I was so excited to run in Lagos, Nigeria– where I’m from; born and raised! As soon as I decided I would be visiting Nigeria this summer, I quickly began to mentally plan my run. I was excited because it was going to be my first run in Nigeria- heck the African continent! I was also excited because I would get to update my list of places I have run outside. Thirdly, I was going to get to run with my brother again.
We first started running together December 2013 in England. I was NOT a runner but I was willing to [struggle] run with him that cold British winter because it was something else to do, it was quality time with the bro, I got more steps on my pedometer (which meant potentially more $$ for me because of work health incentives), and I got to maintain my weight/not gain holiday weight.
Since then, I have gone on to complete 3 half marathons, all within a year-if I might add. He also continued to run and whenever he would post his stats it would give me extra motivation to run.
He lives in Nigeria now, running a project management/architectural firm. When he posts pictures from his run or the route of his run, it made me look forward to the day I too would run that route. Particularly, it was running along the Lagos-Ikoyi Link Bridge. This is my favorite bridge in Lagos and it is very pretty- especially at night with the lights.
The last time I was in Lagos, I took this picture of the bridge. It never even crossed my mind that I would ever actually run across it one day. But this holiday, I had a game plan.
I arrived Friday night and the plan was to run on it Saturday morning. Jetlag, who??? Haha. I was actually ready to do it. I woke up early and got dressed but then my brother said it was better I rest since I had been traveling over 24 hours to get to Nigeria. I was disappointed, but tomorrow was another day- and actually my last chance [on this trip].
You see, I was only visiting Nigeria for 4 days and after the second day, I was going to be staying on the mainland- very far away from the island and that bridge. And it had to be that bridge.
So Sunday morning, we decided to try again. It looked like it was going to rain and I do not like rain. However, I was willing to brave it. Just in case, I held one of my brother’s filas (native clothing hat) as insurance, in case it actually rained. I like my hands to be free while running but this was a price I was willing to pay. He assured me that in all his time running he had never been caught in the rain. That was reassuring but still …
I wasn’t properly fueled and I am technically still recovering from a foot injury so I told my brother I was only up for about a 5k or so. He said it wouldn’t be a problem. The run started off great and there were a few other runners, walkers, and bikers on the bridge. I booked it up the incline of the bridge and was very glad when it was time to go downhill. It was very hot and densely humid and the sweat was being produced like crazy, but we kept on.
About halfway through, nature called and kept leaving voicemails so we had to take a very extended walk break. We made a pit stop at a nearby friend’s house which was slightly out of the way but the stop had to be made. After that, this gave us the liberty to run back to our starting point in peace and even stop for a few pictures at the top of the bridge.
My brother recorded a video clip of me running over the bridge but that will be included in my trip vlog which I am yet to begin editing [facepalm].
Thankfully, it didn’t rain and I ended up not needing the fila but I was glad I had it. When we got back to the car, over 7 kilometers later, we were drenched in sweat but it was a great workout and I am glad I got to do this with my brother and in the motherland.