This past weekend was an exceptional time for Kenyan athletes. At 8 marathons place in around the world and Kenyans won nearly all of them. Course records were thrashed (Felix Kipchirchir at 2.05.33 in Daegu!) and all Kenyan podium sweeps made (women’s race at Vienna marathon and men’s race at Italian all comers).
Marius Kipserem cut off a whole 2 mins from his course record 10 years ago to finish Rotterdam’s Marathon at 2.04.11. Keep in mind, the great Paul Tergat’s 2003 world record was 2:04:55. Yet Kepserem’s 2:04:11 likely passes by unnoticed by most people. Just goes to show how many exceptionally talented Kenyan athletes there are right now.
88 years old and still running. Since the debut of Safaricom’s Lewa Marathon, John Ruengo has never missed a race. He proudly declared that he will be running his 20th one this year together with his 2 sons and granddaughter. Apparently, he has a secret ingredient that keeps him fuelled even at his advanced age. Here’s a segment the Daily Nation made on this legend.
If you thought running a marathon is challenging, how about running 7 of them in just 7 days and on 7 different continents? The World Marathon Challenge is an epic race that sees competitors jet around to run a marathon in each continent in a week. Brit Susannah Gill won 6 of the 7 marathons to take the series title. The Independent has the story
If you need a bit of inspiration, here’s one for you: 7 years ago, Xolani Luvuno was a homeless drug addict living under a bridge in Durban, South Africa. He’d also lost one of his legs to cancer and was living off the goodwill of passers-by until a chat with a regular passerby changed his life. Now, not only has he participated in half, full and even ultra-marathons, all in his crutches, he’s also doing his best to give second chances to others. Talk of second chances. This one is worth reading the whole story.