Reliving the 2018 Eldoret City Marathon


A few hours before the queen of England could press the red button to begin the London marathon; the deputy president of Kenya was the first one to aim his gun towards the sky and fired it to set off the inaugural Eldoret City marathon here in Uasin Gishu at exactly 8:00 in the morning. The women's race had been started 30 minutes earlier. Both the organizers of the Eldoret city marathon were eager to finish the race in time to watch the start of the London Marathon.

Touted as the richest marathon in Kenya and being held at the heart of the athletics community in Kenya, the Eldoret City marathon attracted one of the most competitive fields ever assembled in any marathon race anywhere.

Abraham Kiptum's unexpected world record at the 2018 Valencia half marathon

Abraham Kiptum breaking the tape at the Valencia half marathon
Last year, 2018, Kenyan athletes set three world records. Eliud Kipchoge set the marathon world record, Beatrice Chepkoech the women 3000m steeplechase and Abraham Kiptum, the half marathon record.



At the Valencia half marathon, Abraham Kiptum set a new world record of 58:18 for the half marathon in a way that no one was expecting it. Not even Kiptum himself expected to run it.

Rhonex Kipruto will be the star to watch at the Kenyan national cross country trials in Eldoret



For the first time in Kenya, the national cross country championships will be done in Eldoret on the 23rd February 2019. 

On the same course that will host the championships/trials that will be done in Eldoret in about three weeks' time, Rhonex Kipruto beat a competitive field, by a comfortable margin, to emerge as the winner and show his rivals that he will be the athlete to watch during the trials. Edward Zakayo, the reigning 5,000m African Champion was a distant second ahead of other big names. A relatively new name, Brilliant Jepkorir won the women's race.



This was during the 2019 Nike Discovery cross country race on Sunday 27th.

How running enhances mental health

man tying his shoes
Photo by Alexander Redl
Running, and jogging, is arguably the most basic, effective, cheapest and free form of exercise in the world. Contrary to most other sports, it can be done almost anywhere without the need of any extra facility besides appropriate clothing. In fact, some people even save some money by running as a form of commuting to their work places daily.

Interestingly, despite being free, running has always been recommended in the prevention and treatment of a great number of illnesses; be it physical, mental or even spiritual! But, as they say, people will only notice the real value of anything until they lack it. 



Given all the benefits of running, one would wonder why some people still struggle buying slimming, sleeping, anti-depressants, and many other pills that could simply be better replaced by a simple jog!

Nolene Conrad's life was saved by running and she has now made running her career

Nolene Conrad in Iten, Kenya December 2018
It is easy to spot a runner who is focused on their running and are determined to achieve the best in their careers. Nolene Conrad, with her enthusiasm about running marathons will be one of the athletes to watch out for during the 2019 IAAF world championships in Doha, at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 and in the years to follow.



Even on a festive season when most of the runners are taking short breaks from their running, the South African athlete, together with a pace setter she brought along, has been out training in Iten ahead of 2019, a year in which she has many ambitious plans to achieve. She wants to get an Olympic qualification time as early as she can in order to represent South Africa at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

Some of the outstanding Kenyan athletes in 2018

Kenya's Beatrice Chepkoech competing at the Gold Coast  Commonwealth Games

With examples from runners like Geoffrey Kamworor who can win a local 1500m track race in Kenya and still manage to go ahead and run well in a very competitive 42km race within the same year, many runners in Kenya now believe that as long as you are in good shape for any distance in that range then you just have to survey the event that has a lesser competition and work towards making the national team in it.





Ruth Chepngetich is the most likely to break world record for women marathon soon

Ruth Chepngetich winning the 2019 Dubai Marathon

At the finish line of the Dubai Marathon, I captured a few words of Ruth Chepngetich speaking in their local (Kalenjin) dialect with Emmanuel Saina on how the race had gone for her and a few challenges she had. She had then noticed Worknesh Dagefa coming to congratulate her and the press around them and she had immediately turned cheerful as she greeted them. However, to me, in some way, the scenario took me to the one that Eliud Kipchoge had found himself in at the finish line of the London marathon in 2016 when he had raised one hand to touch his head in what looked like a sign of disbelief as he crossed the finish line in 2:03:05.

It was even at a lightly narrower margin that Chepngetich had also missed the world record here in Dubai marathon after running 2:17:07, becoming the third fastest woman ever only in her third marathon race ever.





The current state of the track facilities in Kenya could cost the country their power in track running

Athletes training on a muddy track in Eldoret
During the rainy seasons, nothing can be done by Kenyan athletes about the rainy conditions and the muddy roads in the country. But, apparently, the need for good tracks with drainage systems to ensure that the athletes can train on it throughout the year, across the country are built is now more obvious, if the Kenyan athletes are to continue dominating the world of long distance running on the track.

Many Kenyan athletes from various regions have been shifting to road running early in their careers due to the poor state of the tracks in the country. There are already two tartan tracks in the Rift Valley region, but contrary to what the average Kenyan athletes expected, the tracks have not been free and open to all athletes. This is perhaps the reason as to why Kenyan athletes are beginning to lose their grip on being the greatest long distance runners on the track and are now taking their running talents to congest the road and cross country races across the world.  





COURSE RECORDS SMASHED AT STANDARD CHARTERED DUBAI MARATHON

Ruth Chepngetich winning the 2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Dubai (UAE): Getaneh Molla of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich won the 20th edition of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon today (Jan 25) with both athletes producing spectacular course records that rank among the fastest times in the history of marathon running.

2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon Live Streaming Video


The 2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon was live from 5:00AM (Kenyan Time), 25th January 2019. But, you can still recapture the moments here:



ABRAHAM SETS SIGHTS ON FARAH’S EUROPEAN RECORD AT STANDARD CHARTERED DUBAI MARATHON

Born in Eritrea but now running as a Swiss athlete, Tadesse Abraham is focused on breaking Mo Farah’s European Record in Dubai this week.
Mo Farah's European record of 2:05:11 for the marathon will be under threat this Friday at the Dubai Marathon as Abraham Tadesse of Switzerland is already setting his eyes on it. This will be another interesting race against time to watch on Friday. Below is the press release from the Dubai Marathon organizers.




ABRAHAM SETS SIGHTS ON FARAH’S EUROPEAN RECORD AT STANDARD CHARTERED DUBAI MARATHON

Dubai (UAE): Switzerland’s Tadesse Abraham will have his sights on an historic personal milestone when he attacks the European Marathon Record of Britain’s Sir Mo Farah at the 2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 25.

2019 STANDARD CHARTERED DUBAI MARATHON SET FOR GLOBAL LIVE STREAMING


Mosinet Geremew winning a past edition of the Dubai Marathon
Fans across the world will have no excuse to miss watching the Dubai Marathon race this weekend after the organizers have just announced that there will be a free live streaming video of the event across the world. This is great news indeed!!



Below is the press release.

2019 STANDARD CHARTERED DUBAI MARATHON SET FOR GLOBAL LIVE STREAMING
Dubai (UAE):

Guye Adola aiming to get back on track at Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon


Guye Adola is well remembered for his boldness to take on Eliud Kipchoge at the 2017 Berlin Marathon. Well, this amazing runner will be back in action when the richest marathon takes place on the streets of Dubai this Friday. Here is another press release from the organizers.



Lemi Berhanu and Worknesh Degefa back to win titles again at the 2019 Dubai Marathon

Lemi Berhanu winning the 2015 edition of the Dubai Marathon

Below is a press release from the organizers of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FORMER CHAMPIONS BACK FOR 2019 STANDARD CHARTERED DUBAI MARATHON
 Dubai (UAE): Former champions Lemi Berhanu and Worknesh Degefa will be among the powerful elite line-up when the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon celebrates its 20th edition on the streets of the UAE on January 25.




Athletics Kenya Press release regarding the state of road races in the country




This is a press release from Athletics governing body of Kenya on 3rd January 2019,  touching on the road races across the country:
PRESS RELEASE
As you are all aware Athletics Kenya is the only body in the country charged with the organization of all athletics activities locally and therefore, no any other body has the mandate to execute the same.
However, we have noted with concern the mushrooming of illegal road races across the country and the trend is really worrying. We are aware a few individuals have turned to road races around the country into a cash cow at the expense of the athletes.
From now hence forth, AK will take charge of all road races with the help of our affiliates to ensure organisers do not take advantage of the runners.