Here is a typical day in the Love4Gambia run…
We usually wake up between 6-7am to make sure to start the run before this Gambian weather gets too hot! For breakfast, I will have my instant oats with my instant coffee mixed with instant milk! The joys of living on the road! 😁 We then drive exactly to the point where we stopped the run the day before. I can guarantee you that I will run every meter of this whole country!
The first two days of the run, I was flying. I was running my 25km with almost no rest. I must confess that my confidence was a little bit too high! But then on the third day, it hit me. I woke up sore, with stiff legs and my Achilles’ tendons were already painful. Ok, I had to switch my game plan. ‘It’s not a race, it’s a fundraising run… You have nothing to prove except to finish the run in Banjul in 19 days!’ I had to tell myself.
So from day 3 and until now, we stop every 5km. We take the time to hydrate, to eat and to stretch. Our pitstops can be as short as 2min or as long as 30min, depending on how we feel. By doing this, yes the run takes more time, but I’m fully enjoying the experience. It gives me more opportunities to take pictures (I’m now admiring the scenery), to talk to the locals and to give ‘minties’ (candies) or pencils to the kids.
At the 15km mark, it’s IPod time. I keep my music for the last 10km which are usually the hardest. Music is my motivational booster, it gives me a second wind. And the guys keep telling me I always run faster when I have my music on! 🎧
When we finally reach 25km, that’s when we call it a day. We get the yoga mat on the side of the road and I make sure to stretch/roll properly, often observed by curious children! I’ll also have my chocolate protein shake (that I brought from home, unfortunately I wouldn’t find this in The Gambia) and eat a little something to accelerate recovery.
Then we drive to the village where we will spend the night. We usually have lunch right away, as we are always super hungry! Lunch usually consists of rice served with spicy fish, chicken or beef stew. When available, we will share a ‘Benachin’ (‘one pot dish’) made with spicy risotto, meat/fish and vegetables. I must say I’m impress by the Gambian cuisine, it is always really tasty and yes, spicy!
During the afternoon, I will usually have a nap and then relax at our accommodation or wander around the village where we stay. We usually go out for dinner. One of my favorite meal so far was grilled goat (yes, goat…) in Basse. I was very pleased by the taste of this cute animal! 🐐
And then it’s back to our house (this is how they call ‘hotel rooms’ here) where we get ready for tomorrow. I will prepare our sports drinks, snacks and my gear bag. Then it’s shower time and sweet dreams under a fancy mosquito net! 🙂 😴
It’s never to late if you want to support the Love4Gambia run: https://www.canadahelps.org/fr/pages/love4gambia-run-2/