Ezekiel Kemboi just confirmed my observations about his imminent move to the Marathon!

This is a story I had written a few months ago regarding Ezekiel Kemboi's likelihood to move to the marathon next year. Then it happened. He just announced it himself in Eldoret this Thursday, the 27th of September 2018 when Isuzu company was handing over a car to Eliud Kipchoge for breaking the marathon world record. Below is what I had earlier observed.

Ezekiel Kemboi most likely to run a marathon in 2019, and possibly become a world champion over the distance in Doha, Qatar

The truth is, having been in his training group for almost a third year now, I fall somewhere around the fifth place when it comes to anyone who can guess whether Ezekiel Kemboi will be running a marathon next year. There is God (who doesn’t guess, by the way), Kemboi himself, his coach and his management ahead of me. But, there are many signs pointing towards this. In fact, if I was to place a bet right now, even before any country can name their teams, as to who will win the 2019 world championship gold medal in the men’s marathon, I would place my bet on Kemboi. Let me explain, before you throw your phone at me!

First of all, Kemboi has already hinted about moving to the marathon probably next year when asked by reporters in Kasarani Stadium during the national trials how the men’s 3000m steeplechase race he had run in had been. He replied that he was there in the race most importantly to represent the Police Service at the national championships and that his focus of late has been on the road races.

Secondly, Kemboi is a big star. If he is to move to the marathon, he will definitely do it in a big way. Take for example other athletes of his caliber, like Kenenisa Bekele. Just like him, he has won gold medals in two Olympic Games. Kemboi is even better than Bekele when it comes to the number of world championships he has won gold medals having done it in 5 world championships against Bekele’s four. Bekele did his marathon debut in 2:05:04. Kemboi knows he has to be ready for the marathon before making the move. He is not just like any other average runner who can simply choose to run in any marathon, Kemboi has to maintain his world championship athlete status since there is so much involved, from appearance money to sponsorship contracts and will only be proper for him to debut in one of the big and fast marathons. If he finally makes a concrete decision to run in the spring and his debut becomes a success, then he is most likely to be named in Kenya’s team to the world championships to Doha.

Six observations WADA, AIU and ADAK taskforce made concerning doping in Kenya

After today's press release, it is apparent that more should be done in educating the Kenyan athletes on matters to do with doping. It seems like most cases are a result of ignorance on the part of the athletes.

Here is what the WADA, AIU and ADAK taskforce found regarding doping in Kenya.

The report made the following 6 key conclusions:-
1.       The doping practices of Kenyan athletes are unsophisticated, opportunistic, and uncoordinated and there is no evidence of an institutionalized system.
2.       Based on the substances detected, Kenyan athletes most commonly use nandrolone and EPO.
3.       Athletes in Kenya are insufficiently educated on doping and/or willfully blind as to the consequences of doping.
4.       The role of local medical practitioners and quasi-medical personnel (e.g. chemists) is highly relevant to the accessibility of prohibited substances to athletes and their entourages.
5.       Some local medical practitioners and quasi-medical personnel are unaware and/or willfully blind to their role in facilitating the access of athletes and their entourage to prohibited substances.
6.       The benefits of the “substantial assistance” provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) are vastly underutilized by Kenyan athletes who are caught for doping.

How fast runners soon become victims of their own success in training, competition and living

Kenyan runners are already paying, in many ways, for the successes of their predecessors in running. Currently, to qualify as an elite athlete from Kenya to run any big city marathon these days, one needs to have run around 2:06:00 in the distance while for runners from other countries, times close to 2:20:00 can get them the same recognition and access to the same start lines. One can check the elite start lists of the 2018 New York City Marathon to confirm that.

But that aside, there is also the punishment that the athletes give themselves, the more they get faster in their training.

I remember one time when I was in a certain camp, we would do 1hr 10 minutes run in the morning on our easy days. These were done in a route that took us 16km to complete it, but, with time the athletes kept pushing their limits as they got fitter and fitter and some were soon covering the distance in less than one hour. This angered the coach and to correct it, he would stand at the usual finishing place so that when the athletes arrived earlier than 1hr 10 minutes, he would tell them to keep on running past the finish line until the 1hr 10 minutes elapsed.

It happens that the fitter they get, many athletes change their "easy" running paces and, without good supervision from their coaches, eventually end up hurting their general training. The same athletes would soon get burnt out from over training and may never get back to their top fitness again.

What runners would appreciate from motorists as well as from the general public

Ezekiel Kemboi training with friends in Eldoret

I am writing this with one blocked nostril and some fever after a sleepless night, and having missed to go for my 25km easy run this morning.

The previous day as I did my morning run in a group of four athletes on a rough road around Eldoret, a SUV that was raising a lot of dust quickly approached us. One of the athletes in the group waved at it to slow down in order to reduce the intensity of the cloud of dust that was about to engulf us, but to no avail. The SUV zoomed past leaving us gasping for breath inside the red cloud that lasted for a few more minutes on the road ahead of us. Interestingly, the registration number on the vehicle indicated that it belonged to an entity that the public were crying foul that they did spend a lot of money hosting parties to watch the Berlin Marathon. It is amazing that they could spend millions of Kenyan shillings to watch athletes run abroad, but cannot slow down to avoid hitting them while on their training runs here in Kenya!

That vehicle is most likely to be the cause of my illness that has resulted in my having to miss my training today. Checking the social media after waking up, I just saw another athlete complaining of having been knocked down by a motorcycle and I found my case to be even much less serious than what many other athletes go through.  But, that aside, I know there are many more motorists out there who care about athletes but may not understand how to help make their training less impossible. 

Below are some of the things that athletes would be so grateful if you would do for them on the roads.

I want to start running; how do I begin?

Perhaps being inspired by the great run by Eliud Kipchoge at the Berlin Marathon this weekend, I have been getting numerous calls and text messages from many people who are interested in joining the runners’ club.

Well, beginning to run is the best decision one can ever make in their lives. As Kipchoge himself puts it, “no human is limited.” Whatever one sets to achieve in running, they will surely do so with the right “elements.” Beginning it gradually is the best approach. Jog and walk in the first week, jog in the following week when you feel ready to do so, start running easy 30 to 45 minutes each morning in the weeks that follow and in a few more weeks you are already beginning to notice great changes in your physical fitness and are well on your way to incorporating hill and speed workouts.
What I like about running is that, as long as you have the right training shoes, apparel and a wrist watch, you can be able to begin running right away!

Information on my marathon and long distance running online coaching programs

Kenyan Athlete with fans in Canada The happenings from 2016 to 2018 have inspired me tremendously to take up the job of helping others...