Fri 31 Jan 2020 •
Impact Runner Stories: Kit Garnett @ Nepal Impact Marathon 2019
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To be honest, my favourite part of the week was meeting everyone and making friends for life. The runners are always so amazing and down to earth, and it was an absolute pleasure running with them, yogaing with them, and building a road with them
Impact runners are the backbone of the Impact Experience. Each and every one of our runners has had an impact on not one, but multiple lives throughout their time with us. The week is hard to simplify but we want to be able to provide first hand experiences from the runners themselves to at least give you a glimpse into how you can share this life time experience with us. From project day to race day to living with locals, all stories are shared here.
Kit was one of our returning runners who joined Nepal Impact 2019 as his Second Impact race. Read on to hear about his favourite ‘Big Booty Mix’ playlist and his post Impact add on experience up Everest Base Camp…
You previously ran our Kenya Impact in 2018, what made you want to sign up to our Nepal race the following year?
At first, I was a bit nervous about spending a week with dozens of people who would be crazy enough to sign up for a marathon in Kenyan highlands, but I ended up loving the experience and making friends for life. When I found out there was also an Impact Marathon in Nepal, a place I'd always wanted to visit, I didn't hesitate to sign up!
This time around you encouraged some of your friends to come along, how was sharing this experience with some of your closest friends?
Yes, I did! I managed to convince Phily, an avid runner, and Freddie, a passionate non-runner, to come and join me in Nepal for the marathon. Phily had done one marathon before, but this was Freddie's first half-marathon, and they both really embraced the experience. We've even agreed to sign up for Guatemala 2021!
Whilst I did relish meeting lots of new people in Kenya, it's always nice to do things like this with close friends, so having Phily and Freddie there to experience the week with me was very special. I ran the bulk of the marathon with Phily, and that certainly helped me get through the tougher parts, so I would thoroughly recommend anyone who's thinking of signing up to encourage their friends to do the same! Despite this, I 100% would come back and race alone, mainly because everyone is so nice and it's so easy to make friends. The group is small enough that it's not a daunting task getting to know everyone, which makes a big difference. Plus, I now know some of the Impact team well enough that it would never feel like I was alone.
Whilst in Nepal, what project did you visit? How did the day plan out and what did you think of this?
I visited the burns ward and the children's hospital, and it was a very powerful experience. We began the day by going to a talk by Burns Violence Survivors Nepal, and we learned about how and why people get burns. It was very enlightening, and a provided a good base of knowledge going forward, such as the fact that victims often had to take public transport for many hours just to make it to the only burns ward in Nepal, in Kathmandu. We walked to the hospital and split into two groups. Our group visited the burns ward first and it was nothing like I've ever seen before, the conditions were nothing like hospitals back home, but the care the loving patients received made up for that. Next, we visited the children's ward, which was equally impactful, but yet again I was astounded by the upbeat attitude held by patients, families, and staff alike. The overall experience made me all the more eager to raise more money, complete the race, and sign up for another!
You joined our Nepal race as part of your several months travelling? How did this compare to the other countries and places you experienced on your trip?
Yes, it was the final part of a 5-month trip around Asia, which often made training quite difficult! Obviously, the rest of my trip was very leisure-focused, and the Impact week consisted of hard work and hours of running, but with that came a feeling pride and satisfaction that I hadn't experienced before, so it provided a wonderful, and much needed, juxtaposition.
In our Athletes’ Village you got to wake up to a mountain view every morning, how did you find your accommodation and service provided during this week?
Accommodation was really good (relative to other camping trips I've been on). In all seriousness the Athletes’ Village was a stunning place to live for a week, and the views during our hilltop yoga sessions were incomparable. The Impact team was absolutely incredible and did everything they could to make our week as enjoyable as possible, and this is especially awesome considering the fact that a lot of them are volunteers. Impact Marathons definitely wouldn't be the same without them, and it's easy to forget how much work they do before we even arrive. The food was also brilliant and sitting around the campfire with a hot punch from the Sunset Bar was the perfect way to end each day!
How was race day for you?
Race day was quite the experience. Having only done one marathon before and struggled to do nearly as much training as for the first, I was nervous to say the least, especially because this had twice the elevation gain as the Kenya Impact race! After initially getting slightly lost with three other runners, we managed to get back on course and I fell into the swing of things. Confession time... I don't really enjoy road running... I do, however, enjoy trail running, and I live for challenges, so I ended up loving the whole experience, especially as I could listen to the 'Big Booty Mix' on Spotify, as recommended by Instagrammer @therunnerbeans. I ended up finishing the final third on my own, which is usually what I prefer, and was welcomed over the finish line to a thunderous round of cheers, which provided the power for that much needed final push.
You also participated in one of our Bolt-On trips and made your way to Everest Base Camp!? What an achievement, a marathon and an EBC climb in one month. How did you find this?
I'd always wanted to trek to Everest Base Camp, so this was a perfect opportunity to do so. I signed up with one of the two people I'd signed up for the marathon with, hoping that some other people from the Impact week would do the same. There ended up being 6 of us, and the two weeks I spent with them were definitely up there with the highlights for my whole trip to Asia. I must admit it was tough at times, but I actually think the Impact week helped us to adjust to the altitude more than others on the same route, so it was good preparation! I would definitely recommend anyone to do the Everest Base Camp Trek, it was one of the toughest yet rewarding things I've ever done. The middle-of-the-night toilet -12°C toilet runs were all made worth it when I was able to dance on the ice when reaching EBC- it was a memory I will never forget!
What was your favourite part of the week?
To be honest, my favourite part of the week was meeting everyone and making friends for life. The runners are always so amazing and down to earth, and it was an absolute pleasure running with them, yogaing with them, and building a road with them.
Finally, could you describe your experience in 3 words?