I am Joe Walker aka Joseph Beyanga, a road safety enthusiast raising awareness about saving lives on the road.

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Joe Walker covers 50km in 7 hours

By Joe Walker

Over the weekend, I stepped out with a friend, Ken Asiimwe at 6am for a 45km stroll across the city. The plan was to catch up, share dreams and inspire each other to be better walkers. We set off from Sheraton, and 2km into the walk, we met a 62-year-old at Mulago roundabout who already had 6km on his clock, and boy it felt like he was airborne. He looked over his shoulder and signaled at us to match his pace and walk with him. We obliged.

Two minutes into the conversation, he could trace our ancestry back to our grandparents; I come from Bushenyi and he comes from Kabale. I quickly observed that he has great social skills and is conversational, and so knowing many people shouldn’t be difficult for him. Dr. Maurice Muhwezi Murari has been walking at least 12km three times a week for the last 25 years. He has inspired and mentored his son, Counsel John Musiime into this fun, although the son runs and he is the captain of Fast and Furious running club. Small world. As we continued the interesting conversations, we kept the pace and approached Bukoto where our paths parted. He challenged us not to drop our pace below 10 minutes per kilometer over the 45km layout.

We met a 62-year-old at Mulago roundabout who already had 6km on his clock.

The weather was good, the mood jovial and the fact that we were in our 40s suddenly paled in comparison to the 62-year-old who had just handed us a lesson in pace and power. We turned on our turbo and as we cruised into Ntinda, we found the beautiful sunrise coming up over Kyambogo hill. The tone for our walk was set. As we crossed the Spear Motors junction and attacked Mbuya hill, you couldn’t fault us for dreaming dreams of boys in Kapchorwa hills.

We felt so energized and that we could conquer anything ahead of us! After crisscrossing the city from Mbuya to Bugolobi, and Jinja Road to Kibuli hill, we needed rehydration, a sugar refill and an energy top-up. My friend Ken isn’t a friend of water, so he likes twisting its taste with sugary juices. I like my water raw. He got his concoction and was back in full speed. I had already taken too much water and all I now needed was sugar and salt. And my best plug? The sugarcane sellers on the roadside.

However, it was either too early or KCCA had chased them. We couldn’t see any around Kibuli. I settled for hard corn. We cruised on like speed birds. Soon we were in Kasanga and we got more than enough sugarcane supply. I was revived and now longed for a fresh view of Lake Victoria’s waters. My longing was filled when we got to Muyonyo and I watched the lake from the distance. I lit up like a young boy who has just seen an amazing toy for the first time. We continued our walk and attacked Bunga hill and hit cruise control to Makindye, where we took more water and sugarcane. Kibuye was under our feet in seconds and boom! Lubiri, Mengo, Makerere, Wandegeya, Kitante road, Nakasero hill were crossed and we were back to Sheraton Hotel. Our gadgets showed that we had walked 50kms in 7:51:51 hours. The weekend stroll was done.

23 months ago when I started on this walking journey, I never envisaged myself walking anything close to 50km non-stop. But here on this day, we just “did it”. We were blessed to meet a 62-year-old who has been walking 12km thrice a week at a lightening pace for 25 years…what an inspiration. The man looked in great shape and full of energy. I pray the Lord will bless him with long life, more energy and passion and continue to inspire more generations of great walkers. With the 50km mark out of the way, we are strolling onto the next milestone – the #JoeWalker race walk. Will you step it with me?

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