How My Day Went (September 17, 2021)
By Babatunde Ademusire
I first woke up today at 6 am, took a pee, and went back to bed, exhausted from participating in the 1,500 m and 5,000 m races of the University of Ibadan Inter-Faculty Games. I represented my faculty, alongside some colleagues, yesterday.
Eventually, I woke up at 8:35 am, late for my 8:30 am class. But today was an important day in which I got to represent my faculty in the 10,000 m race, and I would not let this instance of lateness for class disrupt my plans for the day.
I proceeded to take breakfast, a meagre meal of bread and beans, and immediately ran off to class. I had to eat at least 3 hours before going for the Games at noon, for I had noticed that I don’t do well running long distances with food in my stomach. This was my only chance of eating before the event as it was not certain that I would be back from class before noon.
Class ended around 11 am, and I had to go to the clinic after that. However, I took an excuse to go for the Games around 11:45 am. I hurried back to my room, took my bath, drank a bottle of Coke, and went on my way for the event around 12:30 pm. But the 10,000 m race would not start until 3:15 pm.
The last time I ran 10,000 m was in Lagos in February 2020, and now, here I was, without adequate training and completely out of form, representing my faculty in the 10,000 m race.
We used the Awo Stadium, UI, for the event, and we were to go round the stadium 25 times; one complete lap was 400 m and 25 times 400 makes 10,000.
Notably, the conditions of the race were not ideal. The sun shone particularly brightly this afternoon, and the air was dry.
Fourteen male competitors started the race, and one guy dropped off from the race before the completion of the second lap. At the fifth lap, I began to feel fatigued in the muscles of my legs and thighs, but I had twenty more laps to go, and I didn’t want to be that guy who did not finish (DNF). As the minutes of the race entered into its twenties and thirties, more competitors dropped off.
When I was on my twentieth lap, I felt like dropping off too. My breathing was laboured, and I was obviously panting. The fact that the winner of the race had just completed his twenty-fifth lap at this same time was strongly discouraging; this meant he was 2 km ahead of me in a race that we started together. Notwithstanding, the cheer of a young lady named Lanre really encouraged me to continue. Her last name, in part, was Aje, and I am tempted at this point to write in Pidgin English, “Aje, you dey motivate me”.
A lot of things were simultaneously happening to me on my twentieth lap of this 10,000 m race. The heavens began to turn above me, and so did the track beneath me. More so, I had lost voluntary control of the muscles of my legs and thighs. I could not stop running even if I wanted to, lest I fall. I remembered the 200m race I ran in SS3. I did not want to fall as I did then.
After about 50 minutes of running, I completed the 10,000 m race but still could not stop. I left the track but continued to run for another 50-80 m on the field. It took the efforts of the officials to stop me. I felt dizzy and was no longer oriented in time. If you asked me what day it is today, I would not know. My only prayer to God was that I do not lose consciousness. The Games officials massaged my thighs, poured ice-cold water on them, and gave me glucose mixed with water to drink. I thought of the many pleasurable things I had not done in my life. Don’t ask me; I would not elaborate on this.
Eventually, I got a hold of myself and asked the judges about my position in the race. I came fourth.
This article is a submission by Babatunde Ademusire, a 600 Level Medical Student.