David Rudisha's spectacular 800m run at the London 2012 Olympic Games

David Rudisha leading the race at the London 2012 Olympics
World Athletics just named David Rudisha’s 800m run at the 2012 Olympics as the moment of the decade. Here is a story I had written just after watching his run.

80,000 spectators at the London Olympic Stadium and millions of others watching TV screens at various places across the world witnessed a spectacular 800m race. The start gun went off. Seeming to take advantage of his long strides, David Rudisha immediately stepped ahead of his competitors and effortlessly continued to open a gap crossing the first lap in 49 seconds. Within 1 minute and 40 seconds, it was over! An Olympic Gold medal had been won, and a world record smashed. The significance of what just happened, to me, appeared too much to have all happened too quickly. Like everyone else, I agree that it was a result of hard training and progressive runs of many years. But, for now, I am only thinking about what this victory means for Rudisha, Kenya, his community, and his coach, among others.



First, Rudisha's performance brought glory to his nation and saved it from what would have been a worse scenario at the Olympics. Apart from the men's 3000m steeplechase, the results of the other events where Kenyans had a lot of hopes to win gold medals had been below their expectations. These included the women's marathon, the men's and women's 10000m, women's 3000m steeplechase and the most disappointing of them all, the men's 1500m. Rudisha's performance brought back some morale to the Kenyan team and helped put Kenya's name where it rightfully belongs as far as the middle distance running is concerned.

The best marathon moments to remember from 2019

Brigid Kosgei after setting a new world record in Chicago
It has been a great year for marathon running. Many great milestones were reached in the distance with the world record falling in the women’s marathon and one man breaking the 2hr barrier in the men’s distance. I will not mention the London Marathon in my favorite moments below, but what Eliud Kipchoge once told me about the London Marathon being arguably the major of the world's major marathons was manifest. The two runners who won both the men and women races this year will be on top of my list, but in different other races after their London victories.

Below are some of the greatest moments that happened this year in athletics.

1. Brigid Kosgei setting a new world record at the Chicago marathon
The old women’s marathon record of 2:15:25 had stayed out of reach for the women for such a long time. No runner had even ran a full minute close to it and it was appearing as though it was still going to take such a long time for it to be broken. But, Kosgei surprised everyone going at an alarming pace that saw her being in a predicted finish time of 2:12 at some stages in her race. She ended up running a new world record of 2:14:04, which was more than one minute than the seemingly impossible record by Paula Radcliffe.

A world record for Joshua Cheptegei, two course records and a European record fall at the 2019 Valencia Marathon

Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda in a past Diamond League race
Just 3 minutes into the 10km race that had started off at the same time with the Valencia Marathon race on the 1st of December 2019, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei had exhibited a strong determination to break the 10K world record. He even momentarily stepped ahead of the pacesetters appearing to be a little bit uncomfortable with the first kilometer split of 2:42.



Slower pacesetters were not going to affect his destiny. Out of the three pacemakers, he was remaining with just one of them at the 4km point, and he was alone at the 5km point I which he crossed it in 13:24. And, even without the help of the pacesetters, Cheptegei ran the second half of the race even faster than the 5km world record by 8 seconds, crossing it in 13:14.

Rhonex Kipruto and Agnes Tirop win the inaugural Tuskys Great 10K Run in Eldoret

Agnes Tirop after winning the race in Eldoret.
The first edition of an event that is arguably going to be the biggest 10K in Kenya happened on Sunday the 24th of November here in Eldoret. It was an exciting race that met almost all the expectations from both the runners and the fans.



It was a one loop out and back into town with a few corners; which has always been a desire among many runners in Eldoret. Given the large number of fast runners that usually turn up to run the road races here, the many turns within the town had often held many from running their best as they would be blocked by runners ahead of them especially on the corners. With this new race, there was enough space to overtake more comfortably and to maintain a favorable pace.