Jim Lafferty – My Coach, My Mentor, My Bestfriend

Unbelievable but it is true, it’s now a little over a month since you quit Nigeria and left us all The Ikoyi runners guessing. The sudden short and shocking departure is still felt by all. The Ikoyi group, the guards, The Oshodi Isolo run which you started -The Mayor and the people of Oshodi, the Naija women after the women’s race and in fact Jim, Nigeria misses you. How you became a “Nigerian” within this short period of time still blows my mind.

01Jim running Oshodi with the Oshodi boys – the beautiful monthly run he started for the ikoyi runners. We ran it yesterday, first time since you left. Felt ok, but not the same. The Mayor and his Deputy keep asking even though they know you are gone. Jim was nothing short of a Nigerian when he was here. He dared to eat some Nigerian dishes, he loved Moimoi.
 

 
02Jim at the Women’s Race in June – He made the race fun with his Oyibo humour when he spoke. Jim what to tell them because they ask all the time when the next race will be and if that Oyibo will be there?
 

 

03Oh Uche and I with Jim our Master coach. Call us his girls and we will be proud to say yes. Jim is a mentor without match. How he finds the time to attend to everyone’s pressing demands is mind boggling but it is not Jim to not to respond to any form of inquiry. Thank you Jim. All that you TAUGHT has been helpful.
 

 

 
04There you go…our last group run with Jim. Running with Jim those final days was hurting but needed to be done. to think that he will leave us in few days was incomprehensible. Ebele his last born from the group I am sure did not stop sobbing. Jim was special.
 

 

 

 

 

 

05Jim coached the group and everyone else who needed his coaching abilities but JIM was my special coach friend and mentor. He trains me one on one in Banana Island and pushes me to run far beyond what I could ever imagine. He saw something in me that even I did not realize was there. I became a marathoner due to Jim, who else could be that special person I thanked in my race report before this blog. I ran my first marathon, second and now going on to the third. Pushing me to get better and better. He saw the spirit and fired it up. He does this for every willing friend. Jim I was, no is special…..I will have to hold back the tears and finish this write up… Now we have to send Jim forth.
How do you do that, how do you say Bye to a Master Coach. The Ikoyi running club pondered on this devising various means until we found a way that could make it eventful rather than sorrowful – Jim’s Birthday was just days before his exit from Naija. We chose his birthday to send him forth so it became a celebration (of a MASTER) rather than sorrowful.
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If it is not Jim it is not the same thing as Jim. We all miss you Jim. I MISS YOU SOOOO MUCH IT IS HURTING…However, we are happy our paths crossed and we wish you GOD’s blessings and Favor wherever you are and in whatever you find yourself doing.

WE LOVE YOU JIM…….CIAO

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