My five reasons for being a sports fan and why it pays

Wilson Kiprop vs Bedan Karoki at a local cross country meeting in Eldoret, Kenya

It takes a very long time before a post that is not related to sports can pop up from any of my social media accounts. Most of my posts are related to sports, especially running, because that is where my heart is. Being a sports fan and a sports person has enriched my life in so many ways. In fact, I can’t tell whether I am a runner because I am a fan of running or a fan of running because I am a runner.
Below are some of the benefits of being a sports fan (that of being a sports person will be a topic for another day).
1. It is free!
There are so many ways to treat oneself; buying an expensive gift, going out to watch a movie, visiting a game park, making a special meal, among others.  For me, relaxing in the house and watching a track and field event, a cross country meeting or a road running event on TV; or going out to spectate at a local sporting event is all that I will need to have a great day. The fun part is that it is always free for me to do all these!
2. Earning a living out of it
Knowledge is power. The more you become a fan of a particular sport for a long time, the more you learn a lot on what to do to be successful in it. Your knowledge could be valuable as a coach, a sports reporter, a race organizer and a talent scouter, among many others. Since you also know much about teams and individual athletes, you could place bets like on  Kenya Promotion Code bonus that could win you millions and change you into an instant millionaire.

Valuable lessons on training for and running a marathon

I wrote this article for RunBlogRun at the beginning of 2017 and I still believe it applies to 2018.
If you are beginning to develope a new hobby of collecting marathon finishers' medals like me, then some of the lessons below, learnt through experience and through sharing with other athletes, may be valuable to you as you seek to meet your goals.
On my way to winning the Sportinglife 10K

1. It is not necessarily the distances of the long runs you do that translate to running a good marathon, but the daily efforts you put in your training:
In 2016, I witnessed a friend who never did a long run of more than 30km the whole of the year and still managed to finish two local competitive marathons in Kenya by finishing 2nd and 7th and running a personal best time of 2:14:08.
The reason he could not do a longer run is because there was no vehicle to give him drinking water in his training, and so he decided to be doing two runs of 25km - 30km twice every week. He ran faster than other athletes who at times did up to 50km long runs.
2. Starting out a race too fast often results in running slower times in the end:
This is the one lesson that most runners often learn it the hard way. 42km is a long way and when you start it hard you will definitely find yourself hurting at 5km and wondering how and if you will ever end the remaining 37km!

Making considerable changes to the usual training programs in 2018

Athletes running at a track meeting in Eldoret
Nothing changes as long as we keep on doing the same things over and over.
It comes a time when one has to decide whether to make some changes in whatever they are doing in life, be it training, work, or business decisions; or to remain where they have always been. Some changes can come naturally, accidentally and forcefully and we have no options in these but to accept and move on, they could be the blessings in disguise that we at times hear some people keep talking about them. Other changes involve a lot of hard decisions to make. It is easier for many to make the decision to stay where they have always been and continue getting the same results, than to make the risk of trying a new method of doing things.

How the Commonwealth Games will affect the track season next year, 2018

Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia
The track season usually comes around April and ends around September. April to June is usually the time when athletes would push themselves, be it in the local or international meetings, to meet the qualifying times for the major championship events that usually happen around August.
However, coming at an unusual time for track season, many track athletes will likely be caught unaware this time round when Athletics Kenya selects the team to the Commonwealth Games scheduled to start on April 8th in Australia. Most Kenyan athletes usually follow a training program that involves stages that have been created by their coaches over time. They would usually set some months for recovery, others for mileage loading and others for speed work and track racing season. The cross country season has always been a good transition period towards the track season, but things will change drastically next year. Some athletes will be torn in the middle not knowing whether to focus on the Commonwealth Games, the Birmingham world indoor championships, the world half marathon championships, the African Cross country championships, the IAAF diamond league meetings, or on the Africa Senior Athletics Championships.

Is betting good for the sport and fans?

This weekend while travelling in a public service vehicle (PSV) to a location far away from the urban centre of Eldoret town, I saw some people in the vehicle taking with them leaflets of sporting event fixtures for some weeks ahead so that they would be placing bets during their spare times there in the village. 
Betting seems to be a relatively new but big phenomenon in the sporting industry right now. It is a sector that is developing rapidly and making a huge impact in societies across the world than it has ever done before. 
Companies involved in the betting business, also termed as Bookmakers, are employing millions of the otherwise would be unemployed youths and making others who win bets rich. Most of these companies also involve themselves in some charitable work as well as sponsoring some of the local and international sporting competitions that help recognise talents in communities. Some of the Common Bookmakers in Kenya include SportPesa, Mybet Partner Code, Betin, and others. 
But, is betting a good thing for the sport? Should I personally advise anyone to bet? Below are some of my thoughts regarding betting.

Athletic moments to remember from 2017

2017 has been a wonderful year of athletics. There were so many exciting athletic moments from the track up to the roads and below are just but a few of what I believe will most likely remain in the minds of many fans for a long time:
Usain Bolt retired from track running in August
World athletic fans got to watch the legendary "Lightning Bolt" run his last races on track during the IAAF world championships in London. Being his last appearance on track, fans expected him to end his career on a high note, but, the two races he participated in did not go so well as he finished 3rd in the 100m individual race and fell down, due to an hamstring injury, while anchoring his national team in the 4 by 100m relay race.
Eliud Kipchoge almost ran a marathon under 2 hours in May.
At the Monza track in Italy, Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge together with Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia raced purposely to run under 2 hours for the marathon in ideal conditions.
It was Eliud Kipchoge who came so close to breaking the two hour mark by running it in 2 hoursand 25 seconds.
Joyceline Jepkosgei broke six world records within six months.
During the Prague Half Marathon, she broke four world records; three of them on way to breaking the half marathon world record of 1:04:52, recording 30:05 at 10K, 45:37 at 15K and 61:25 at 20K.

My thoughts on Kenyan-born athletes seeking greener pastures in other countries

Running is a profession unlike any other. If a journalist, a doctor, a farmer, a lawyer or any other professional is free to look for greener pastures out of their countries, I do not see any good reason why runners should not have the same freedoms to move to a country where they believe their services will be more valuable and appreciated and settle there.
Kaan Ozbilen running in a past event
Over the weekend, Kenyans continued to show their supremacy in long distance running by winning a number of races around the world, including the Honolulu marathon where Brigid Kosgei and Lawrence Cherono defended both the men and women titles by setting new course records. There were some fans with some concerns though when two Turkish athletes, Kaan Kigen Ozbilen and Can Yasemin, won the men and women European cross country titles and their origins were traced back to Kenya. Some fans seem to be uncomfortable with the fact that athletes with an East African origin who have changed their citizenships and now represent other nations are winning races for their new nations. However, it is hard to pin-point the exact reason for the discomfort. Is it the fear that the East Africans are unbeatable? Is it the issue of unleveled playing field? Or, is it an issue with feelings?
Some runners have begun steering away from the notion that athletes with Kenyan origin have to be avoided in races for them to win and the results can be seen: USA's Shalane Flanagan just beat the women's marathon record holder, Mary Keitany to win the New York City Marathon; Galen Rupp beat the two times world champion, Abel Kirui to win the Chicago marathon while Sondre Moen of Norway beat Uganda's world champion, Stephen Kiprotich to win the Fukuoka marathon.

Why The Nairobi Marathon ought to be an IAAF label road race

Photo from Nairobi Marathon Being arguably the biggest marathon in a country whose athletes dominate the whole world in long distance...