A sad week as Kenya loses Agnes Tirop and two other runners

Agnes Tirop ran a 10K world record of 30:01, photo courtesy Demadonna Athletic Promotions

It has been a very difficult, shocking, and sad week here in Kenya for the athletic fraternity, families, and friends following the deaths of three runners in different but quite related circumstances. Everything has been unreal and happening too fast. At times it would seem like a bad dream, and at times like a horror film.

Fresh from representing the country at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in August and just back from running a 10K world record of 30:01 barely a month ago, the death of Agnes Tirop, who was found dead in her bed with stab wounds shocked and angered many in Kenya and across the world. It is hard to believe that the world record run she just ran was to be the last run the world would ever see of the soft-spoken, humble, and very talented youngster who was only 25 years old.

The prime suspect in the murder of Tirop is her husband who had not been on good terms with her of late, and the incident happened when Tirop had allegedly gone back to their house to collect her belongings. The suspect is still at large.

No one expected it could turn this tragic. Many regrets and questions flooded the social media on how such a tragedy could have been avoided.

My brief interview with Cathal Dennehy, writer and commentator for World Athletics

With Cathal Dennehy at the end of the WU20 championships in Kasarani, Nairobi

Here is a brief interview I had with Cathal, who was part of the World Athletics editorial team at the WU20 championships in Nairobi in August.

Cathal Dennehy is a very busy man, and he was so at the World Athletics Under 20 Championships in. In the morning, he was doing a lot of writing, then  talking non-stop on the live World Athletics TV (the Twitch tv) the whole of the afternoon. So, I find the few minutes he gave me as "all the time he had in the world" that he sacrificed for this brief interview.

1. What is the hardest part of announcing a long meeting?

Filling the time. Some events may take up to 8 hours long and the best thing to do before is to do enough research on all the athletes competing. If you haven't done your research, it can get very painful in trying to fill the time.

Without enough research, you might be announcing one athlete that you think will win, then another one you don't even know anything about wins it and you appear like a fool.

2. Your biggest Tokyo Memory?

Despite being exhausting due to the heat and humidity, knowing that a lot of people could not get the chance to be there to enjoy the games due to the pandemic, I could not complain about anything because it was such a privilege to be there, and the athletics events were amazing.

One moment that stands out to me was Warlholm's 400m hurdles world record. It was stunning. Everyone was thumb-struck and we all went silent in the stadium after that. It was hard to believe he could run 45 seconds while jumping the hurdles.

My report on the 2021 Kip Keino Classic Meeting in Nairobi

Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi in the women 5000m at the KIpkeino Classic

This was the report from my coverage of the Kipkeino Classic for RunBlogRun last month in Nairobi, Kenya.

One of the fans had shouted, "This has never happened before in history!" after the epic men's 100m race. But, while it may be true and obvious that almost everything that is happening right now, or going to happen in the future has never happened before, what Trayvon Bromell and Ferdinand Omanyala did in the men's 100m race will remain historical.

In a thrilling race that left almost all the spectators in the stadium on their feet, shouting themselves hoarse, Bromell set another world leading time of 9.76 to edge Ferdinand Omanyala by one micro-second. Bromell had a good start, but the gap between the two was rapidly diminishing towards the finish line and the Kenyan crowd was hoping that Omanyala could take the win. But, it was Bromell who ended up with a better position on the world's fastest 100m runners of all time as he is now tied in 6th place with Christian Coleman. Omanyala is now placed 8th with his new personal best time of 9.77 on the all-time best 100m runners.

In what may now make Kenya the best destination for international sprinters to come and run their personal best times, Fred Kerley of USA also ran a personal best time of 19.76 to win the men's 200m ahead of Isaac Makwala who ran 20.06 and Filippo Tortu who ran 20.11.

Here is the story: The Kip Keino Classic Continental Tour meeting leaves memories to last in Kenya

How Janeth Jepkosgei is nurturing young runners in Kenya

Entrance to Janeth Jepkosgei's camp in Kapsabet

Last month, I visited Janeth Jepkosgei to do a story for world Athletics on the wonderful work she is doing to give back to society. Below is a short sample of the story and a link to the story at the World athletics website.

For what she is doing for young runners and the community, Janeth Jepkosgei remains a heroine even after changing her career from an athlete to a coach and mentor.

“I am doing this because of the love I have for running and for the athletes. Running changed my life in a big way. I find great joy in nurturing and guiding young runners and in seeing them begin to excel in their careers as well,” said 2007 world 800m champion Jepkosgei, referring to the numerous selfless contributions she has made to support young runners from different levels and backgrounds and the training camps she has set up to do so.

Here is the full story: How Jepkosgei is nurturing young runners in Kenya

Physical and mental preparation three weeks to your marathon race

Runners participating in a half marathon race in Eldoret, Kenya

 As a runner, there is little you can do to significantly improve on your fitness level three weeks out from a marathon, but there is a lot that can happen to ruin your race day—or even your reputation, if you are an elite runner and happen to stop at a roadside stand and buy a contaminated burrito containing the type of WADA-prohibited substances that can get you banned for years.

In a typical long distance training program, weeks of hard training are followed by a recovery week (or two) allowing the body to re-energize and avoid stagnating in a running plateau. But, as race day approaches, a runner has to make sure they are in their best form and healthy on their race day.

Read my full article on SimpliFaster Website

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...

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