The heart of our project – the “run2gether Mount Longonot Sports & Recreation Centre” has been built in the period between January and November 2010 in Kiambogo, a small village situated in the slopes of the Rift Valley, about 2500m above sea level and around 80km north west of Nairobi.
The Centre had been planned by Johannes Fiessnig, a student at Technical University of Graz and constructed by up to 100 workers from around the region under the supervision of James Kariuki. They were able to build a sports centre that in many ways has yet to be matched. It provides up to 40 sleeping facilities for Kenyan athletes and 10 guest beds in three two-bed rooms and one four-bed room for European guests. Furthermore it comprises of a club office with its own reception, a spacious terrace, a dining area with a kitchen connected to it and a building with shower and toilet facilities.
Guests can stay in the Gikuyu-, Kalenjin-, Maasai- (all 2-bed) or Turkana-house (4-bed), all of which are built and decorated according to the local tradition. Although these houses are no deluxe hotel they are a well kept, clean, peacefully situated and a safe accommodation with a fantastic view from either their bed or balcony.
From 2015 we also offer three more 4-bed rooms, called Meru-, Kisii- and Kamba-house.
The food needed is – depending on the rainfall – grown directly on the premises or in close proximity of it. Guests are always welcome to the kitchen!
For Europeans this may not be a conventional vacation resort as the run2gether Mount Longonot Sports & Recreation Centre is not a conventional sports centre. However if you are looking to combine social commitment, personal contact to athletes, training and safaris you’ve come to the right place! If you are a “non-runner” that simply prefers to relax, is interested in the Kenyan athletes’ lives and wants to get to know and enjoy Kenya’s impressive nature during safaris, you are also most welcome!
Pictures of the construction:
There are three two-bed rooms and four four-bed rooms available to our guests. Named after the four great tribes of Kenya, all rooms are furnished authentically, according to the local culture of each tribe. The whole furnishment has been manufactured by local craftsmen and significantly makes for the feel-good atmosphere of the rooms. In addition one can see both the volcano Mt. Longonot and Lake Naivasha from each of the rooms. Guests are also welcome to enjoy a covered terrace.
The shower and toilet facilities are only a few metres away from the rooms. There are European toilets, environment friendly, waterless urinals, washbasins and warm water showers. The water for the showers has to be heated by a special oven every morning.
In the communal space, which means the dining room, the terrace, the kitchen and reception, one can meet the Kenyan athletes of the run2gether team, who are accommodated next to the guest rooms. This proximity between residents not only creates a togetherness and promotes acquaintances and friendships but also provides a sense of absolute security while in the Sports & Recreaction Centre.
The Kenyan runners’ secret to their success is the food they eat. Far away from food supplements and additives our food consists solely of fresh products from the region. Whether its a matter of vegetables, pataoes, sweet patatoes or similar tubers such as kassavas or arrowroots, all is being grown and delivered several times a week by farmers in the area. The eggs are either from our own chickens or delivered by farmers in Kiambogo, who, on a daily basis also supply us with fresh milk. On one or two days per week we are supplied with meat, that has to be pre-ordered and has been slaughtered on the same day. On top of that, there are a lot of fresh fruits such as bananas, mangos, pine apples and melons.
Not only do our guests at the sports centre live door to door with the athletes, they also eat their meals together. Although our guest occasionally get one or two more pieces of fruit, their food rations are quite identical to those of the athletes, so there is no disharmony. If intesested our guests are welcome to watch how the food is prepared or to help out in the kitchen.