By Guest Blogger: David Rain at USC Canada
Since 1995, I’ve been running marathons in support of USC Canada’s work with farmers around the world. This is Part III of a magical training run I went on during a field visit to Nepal many years ago. It still inspires me to this day, as I train for my next Run for Biodiversity in Toronto on October 14.
…Good time to admire the scenery and have a munch on my power bar, I decide, and take a bite of my first energy food of the day. Big mistake. For the once pure and pristine Bagmati has sadly become a foul-smelling trickle of raw sewage and industrial waste. Ouch. A quick run up the other side gets me out of harm’s way and into a small, semi-rural enclave.
Suddenly, the lights go out, and all is dark. I can’t even see my feet. So I pull out my trusty pocket flashlight that my daughter has given me for just such an occasion. It does come in handy, as my dance of the dodge continues, this time avoiding pot holes left, right and centre. Getting a bit cocky at my dancing abilities, I then pick up speed on the flat.
Another big mistake, as I soon find myself headed for a major disaster. For my tiny light, as useful as it seems, is unable to illuminate more than a few feet ahead. I continue to pick up speed, when suddenly – out of the blue, or the black in this case – appears before me a huge team of oxen with which my now speeding body seems unavoidably about to make contact.
A quick shift of the hips and a fast stutter-step later, and I narrowly avoid catastrophe, brushing by unscathed, inches from their horns, and continue on my merry way at a more reasonable pace this time, as the oxen disappear into the darkness behind me. Lesson learned, bring a bigger flashlight with me next time.
By now I can sense that the ground is inching upwards and I spy what looks like a huge hill off in the hazy morning light. Could this be Swayambunath, the famous “Monkey Temple”, one of Buddhism’s holiest shrines, and the final destination for my morning run? ……(to be continued)
David Rain coordinates and runs in USC Canada‘s annual Run for Biodiversity. Follow the six-part story of his training journey each week on Getinvolved.ca as he leads up to this year’s runs in Victoria (Oct 7) and Toronto (Oct 14). Or join the Run for Biodiversity NOW at Run4Biodiversity.org