How one Kenyan runner is coping with the tough economic times

Joshua Kiplimo working out in his homemade gym.

Perhaps someone might be interested in sponsoring this talented and hardworking runner who has been forced to train alone in a remote village due to tough economic times.

Even before the pandemic came along and made life more difficult, I had experienced and heard many stories of Kenyan runners struggling to fend for themselves as they trained hard before finally making it in life. Some don’t even want to be reminded of the hard times they went through.

There was a time I would see a runner do a tough workout in the morning, then, since his home was far away and he would anyway not find food even if he went there, would just loiter around until he does another evening run with the training group before going home. I saw him trembling with hunger one day, took him to a hotel, and ordered something small for him since I was also struggling. As he was about to sit down, he saw a 200 shilling note ($2) on the ground. It was as though something big had happened to his life as he quickly stepped on the note and sat down still for such a long time. He cautiously looked around to make sure that no one else besides me had seen him. Sweating, he slowly bent down and removed the note from the ground. He then pressed it hard in his fist, partly to make sure he actually had the money in his hand and was not just another dream, and partly to make sure that no one would snatch it away from him. He then ordered a heavy meal for himself and used the money to pay for it.

Well, that was way before the pandemic.

Quickly to the present and I now came across this amazing young runner who was forced to move out of a room he was renting out in order to be able to train with the rest of the runners here, but his resilience has seen him construct a gym for himself in the village by recycling and improvising some used containers, bags, and other materials.

Below are some of the videos of him training in his improvised gym.

Monaco Diamond League meeting will stage the highly anticipated head to head competitions this year!

Faith Kipyegon already in Monaco for the Diamond League meeting on 9th July. Photo courtesy of Faith Kipyegon's Facebook page.

It has been more than one year since Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot ran against Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen. The men’s 1500m race here will finally present the opportunity for the two to face each other. Cheruiyot has the fastest seasonal best and personal best times on the start list, but his opponent could see a weakness in the fact that he finished fourth at the Kenyan Olympic trials and was not named in the team. Ingebrigtsen who has been unbeaten in the 1500m and 5000m distances this year, and is ranked as world number two behind Cheruiyot, will most likely be hoping to prove that he is the best in the world by beating the best.

Another one of the highly anticipated races of the evening will be the women’s 1500m race that has Netherland’s Sifan Hassan and Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon. The two ran a fantastic race last month in Rome where Hassan registered a world-leading and meeting record time of 3:53.63 as she edged Kipyegon who registered a new national record and a personal best time of 3:53.91. Hailu Freweyni of Ethiopia is the only other competitor with a seasonal best time of under 4 minutes, but the clear protagonists here will be Hassan and Kipyegon.

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