drink in the half hour before the start.
There will be frequent water stations on your race route (every 2.5km), but YOU DO NOT NEED to drink at each one. Instead, just swallow a mouthful of water occasionally. If you like sports energy drinks, have one of these instead of, or as well as water.
A balancing act
Drinking too little can lead to problems, as you will always need to replace some of the fluid you lose as sweat. On the other hand, drinking too much can be very dangerous and lead to hyponatraemia (water intoxication), fits, and in some cases death. Drink when you feel the need and DO NOT gulp large volumes of fluids before, during or after a race.
A rough drinking guide
Your drinking needs for a race will vary according to your build, your speed and above all the weather, as these affect how much you sweat.
Faster runners (for example, runners who aim to complete marathons in under 3hrs 30mins) on a warm day may need as much as a litre of fluid per hour (two pints). Slower runners should need less – particularly on a cool day – and should not drink more than 500 ml per hour.
After finishing a race, DO NOT drink large amounts of water. You can only rehydrate (replace lost fluids) gradually over the next 24-48 hours. Eat some salty food as well as spacing out your drinks; by doing this you will not get hyponatraemia and will replace the water salt and glycogen lost when running the marathon.
Do not change your normal diet drastically in the last week before a race, but eat less protein (meat) and eat more carbohydrate (pasta, bread, potatoes, cereals, rice and sweet foods) – especially for the last three days before the race, when you should also be markedly reducing your training. Eating more carbohydrate loads your muscles with glycogen and will delay or prevent you from ‘hitting the wall’. NB: you will not eat enough carbohydrate unless you reduce your protein intake.
It is the responsibility of the runner to be fit to compete on the day of the race. If you have any medical issues which you think may put you at risk when running a half/full marathon, see your doctor prior to starting a training programme. Runners who should seek medical advice from their doctor include those with existing medical problems or symptoms/signs as follows:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
You should also see your own doctor if you have had any signs or symptoms of heart disease. If anything on the list below applies to you, it is best to get a full cardiac assessment before you take up running.
- There’s a history of heart disease or sudden death in your family.
- You suffer chest pains or discomfort when you exert yourself.
- You experience sudden shortness of breath.
- You have rapid heart palpitations.
Again, it is your responsibility to be fit on the day, do not ruin it by becoming a medical casualty.
All runners should fill in their medical information and contact details of family/friends on the back of their running number before the morning of the race.
1. Famous Club Coach Mike Fanelli has some interesting advice on how to make it through a grueling marathon. He tells runners to divide the race into thirds. They should run the first part of the race with their heads, run the middle part with their personalities, and the finish the race with their hearts. It's the perfect strategy for running the Safaricom Marathon.
2. Part of the reason why marathons are such a popular event for family bonding and team building is because of the sense of community and belonging that it creates. Going through a tough experience together helps people become closer and appreciate one another. As Bill Buffum says, 'The marathon is not really about the marathon, it's about the shared struggle. And it's not only the marathon, but the training.' Do the Safaricom Marathon as a team and grow closer while you run!
3. Running a marathon is tough, but it can be done, especially if you have a solid training programme and a good support system. Rob de Castella explains it best. To paraphrase him slightly: 'If you feel bad at 15km, you're in trouble. If you feel bad at 30km, you're normal. If you don't feel bad at 42, you're abnormal.' The beauty of the Safaricom Marathon is that you run through beautiful scenery instead of crowds and tarmac!
4. When you're running a marathon, you need to remember that it's not a sprint. Pace yourself. Don't burn out when you've barely started. Think of the race in portions and attack with a manageable steady approach. As Oregon Coach Bill Delinger says, 'Good things come slow - especially in distance running.' The Safaricom Marathon route goes through spectacular wildlife and scenery, so be sure to enjoy the view!
5. An unknown wise person was quoted as saying, 'The truth is, running hurts!' A much more famous source gives a lot more encouragement: 'Just do it!' Put the two together and making it through 10km, 21km, or even 42km becomes a challenge well worth overcoming. When you run the Safaricom Marathon, you also contribute to a worthy cause, so don't give up!
6. When you take part in The Safaricom Marathon, you spend a day running and sweating through some of the most beautiful scenery Kenya has to offer. You're surrounded by birds, wildlife, indigenous plants … and medical staff. The Safaricom Marathon proves Jen Rhines quote more clearly than any other race in the world: 'Life (& running) isn't all about time but about our experiences along the way.' Jen Rhines
7. "Marathon training doesn't have to be a grind. By running for about 30 minutes two times a week, and by gradually increasing the length of a third weekly run--the long run--anyone can finish a marathon." --Jeff Galloway. This is the perfect strategy for training for the Safaricom Marathon.
8. "During the hard training phase, never be afraid to take a day off. If your legs are feeling unduly stiff and sore, rest. If you're at all sluggish, rest. Whenever you're in doubt, rest." --Bruce Fordyce, nine-time Comrades Marathon champion from South Africa. Good advice while training for the Safaricom Marathon.
9. "The key step between a great training program and a great race is a great taper. Your last long training run before a marathon should come 3 weeks before the race--not 2." --Pete Pfitzinger, two-time U.S. Olympic marathoner. With only weeks to the Safaricom Marathon, you better take this to heart while training.
10. "Rather than going into a marathon with just one goal--such as finishing in a very specific time--develop a range of goals so that you increase your chances of success." --Jerry Lynch, Ph.D., marathoner. Make sure you remember this while running the Safaricom Marathon.
11. "When using the run-walk method to finish a marathon, the most important walk break comes in the first mile. The second most important one comes in the second mile, and so on. The point is, walk before you become fatigued." --Jeff Galloway. Many participants use the run-walk method to finish the Safaricom Marathon, remember this strategy.
12. "Visualizing perfect running form will help you stay relaxed. Visualize before the race. Then, once you're in the race, pick out someone who's looking good and running relaxed. This will help you do the same." --Gayle Barron, 1978 Boston Marathon champion. Make sure to follow this advice in the upcoming Safaricom Marathon and you'll finish in good time.
13. "Never underestimate the value of a good training partner, even if it's your dog. Training allies will get you out the door on those days when exercise might otherwise be reduced to a finger on the remote control button." --Runner's World editors. Do you have a training partner for the Safaricom Marathon?
14. "Thanks to the race-day adrenaline rush, any pace will feel easier than normal. So make a conscious effort to hold back in the early miles." --Lorraine Moller.
Running the Safaricom Marathon will be much easier if you follow this advice.