Will it be Lawrence Cherono, Mo Farah, Getaneh Molla or someone else at the 2019 Chicago Marathon?

Lawrence Cherono 2019 Boston Marathon: PhotoRun.net
While other major marathons have been inviting a few of the best marathon runners in the world, the Chicago Marathon has in the recent past been assembling elite fields that provide perfect ingredients for some exciting and unpredictable competitions, especially in the men’s race.

This year, the defending champion from 2018, Mo Farah will be back and hoping to win again. But, the field will be slightly different this time around and perhaps slightly tough as well.

Ethiopia’s Getaneh Molla ran his first-ever marathon earlier this year at the Dubai Marathon winning it in 2:03:34, which is the fastest ever marathon debut time in history. But, on a certified course given that Moses Mosop ran 2:03:06 for his marathon debut at the Boston marathon in 2011. With a marathon debut time that is faster than the course record, Molla will definitely be one of the athletes to watch out for here and who has great potential to break the course record.

The 2019 Kaptagat Half Marathon happens this weekend, the 8th of September

The start of the men's Kaptagat Half Marathon race in 2018
Everything is set for another edition of the Kaptagat forest half marathon. Winners in both the men and women 21km races will pocket KES 100,000. Second and third finishers will walk away with KES 75,000 and KES 50,000 respectively.

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!

Trying to keep up with Eliud Kipchoge and group on track during the INEOS 1:59 challenge training

I am deeply indebted to Eliud Kipchoge’s coaches and training group for allowing me to join them in most of their training runs, especially the track intervals. Despite it being such a rare chance, a spectacular experience, and a great learning opportunity, it is obviously not an easy task trying to keep up with this group in training.

800m is simply 2 laps on a standard 400m track. But, trust me. You will easily lose count of the two laps when you do your best to stick with Eliud Kipchoge’s group during their interval training. It has happened to me a number of times. The good thing is that the runners would finish the intervals ahead of you and you will see them stop running and you will know exactly where to stop as well.

Joshua Cheptegei won the men’s 5000m Diamond League title in Zurich after the race was turned into a football match

Joshua Cheptegei at the Zurich Diamond League meeting. Photo by organizers
Having shown great form in the 5,000m and 3000m races leading up to the diamond league final in Zurich, the 5000m title was expected by many fans to go to one of the Ethiopian runners; Selemon Barega, Telahun Bekele, Yomif Kejelcha and Hagos Gebrhiwet.

However, no sooner had the race started than some of the protagonists started to trail the rest of the field from behind. Barega was holding the tail of the whole pack. Slightly ahead of him was Kejelcha.

How to tell when you are in great form to run a marathon well

Mary Keitany training in Iten
There are so many methodologies that athletes use to tell when they are finally in their right form to race well. Some may not be very common. For example, I normally just hold my wrist with the other hand and tell what kind of form I am during my training. Others compare themselves against their training colleagues.

Below are the most common signs that many athletes tend to agree on as the most common indicators of someone in good form to go out and run a great race.

1. Craving for food

There are days when runners seem to find any foodstuff they taste, or even just think about, are sweeter than they have usually been. I know of some interesting stories that have involved food in some training destinations around here, especially after some days of hard training.

Six reasons why Dennis Kimetto was sure to break the world record for marathon in 2014

Dennis Kimetto talking with Justin Lagat in Kapng'etuny, Kenya.
With 4 days to go before the Berlin Marathon in 2014, I caught up with Dennis Kimetto in Kapng'etuny, Kenya as he finalized on his training before heading out to Berlin. He is a man of few words, but the few words he told me, supported by hard facts, made me wonder whether the world marathon record was not as good as broken.

First of all, the weather predicted for that Sunday (the 28th of September 2014) in Berlin would be more favorable than the previous year when Wilson Kipsang broke the record.

Joyciline Jepkosgei, the world record holder in 10K and half marathon to make her marathon debut in New York

Joyciline Jepkosgei after setting a new world record for the half marathon
Joyceline Jepkosgei will be running the marathon distance for the first time at the New York City Marathon in November. It is understandable when the focus is at times given to other athletes coming to run here, given the depth of the elite field. But, it is worth noting that with world records in the 10km and half marathon distances, Jepkosgei will surely be one of the biggest stars to watch out for here. 

Many reigning world champions will not defend their titles in Doha

Men's 10,000m race at the 2017 London World Championships
From the new IAAF rules on testosterone that has affected the women’s events from the 400m to the 1500m distances, to some of the 2017 medalists like Mo Farah and Usain Bolt moving away from track running, to other defending champions being injured and uncertain of participating at the Doha world championships, this year’s world championships seem to be very open in many of the track events. It remains to be seen whether a good number of the 2017 world champions will defend their titles.

Conseslus Kipruto confirms he will be running at the Kenyan National trials

Conseslus Kipruto winning gold in London
To fans of the men’s 3000m steeplechase event, and particularly of Conseslus Kipruto, the reigning Olympic, world, and Commonwealth Games’ champion had some exciting news to share today after chatting with RunBlogRun. He has recovered from an injury that has seen him miss the track season this year and is feeling ready to compete again.

With one step to reach the nationals, athletes gave their best at the Central Rift championships in an effort to earn slots to participate at the national trials expected to take place next month.

Exciting distance races at the 2019 Muller Anniversary Games, London

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Hellen Obiri after winning the women's 5000m in London
It almost felt like a world championship week this weekend during the two-day Muller Diamond League meeting in London. There were many great races that had almost all the main contenders that will likely to turn up at the finals of the world championships in Doha and added to the venue; the London Stadium, in which the 2012 Olympics and the 2017 world championships were done, it was bound to be a meeting to remember.

There were a lot of expectations in the men’s 800m race given that Nijel Amos had just run 1:41.89 at the Monaco Diamond League and knew exactly how close he was to breaking the world record. The race was to happen in the same facility where he set his personal best time of 1:41.73 in 2012 when he had finished second to David Rudisha who had broken the world record.

Seven common bits of advice I give to my runners

Training in Kaptagat, Kenya.
With the emergence of sophisticated GPS watches, heart rate monitors, running applications and fitness websites like Strava to share training data and experiences, it has become very easy for many runners out there to reach out to me and try out the Kenyan way of training through my Kenyan Online Coaching programs. I have had some incredible experiences and feedback from the runners I have worked with, so far.

Below bits of advice are based on some of the common questions and clarifications that some of the runners I coach online have been seeking to know.

1. Differentiate between your jogging, easy, moderate and hard runs
These are the common words that we usually use to refer to our workouts; Jog, Easy, Moderate and hard. Here is how to understand them roughly.

Sifan Hassan's new world record amid other fast times at the 2019 Monaco Diamond League

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Sifan Hassan and Laura Weightman after going 1-2
Fast times have usually been recorded in the past years at the Monaco Diamond League meeting, especially in the distance events. It was the same case this year with a world record being set in the women’s 1 mile and world-leading times being registered in the men’s 3000m steeplechase and 800m races.

The women’s 1 mile race became the much talked about race after Sifan Hassan turned it around from what had appeared to be a low profile event, given the scarcity of other big names to provide competition. It was only Tsegay Gudaf who was able to stick with Hassan after the pacesetter had stepped out. For a while, it appeared as though Tsegay was trailing Hassan and waiting to strike in the last stages of the race.

But, just after the bell, Hassan accelerated and built a big gap that kept increasing rapidly as she went for the new world record crossing the finish line in 4:12.33. Tsegay would suffer from her mistake of trying to keep up with her as two other athletes overtook her before she reached the finish line. Laura Weightman finished second in a personal best time of 4:17.60 followed by Canada’s Gabriela Debues-Stafford in a new national record of 4:17.87.

Wyclife Kinyamal leads Kenyans to a 1-2-3 finish in the 800m race as Kejelcha win 5000m at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting

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Yomif Kejelcha
One of the biggest races of the night was the men’s 5000m, given the start list that had almost all the runners who had shown great form in distances ranging from the 3,000m to the 10,000m this season. There were 15 runners who had run under 13 minutes for the distance. There were also some perceived scores to be settled between Tilahun Bekele and Selemon Barega; Joshua Cheptegei and Barega; Yomif Kejelcha and Barega; Paul Chelimo and Cheptegei, among others.

However, Yomif Kejelcha who had not featured much in the most recent races was the man who won what is arguably the most anticipated race of the year.

The first 1000m was quite fast with the pace setter taking the field through it in 2:32.96. However, the pace was slowed down a little after the pacesetters stepped out after around the 3,000m mark, as though no one was willing to risk trying to break away from such a formidable field.

Interview: Seven questions from Noel Paine regarding my online coaching

I, participating at the 2017 Ottawa marathon in Ottawa, Canada
 It is always a pleasure to me getting to talk about my passions of running, writing and coaching. I got seven questions this week from my favorite running friend, an athlete I currently coach and a fellow dad; Noel Paine.

Noel has experience of over 30 years as a runner and is hoping to still run a personal best time for the marathon at the age of 43 years, which I think is possible.

Below are questions from Noel Paine regarding my online coaching:

A look at the men’s 5000m race for tonight at the Lausanne IAAF Diamond League

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Telahun Bekele leading a recent men's 5000m race
Someone just confided in me that if he were in the start list for the men’s 5000m race tonight at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting, then he would have just faked an injury and wait for a less competitive race later in the circuit.

With 15 runners having personal best times of under 13 minutes in tonight’s race, it is set to be one of, if not, the most competitive 5,000m race this year.

Beatrice Chepkoech and Joshua Cheptegei's sweet revenge at the Preclassic Iaaf Diamond League

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Beatrice Chepkoech running at the Kenyan trials in Nairobi
Not sure if it was because the setting and lighting were different from that of the other Diamond League races, given that it happened in broad daylight as opposed to others that have happened mostly in the evening, but this year’s Preclassic diamond league was mesmerizing to watch!

A Crazy and exciting women’s 3000m steeplechase race that left the field in a single file within the first kilometer was the first distance event in the sunny and clear afternoon in Stanford. Beatrice Chepkoech chose a strategy that works best for her; she broke away from the group from the start. The chasing pack regrouped itself again in the last stages of the race and there was a different championship caliber race (complete with former and reigning world champions in it) for the second place as Chepkoech ran her own different race at the front.

17 week marathon training program that improved my time by 29 minutes

My ebook
In my preparation to go out and run a 2:26.48 marathon, I recorded each workout from the first date of starting my training, for continuous 17 weeks, till I remained with the last couple of weeks for tapering and travel. In it are the time splits I would post in all my runs; 25km runs, 38km runs, track intervals, 15km tempo runs, etc.

While this program will not make you run 2:26 by reading it, it will help you compare the times you post in your workouts with mine and see how you will adjust them to make sure you run faster than me in your next race. Or, at least it will help to just sample a typical Kenyan training program in your own training.

Almaz Ayana and Faith Kipyegon on start lists for Prefontaine Classic Diamond League this weekend

Faith Kipyegon will be running in the women's 1500m
One of those IAAF Diamond League meetings that one should never ever miss is happening this weekend in Stanford, USA.

Looking at the women 3000m’s start list, I could not help but wonder whether such a stellar field has ever been assembled for this event in recent times! There are two world record holders; Genzebe Dibaba and Almaz Ayana, with Ayana staging a comeback after being away from competitive running for a while due to an injury.

Hellen Obiri who is ranked as world number one at the moment in the 5000m event will also be there, together with Sifan Hassan who gave a hard run to Dibaba in their recent 1500m race that led to her running a national record of 3:55.93, will also be there!

What percentage does good online coaching contribute to running a great marathon?

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A coach urging athletes on at a local race in Kenya
If it was true that every product that appeared on the internet in the name of aiding runners run fast marathon times was to add at least 2% improvement each, then a runner who would use all these products at once would only need to use a 20% effort to win any major marathon!

There are so many products in the market including energy gels, pre-race powders, protein supplements, racing shoes that claim to add up to 4% improvement, energy drinks, special clothing that eliminates air resistance, pace setting GPS watches, electrolytes, running glasses, compression and performance socks, etc. Just like choosing the right odds to place in the betin kenya promo code you will need an expert in the field who has had enough experience in the field to know what exactly will work best for you in yielding the best results. For marathon running, that person is a coach.

Almost every coach was at one time a runner and, besides what was passed down to them by their coaches during their time, knows exactly how the different products and different training programs assisted their running and the right time to apply each one of them.

Nelly Jepkosgei, Genzebe Dibaba and Getnet Wale shine at the Rabat Diamond League.

Nelly Jepkosgei winning the women's 800m race in Rabat
After the Rabat Diamond League meeting had ended, someone just posted on FaceBook; “when did the Ethiopians start winning the men’s 3000m steeplechase races?!”

Well, perhaps their supremacy has just started at the Rabat Diamond League race last night as they took the first two places with Getnet Wale running a world-leading time, national record and personal best time of 8:06.01 to win the race ahead of Chala Beyo who finished second also in a personal best time of 8:06.48. Kenya’s Benjamin Kigen tried hard, but his finishing kick could not allow him to catch the two Ethiopians as he finished third in 8:07.25.

Norah Jeruto upset Beatrice Chepkoech as Selemon Barega won a thrilling 3000m race at the Oslo Diamond League

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Norah Jeruto with her sister Daisy Chepkemei after the Oslo Steeplechase race
Photo Courtesy
There was some exciting racing in the distance events at this year's Oslo Diamond League meeting.

All the top four finishers in a thrilling and fast men’s 3000m race recorded their personal best times, with a world leading time and a national record being registered as well. What makes a middle and long distance track race very exciting is the building up towards a climax, the mind games being put to play by the athletes, the fluid movements of athletes in great shape, the gutsy decisions, etc. This race had all these and more. It was as though Joshua Cheptegei knew that Selemon Barega had a strong finishing kick and wanted to make it a long and hard run almost from the start. With about three laps to go, the whole field was already following in a single file with only Nicholas Kimeli and Barega managing to stick just behind him until the last lap.

Barega overtook Cheptegei in the last 200m and went ahead to win the race in a world leading a personal best time of 7:32.17. Cheptegei’s time of 7:33.26 was also a personal best time; same to Kimeli’s 7:34.85 ahead of Henrik Ingebrightsen who treated his home fans to a new national record of 7:37.37.

Beatrice Chepkoech, Selemon Barega, Hyvin Kiyeng and Bethwel Birgen to light up the Oslo Diamond League on Thursday the 13th of June 2019

Beatrice Chepkoech leading the women 1500m race at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast
The Oslo Diamond League meeting has always been one of the most exciting diamond league meetings every year, and this year promises to be the same.
Below are some of what to look forward to in the middle and long distance events.

Men 3000m:
For things to get more exciting in the upcoming long-distance track events, we will need another runner to beat Selemon Barega in the 3,000m race so as to complicate things further in trying to guess who the best 3000m/5000m at the moment is.

What might have caused the poor performance by Kenyan athletes at the Aarhus 2019 World Cross Country Championships?

Kenyan runners participating in a past cross country race in Eldoret, Kenya
One former senior police officer would tell anyone to go away and come back with just one solid reason whenever one gave him more than two reasons as to why something might have happened.

So, here I was; trying to find the one reason as to what may have caused the dismal performance by Kenyan athletes at the 2019 Aarhus IAAF World cross country Championships, and below are the various possible reasons.

1. The national trials were done on high altitude.
For the first time in Kenya, the national cross country championships were done outside Nairobi and there were some major upsets. Some of the main contenders including Agnes Tirop and Edward Zakayo, among others, gave in to the high altitude and the harsh weather conditions in Eldoret and could not make the team.

Benjamin Kigen only winner from Kenya at the Rome Diamond League Meeting as Dibaba, Brazier and Bekele triumph

Benjamin Kigen on way to winning the 3000m steeplechase in Rome. Photo from Organizers
Men 800m:
After a 49.96 seconds first 400m split by the pace setter, it appeared as though it was going to be Wycliffe Kinyamal’s day as he led at the 600m mark in 1:16.87. But Nijel Amos was just at his back waiting to strike as usual on the home straight. As soon as Nijel ran past him, KInyamal began to fade rapidly. However, it was not going to be Nijel’s day either as the strong finishing Donavan Brazier came to edge him just at the finish line winning the race in 1:43.63 against Nijel’s 1:43.65. Brandon Mcbride finished 3rd in 1:43.90.

1500m women:
Genzebe Dibaba seemed to have perfectly timed the right time to spring away from the pack in the women’s 1500m. She overtook the pacemaker at around the 1200m point and began to open a gap in a move that might have caught the other contenders by surprise. The rest of the race remained a battle by the rest of the field to try and come in contact with her again. Despite the fact that she did not manage to close the gap, Laura Muir’s effort to catch Dibaba was amazing and it certainly puts her as one of the top contenders to watch in the next big 1500m race. Dibaba won the race in a world leading time of 3:56.28 slightly ahead of Muir who finished in 3:56.73. Tsegay Gudaf took the third position in 3:59.96.

Caster Semenya to run a new distance at the Eugene Diamond League

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Caster Semenya during the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
Many track fans may have expected to see the last of Caster Semenya participating in the Diamond League races after the new rules came in place as from 8th May to bar her from participating in events between the 400m and the mile. But, it seems the two times Olympic and three times world champion who has been unbeatable over the 800m distance already had a plan B in place.

Semenya has been entered in the Pre Classic diamond league meeting which is scheduled for June 30th, to in run the women’s 3000m. This event does not fall under the IAAF’s new testosterone regulations.

Eliud Kipchoge’s seemingly permanent marathon world record of 2:01:39 in Berlin recaptured

Eliud Kipchoge with his coach, Patrick Sang
The 16th of September 2018 was an exciting day for marathon fans across the world when Eliud Kipchoge treated them to one exciting marathon race on the streets of Berlin. 

In Kenya, for the first time, there was a huge following of the race with restaurants and county governments in places where the highest concentration of athletes come from setting up watch parties. Some local sponsors also came in to be part of the partying. A local TV station also covered the gatherings and the celebrations across the country during the race.

The 2019 Stockholm Diamond League Meeting's most talked about race

Rhonex Kipruto won the 10,000m race in 26:50.16
It would appear as though when a race is cut off from the TV audience, it will be the most sought and downloaded video on internet the following day given what just happened at the IAAF track and field meeting in Stockholm this week (the 30th of May 2019).

The men’s spectacular 10,000m race that was won by Rhonex Kipruto in a rare sub 27 minute time of 26:50.16 became one of the most talked about races from the Stockholm Diamond League meeting on the internet and on social media the following day. I had to go to YouTube to re-watch the race for myself.

Five memorable moments to remember from the 2019 IAAF Aarhus World Cross Country Championships

The under 20 women's race at the Aarhus world cross coutry (Photorun.net)
The IAAF world cross country championships that happened in Aarhus Denmark are over, but there are moments that will remain in record books and in the minds of fans that watched it for a long time to come. Below are some of the memories to keep from Aarhus. 

1. The tough and hilly course.
Even before the event began, many had already nick-named it the toughest world cross country meeting ever. It was. The part of the course that will remain memorable was the steep incline, just after the muddy section. It is interesting to think that someone thought about adding weights (mud), and not water, on the runners' spikes before they could ascend the slope.

A day with Pace Sports Management's coach, Sammy Mitei

Coach Sammy Mitei noting track interval times of his athletes in Eldoret
It was such a great learning experience to me when I visited Pace Sports Management’s Sammy Mitei as he coached his runners in Eldoret. I saw a lot for myself and learned more as I listened to him. 

"What did I just tell you?!" he had asked, and I could not hide my astonishment.

After explaining to me how, as an experienced coach, he had learned to give out workouts to his athletes depending on how he has come to know each and every one of them - there are those who often complain that the work out is too much and also those who would feel that they still wish to add in some more at the end of the session - one of his athletes who had just been doing some 800m intervals on the track actually came up to where we stood and asked him if he could add some more 300m intervals! He gave him the okay.

Experiences from my long distance online coaching career

Bethwell Birgen training with his group in Eldoret
As a coach, my responsibilities are not as obvious as they appear. I am being entrusted with someone’s life’s goals in running and I would never want to let down anybody who trusts in me and that is why I prefer taking a slow and sure way to success rather than pushing a runner through short and dangerous ways. 

There is so much that can be added into a training program; hill workouts, slope repeats, different kinds of fartleks, downhill speed workouts, long and short track intervals, threshold runs, diagonals, tempo runs, easy runs, moderate runs, recovery runs, track repeats, long runs, semi-long runs, etc. However, not all these types of workouts necessarily need to happen all at once, in the same week, or even in the same month.

Simon Cheprot touches hearts at the Okpekpe 10Km Road Race

Simon Cheprot stops to help a runner during the Okpekpe Road Race
Jacqueline Nyetipei helps a running
drink water in a race
For yet another time, a Kenyan runner has captured the hearts of many fans not because of their running, but due to their kind and humane acts during the race.

This was in an almost similar incident to that of Jacqueline Nyatipei did stop on her way to winning a marathon in China some time back to offer water to a disabled athlete who was clearly struggling to keep on running

No one could enact the drama of the biblical Good Samaritan more than Simion Cheprot this weekend in one of the biggest 10km road races in Africa.

While those who would have been in a better position to step in and help just stood there and watched as Kipkemoi crawled on the ground as he struggled to get up, Cheprot came from behind. For any other athlete, it would have been a golden opportunity to pass by the struggling runner and finish in a better position. But not for Cheprot. He stopped to pick up the struggling runner and carried him to the finish line despite other runners running past him in the process.

2019 Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon Live Streaming Video

With Abera Kuma, Adugna Tekele and Tedat Ayana of Ethiopia against Kenya's Martin Kosgey and Albert Korir, it remains to be seen whether the individual title in this race will continue to go to the Ethiopians.

The women's race as well has got a very competitive field which appears to be favoring an Ethiopian victory, led by Abeba Tekulu Gebrmeskel with a personal best time of 2:24:53. The Kenyan squad is led by Risper Chebet with 2:27:23.

A visit to Lornah Kiplagat’s track in Iten during its construction

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Lornah Kiplagat's track in Iten

On the 14th day of January 2013, work began on the site of the track that was being constructed by Lornah Kiplagat in Iten, Kenya. 

The field had to be cleared, and all the loose soil excavated and carried out of the site before being replaced by hard subsoil brought from nearby quarries and leveled.

Could Kenya's dominance in the men's 3000m steeplechase end at the 2019 Doha world championships?

Ezekiel Kemboi, Brimin Kipruto, Conseslus Kipruto and Jairus Birech
Among the burning questions and curiosity on what to expect at the IAAF world championships this year is: Will Kenya’s supremacy in the men’s 3000m steeplechase continue past the Doha championships?

Since the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Conseslus Kipruto has not only been fighting to keep a stellar record in his running career but as well to –single-handedly- keep the Kenyan tradition of dominating the event. He followed that by winning the World Championship title in 2017, the Commonwealth Games title in 2018 and the Continental Cup title. But, with the growing strength in competition and interest from other nations, it remains to be seen how long one man is going to keep Kenya on top.

Kenyan Athlete becomes an online coach!

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

I have voluntarily coached a good number of runners over the last three years who have returned some amazing results in their running achievements. I am deciding to make it official. I have now decided to become an online coach in all matters related to running, especially long distance running. It has always been my passion to provide tips on all the dynamics of training from starting running, mileage loading, different types of speed workouts and when/how to start them, hill workouts, avoiding injury, and preparing a program that takes all these into consideration.

Peres Jepchirchir, Edith Chelimo, Valary Jemeli and Stacy Ndiwa to run Ottawa 10K

Start of the 2016 Ottawa 10K
With the presence of Peres Jepchirchir, the 2016 world half-marathon champion and also the winner of the 2016 Ottawa 10K; Stacy Ndiwa, the reigning African 10,000m champion; Valary Jemeli Ayabei, Gelete Alemayehu and Edith Chelimo, among others, this year’s Ottawa 10K race will be an exciting one to watch.

The IAAF gold label race will be held in Canada's capital city of Ottawa on Saturday the 25th of May a day ahead of the Ottawa marathon, another IAAF gold label race.

The Ottawa 10K is the only IAAF Gold Label 10K event in Canada and one of only four IAAF Gold label 10Ks in the world.

Chengdu Marathon becomes an official candidate race for the Abbott World Marathon Majors

Runners participating in the 2018 Chengdu Internationa Marathon. Photo courtesy of China Daily
Another city marathon could soon be joining Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, New York and Chicago city marathons as part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors. 

The China Athletic Association, Chengdu Municipal People’s Government, Wanda Group and the Abbott World Marathon Majors have announced the Chengdu Marathon as an official candidate race for the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM).

A visit to one unique training camp for young and upcoming runners in Kaptagat, Kenya

The Complete Sports Camp in Kaptagat
This is my story on a visit to one of the most unique athletics training camps in Kenya some time in 2017

In this warm, dusty and dry weather across most parts of Kenya, I could hardly believe the changes that I found by simply driving 26km out of Eldoret town this Wednesday (18th January 2017) to Kaptagat's relatively new training camp.

The air coming from the adjacent Kaptagat forest was amazingly cool and refreshing. "This is one of the reasons why I come here almost annually to spent my holidays and mentor the young athletes here," said Urs Haenni from Switzerland. "Nowhere else in the world can one find such an amazing weather."

My thoughts on the daily addition of new Guinness world records in running

Fastest marathon dressed as a book character (female)
The fastest marathon dressed as a book character (female) is 3 hr 08 min 34 sec and was achieved by Naomi Flanagan (UK), dressed as Tinkerbell, at the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon, in London, UK, on 24 April 2016. Photo from The Guinness World Records 
I have been spending some sleepless nights of late thinking about the possibility of becoming the best marathon runner in the world, given that Eliud Kipchoge has already made the world record almost superhuman to achieve at 2:01:39. Then this thought struck me. What if I go for a Guinness world record instead? Why not just run a 3hr marathon holding some weights? Why push so much to run close to a sub 2hr marathon when I could just wear a suit, or a skirt, and become the fastest ever marathon runner wearing a suit?

Just before writing this article, I decided to run a new Guinness world record of 5 meters running backward on one foot, which I did in four seconds! Thinking I had done the hardest part and only needed to submit the record to the Guinness Book,

Ezekiel Kemboi embarks on his marathon career this weekend at the 2019 Hamburg Marathon

Ezekiel Kemboi with yours truly in a past photo
While Eliud Kipchoge will be running on the streets of London Marathon this Sunday the 28th of April, Ezekiel Kemboi will be making his marathon debut in Hamburg; the same marathon that Kipchoge did his debut in 2013 setting a new course record of 2:05:30. Five years later, the course record still stands and perhaps Kemboi will be the one to set a new one on his debut. Time will tell.

Very serious allegations to ponder on Asbel Kiprop's case

We do not know everything regarding Asbel Kiprop's case. But, below is what we know, so far, which is in the public domain as well as being "probably" part of the submission by Asbel Kiprop's lawyer. Perhaps, this would be enough information if carefully analyzed to conclude this case.

1. The sample was collected and money asked for. The integrity of the process was fatally damaged.
2. Athlete was given notice/tip off, of intention to collect sample. This was a fatal irregularity.

3. Results for sample "A" and sample" B" are different despite coming from same source, same time, same laboratory and people examing both samples.

4. Tests on other athletes shows labaratories occasionally get mistaken conclusion that natural EPO is artificial. AIU refused retest even to confirm DNA on sample belong to Asbel. The tests are as fact matters of interpretation,are relative and subjective. The other athletes whose initial tests showed positive artificial EPO, but were overturned, very especially with help of their Countries(which Asbel unfotunately didn't get) including Bernard Lagat, USA,Virginia B Luna & Rodriquez Martinez both of Spain,& Rutger Bake, Belgium.

5. The person who collected the sample, who also asked for money, and gave the irregular tip-off was withdrawn from the case and his role in the process left blank. This is also consistent with admission of fatal irregularity.

5. No declaration was made that the vessel used to collect the sample was clean,uncontaminated,& not spiked as required in IAAF sample collection regulations.

6. To date WADA whose accredited Laboratory was used to examine the sample states that there are no results on Asbel's sample, in contradistinction from what IAAF/AIU alleged positive results.

7. Asbel's blood samples for 22nd Nov 2017 being 5 days before the implicated 27th Nov 2017 tests does not support the alleged existence of EPO. Neither does blood sample collected 2 days after on 29th November. If he had doped these samples of 22nd and 29th would have shown in blood passports.

8.The primary document called DCF(Dopping Control Form-document for/on sample collection ) upon which AIU is relying to make their case is fatally false in parts, and misrepresentative in others,and incomplete in material details.

9.The sample was send/addressed initially to wrong address, other than the laboratory where it was meant to go for testing. 

10.Despite being told IAAF/AIU would collect sample Asbel kiprop availed himself & gave his sample. If he had doped he would not avail himself to supply sample and be found out. Option of not turning up has negligeable consequence, just a reprimand. His turn up is consistent with innocence .

11. Asbel had no reason to dope,as he was off competition. His next competition was to be in May 2018, 7 months away from the date of the sample collection(27th/11/2017). EPO stays in the blood for maximum 3 months, hence could not help in respect to competition 7 months away.

Amazing elite start lists for the Bahrain Night half marathon

Abraham Kiptum setting a new half marathon world record

The inaugural Bahrain half marathon happens tonight the 15th of March and, besides it being the richest half marathon in the world with the winner walking away with $100,000, the start lists are epic!
Twelve men on the list have run under 60 minutes for the half marathon while there are eleven women who have run faster than 1:09:00.
Below is the full elite start list.

Abraham Kiptum Kenya 58:18
Jemal Yimer Ethiopia 58:33
Abadi Hadis Ethiopia 58:44
Atsedu Tsegay Ethiopia 58:47
Alex Korio Kenya 58:51
Fikadu Haftu Ethiopia 59:08
Bernard Ngeno Kenya 59:22
Morris Gachaga Kenya 59:22

Is the Nike’s Vaporfly 4% fair or unfair?

How to Get the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% 1
Nike’s Vaporfly 4% shoe
Here is an interesting view from a runner and writer on the Nike’s Vaporfly 4% shoe on whether it is fair in the spirit fair competition, whether the technology behind the foam and the carbon-fiber plate is legal and whether its price makes it “reasonably available” to all athletes.

Ian Riordan of the Irish Times is preparing to run the Dublin marathon in October and has already bought a pair of the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%.

“Today is the first day of my competitive running comeback. It’s all building towards a proper assault at a personal record time in the Dublin Marathon in October, and I know Eliud Kipchoge is losing a lot of sleep over that,” wrote Ian.

He is ensuring “no stone left unturned – and no expense spared”. According to him, there are no

World recorld holder, Joyciline Jepkosgei to debut at the Hamburg Marathon in April

Joyciline Jepkosgei after setting a new world record in Prague

This year’s Hamburg marathon is worth waiting for. It is shaping up to be one of the biggest marathons to look forward to in April, with so many high profile long distance stars already getting enlisted to run.

Before more names can come out soon, here is the recent press release from the organizers of the marathon on the women’s half marathon record holder.

World half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei will make her eagerly awaited marathon debut at the Haspa Marathon Hamburg on 28 April.

Best running jokes

Runners running  half marathon in Eldoret, Kenya
Below are a number of the best running-related jokes that I was able to compile from different places on the internet:

The truth is you can always run faster, but sometimes the truth hurts.

Two Hunters: Two hunters are walking through a forest looking for deer when all of a sudden; a giant bear jumps out and scares them. They drop their guns and run. One of the hunters stopped, opened up his backpack and laced up a pair of running shoes. His buddy looked at him and said, "What are you doing? Are you crazy? You can't outrun the bear!" To this the hunter said, "I know, all I have to do is outrun you!"


The trouble with jogging is that by the time you realize you're not in shape for it, it's too far to walk back.

Records fall as Ngeno, Matanga triumph at Safi International Half Marathon

Bernard Kipkorir Ngeno winning the 2019 Safi International Half Marathon
Below is the report from the organisers concerning the big race today in Morocco.

Kenya’s Bernard Kipkorir Ngeno and Tanzania’s Failuna Abdi Matanga reigned supreme at the Safi International Half Marathon on Sunday (24), smashing the course records with respective winning times of 1:01:06 and 1:10:50.

On a day of glorious sunshine on the Moroccan coast, when thousands of runners, young and old, took to the streets of the port city, it was Ngeno and Matanga who coped best with the undulating course.

Ngeno entered the race as favourite for the men’s title, coming off a 59:22 clocking in Valencia last year and victory at the Bomet Half Marathon in Kenya last weekend. “I knew I would win, I’m in good shape,” the 22-year-old said moments after crossing the line in Safi.

Kenyan athletes promised free medical check-up and 50% discount on treatment during launch of statues in Eldoret

Two historical days unfolded consecutively in Eldoret town, the city of Champions. On the 22nd of February 2019, statues of Kenyan athletes were unveiled along the Nairobi-Eldoret higway at a junction that appears to be the gate to Eldoret town. This is probably the first time that such statues to recognize athletes that have given so much glory to the Kenyan nation are being set up anywhere in the country. 

On the 23rd would be the first time that the national cross country championships, referred by some speakers during the launch of the statues as the “semi-finals of the world cross country championships,” will also be done here.

Hiwot Ayalew set to star in Safi international half marathon

Bernard Ngeno and Hiwot Ayalew
Here is another press release from the organizers of the Safi International half marathon:

Safi, Morocco, February 22, 2019 - The journey to marathon success is a long and winding road, and for Kenya’s Bernard Ngeno and Ethiopia’s Hiwot Ayalew, it runs through Safi – a port city of 300,000 that sits on Morocco’s scenic Atlantic coast.

Bernard Ngeno and Diane Nukuri to headline Safi International Half Marathon

Bernard Ngeno winning the Bomet County half marathon
Fresh from winning the Bomet County half marathon this past weekend in Kenya, Bernard Ngeno will be heading to Morrocco for the Safi International Marathon on Sunday.

Below is a press release from the organizers of the race.

Safi, Morocco, February 9, 2019 - A high-calibre field spanning 10 different nationalities is set to take to the streets alongside Morocco’s Atlantic Coast for the Safi International Half Marathon next Sunday, February 24.