Taking part in a triathlon can be an incredibly exciting and unforgettable experience, especially when set against the backdrop of Kilifi. Kilifi is nestled along the stunning Kenyan coast, providing a picturesque setting for this physically demanding endeavour. The triathlon, a challenging combination of swimming, cycling, and running, tests physical endurance and mental resilience.
JW Seagon as one of this year’s sponsors, signed up 2 teams of three to participate in the 2023 Kilifi Gold Triathlon (KGT) held at the Mnarani Club. The reason we love this event is because it combines everyone having fun whilst helping support worthy causes.
The goal of KGT this year was to raise funds for the SOKO Community Trust (SCT). The donations would help pay for a Kilifian-only cohort to attend and graduate from the SCT’s stitching and skills academy. SCT’s own staff enjoy ongoing skills development, free lunches, support for single parents, nursery support for under 4s, medical training, a living wage, a pension, and reproductive health services under the Kujuwa Initiative. KGT’s goal was to raise KES 1,000,000 and this marker was achieved meaning SOKO can now put forty Kilifians through this incredible programme and into lifetime employment, securing a better future for them and their families. The main ethos for JW Seagon is Caring For You and any initiative that embodies this JWS attribute is something we are very glad to be associated with.
The event kicked off in the afternoon, with participants gathering at the starting line filled with excitement and nervous anticipation. Kilifi’s warm, tropical climate added an extra layer of difficulty to the race, with the scorching sun and high humidity making every step more taxing.
The triathlon commenced with a swim in the Indian Ocean. Kilifi Creek’s azure waters offered a welcome relief from the sun; however the returning tide made it a more difficult swim than was expected by the participants. Those who made it to the end of the swim did so with relief of conquering both the ocean and not letting their team down.
After the swim, participants transitioned to the cycling segment, pedalling past picturesque landscapes and lush vegetation. The changing scenery served as a pleasant distraction from the physical demands of the race.
I took on the triathlon’s final leg, a challenging 5-kilometer run. Filled with a mix of nervous energy, I anxiously waited for my teammate to complete the cycling segment and descend Cardiac Hill to hand the baton to me. When he finally did, I pushed myself to tackle the uphill climb despite the heat and humidity. Upon reaching the hill’s peak, I mentally encouraged myself to keep running, drawing inspiration from the breathtaking beauty of Kilifi’s coastline. The run proved quite demanding, even with all my training, as it was my first experience running in a coastal environment. Nevertheless, I persevered and reached the finish line, just shy of my personal goal of 35 minutes.
As the finish line grew nearer, the cheers from the crowd became more resounding, motivating me to summon a final burst of energy to race down Cardiac Hill and onto the beach. Crossing the finish line was a moment of triumph, as a profound sense of accomplishment eclipsed the exhaustion and challenges, I had faced. The strong camaraderie among fellow participants, volunteers, and spectators created a warm and supportive atmosphere, making the Kilifi Triathlon an event I will cherish as a truly memorable experience.
Written by Stephen Maika and Lydia Kuria