The 2020 Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon is canceled and here is their message

I heard the news about the cancelation of the 2020 Nairobi Marathon through the social media, and as though they knew that it would be hard for me to believe it, I just checked my email and got the message below:
Dear Justin,
Thank you for your continued support towards the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon. We have been closely monitoring how Covid-19 has impacted large scale public events worldwide and in Kenya. Naturally, this raised concerns for our marathon. 
When we consulted with Athletics Kenya and the Ministry of Sports it was evident that we would not be able to plan for a physical event with any certainty.

Having a Kenyan coach is much more valuable than buying Kenyan jerseys and bracelets

Steven Vanlancker (centre) training in Iten, Kenya
“I am surprised that it had to take me over 6,000km of traveling to finally understand what “easy” really meant,” Steven Vanlancker told me as we sat and sipped some hot tea outside on a hot afternoon at Iten Club in Kenya.



Steven is from Belgium and is one of the runners that I coach online and who at times borders on nagging with many questions whenever I give him a program for the week. Often, he would want to know the exact pace to use in each one of the runs I give him. So, when he came to Kenya, did a few runs, noticed that an easy pace on some routes can sometimes get faster than hard runs on some routes; he then realized the need to use feeling for his runs rather than follow the pace on his watch!

Mental preparation for race day among Kenyan runners

Wilson Kiprop, the 2010 world half-marathon champion,
versus Bedan Karoki at a local race in Kenya

An athlete may have done enough training to run well in a race, but without the right mentality going into the race, all the training might become useless.

They say that experience is the best teacher, and if there is one place that this applies more, it should definitely be with the mental preparation among Kenyan runners getting ready to run their dream races. Some learn about the best ways to deal mentally with their races through experience while others are taught by a coach or by fellow runners.

One of the runners that have impacted me more on how to be tough and courageous in a race is Wilson Kiprop, the 2010 world half marathon champion. He told me how determined he was to finish in a podium place at a local race before no one ever knew about him. He had never finished in the top ten positions at any big race before. But here, the race meant everything to him. He had no more food where he stayed away from home, no money, and no one to ask for help. He was in Nairobi and he wanted to win some money at the cross country race to enable him to travel back to Eldoret. The race was paying the top three finishers only.

Susan Sirma on Legend Ben Jipcho’s death and the need for Kenyan veteran runners to come together

Susan Sirma, the first Kenyan woman to win a medal at the world stage

Once you win medals for the country and celebrations are over, you are on your own. This is the harsh reality that hit most of the Kenyan veteran runners as Ben Jipcho was laid to rest at his home village of Kasawai, in Trans Nzoia County this Friday the 31st of July after passing on on 24th of July at a hospital in Eldoret due to a long illness.

After flying the Kenyan flag high and delivering different Olympic, All-Africa Games and Commonwealth medals for the country in the late 1960s to early 1970s, Jipcho retired from running and little is mentioned of his life after that. It was only until his demise that his name and the great contributions he had made to the Kenyan legacy in running came up again. If there is one thing that Kenyan is known for, it is definitely for its runners and Jipcho was part of the pioneer runners that started the trend.

However, some of his fellow veteran athletes who were close to him during his last days in hospital, and tried to assist with the little they had as his family struggled to meet the growing hospital bills shared their concerns about such a big star that had brought a lot of glory to the Kenyan nation having to struggle on his own to access medication.