It's all for a great cause: 6 Masai warriors have left their remote village in Tanzania and have come to London to run the Marathon. They are doing it to raise money for clean water in their village, in association with Greenforce. The plan is to raise enough money to pay for specialist engineers to drill bore holes to access possible subterranean water reservoirs. They will run wearing shoes made from car tires, carrying their sticks and shields, and chant Masai songs as they go around the 26-mile course on April 13.
Needless to say, the press are having a field day with the headlines ("Lions they take in their stride, but now Masai face perils of London Marathon"), and tips for their survival in the urban jungle that is London. The warriors have been given a 4-page guide that is surprisingly accurate. "Even though some may look like they have a frown on their face, they are very friendly people - many of them just work in offices, jobs they don't enjoy, and so they do not smile as much as they should." And: "You will see many people who are wearing only small clothes and you will wonder why they are cold and may think they are being disrespectful. This is normal for England, especially when it is sunny or in the evening. However, it is illegal to show certain parts of the body and for this reason it is important that you wear underpants if you are wearing your blankets."
Staying in Kent, in the English countryside, they have done a tour of the area and its animals and are unimpressed by the cows which they find small. They have taken a real liking to the English cuppa (tea) although they use 10 spoons of sugar. However one says that "milk is good but blood is better, it gives me great energy. I drink as much as five litres at a time and it will keep me going for ages without food." :: Masai Marathon