What you need to know:
- Sian Saitonik is an outdoor enthusiast, sports tourist, and marathon and ultra-runner. She is also the DStv Marketing Manager with more than eight years of experience in marketing.
- As a travel person, she considers Instagram her photobook. She is also on X, though. She likes to read what’s happening on the platform.
How would your friends describe you?
They would likely say that I am a go-getter, energetic, hardworking, funny, cheeky, considerate, and good in financial literacy. I help them come up with financial planning and investments strategies especially when they are planning for their travels.
When you think of your childhood, what memories spring up?
My dad teaching me how to ride a bike, taking me and my three siblings out on most weekends and the farm life—we had cows and I used to milk them. Also, participating in liturgy dance on Sundays is a nostalgic memory. I was born and raised in Nakuru. My siblings and I were privileged to have a father who exposed us to opportunities and experiences that extend the boundaries of our Maasai traditions.
What’s your relationship with your mother?
Ah, I have spoken much about my father. My mother and I have an okay relationship. She offers me emotional support. Whenever I need a prayer said over a situation in my life, she is my go-to person. She is also my greatest fan whenever I am in the races.
When you are attending the marathons, what do you think about?
It’s mostly how badly I need to get done with it. Marathons are nerve wrecking, and one thing that is relatable to most runners is that the fun stops at 21km into the race. By the time you are getting to 30km, you just what to be done. I like to think about the touring experiences after. I got into marathons after I became a mother because I had put on a lot of baby weight that I needed to lose. Besides running, I cycle, hike, do yoga, and frequent the gym. I am in a group where we cycle to neighbouring countries to prepare for the marathons. I make my meals in advance, at least for the entire week, which ensures that I don’t fall into the temptation of unhealthy eating.
Why Marathon and not keto diet, maybe?
I don’t believe in diets. They are not sustainable. For how long can you abstain from carbohydrates? I believe in balance and taking part in marathons works on both the physical and mental aspect of your life.
What is the biggest discovery you’ve made lately?
In 2019, I survived a terrorist attack that happened in Nairobi. Because of that experience, something shifted in me. I live like there is no tomorrow. Back then, I was focused about planning for my future, but I am more into the present.
If you were to explain what you do in a song, tell me about in a few lines…
Hustle, hustle, hard. The first lines have to be something along those lines because it encapsulates what I do. As a marketer, I have to ensure that whatever investments we make in the market and activities have a return on investment.
What years of your career did you give it your best?
Honestly, all years. I have had not a job that was easy or one that things just fell into place. I have worked in different agencies, and every day, you have to give it your best, otherwise, your performance dips.
Does working in marketing make you a better haggler?
(Laughs) absolutely. I am an entrepreneur; I sell fragrances and offer scriptwriting services on the side. My background comes in handy when I am negotiating for better rates, be it with my suppliers or clients. It also helps me in convincing clients to buy my products.
Do you save to travel for marathons?
Five years ago, a friend and I used to just wake up and go for runs, sometimes outside the country. We used to call ourselves backpackers’ runners. But that randomness was affecting my finances, so I decided to be a better planner at it. Now, I save then travel. I have been to Dubai, Berlin and Chicago for the races.
X or Instagram?
Instagram. As a travel person, I consider the platform as my photobook. I am on X, though. I like to read what’s happening on the platform.
What has motherhood given and taken away from you?
I got my child early in life; he is 12 years now and I tell people that we have grown together. It has taught me grace, empathy, and patience. What it took away from me is the excessive freedom that I had back them. Now, I must make calculated decisions in all aspects of my life because they affect him directly or indirectly.
What are you currently struggling with?
Getting back to my reading routine.