Yesterday we celebrated Madaraka Day, the day Kenya gained self-rule in the journey to freedom and decolonisation.
We should celebrate freedom by continuing the work to end all oppression. Right now, in the US and in Kenya, police are killing and hurting people with impunity. It is why we must say black lives matter. The lives of the poor matter.
Unlike ending colonialism, we don’t have the luxury of pointing at a guilty colonial power. Now we must look within our societies and within ourselves to overcome prejudice and discrimination in order to deliver justice to those who have done wrong and recompense to those who have been wronged.
This is not easy work. We must petition and protest, but no one petition nor protest will solve these problems. So we encourage you to join and support an organisation committed to long term work of justice and regularly take action with them.
In the US: Color of Change
In Kenya: Amnesty Kenya
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No. 21 // 2 June, 2020
Legendary Kipchoge Keino honored with the Kip Keino classic
The Nairobi continental Tour set for 26 September will be named the Kip Keino Classic, a fitting honor for the founding father of Kenyan athletics. The10,000m event at Kip Keino classic will be the late Naftali Temu event, Temu is the only Kenyan to win 10,000m Olympic gold medal, he won it at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games.
Kipchoge Keino won the 1500m gold and 5000m silver at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and then gold in the steeplechase and silver at 1500m at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. He is also the former President of Kenyan Olympic Committee.
"Kipchoge Keino is our legendary athlete in this country, he has done so much for Kenya, this is the list we can do to honour him by naming the event Kip Keino classic," says Barnabas Korir, the Kip Keino classic race director. The event is likely to be held at Nyayo Stadium
Improvised steeplechase training
3000m steeplechase Olympic and world champion Conseslus Kipruto is an interesting character. He is a free soul who will make anything work, from winning at the 2018 Zurich diamond league with one shoe to coming up with his own makeshift steeplechase water jump and hurdles in his backyard swimming pool. He has to keep on training, no matter what, he shared his training video with BBC Africa.
The Greatest Virtual Race
On 11th of this month, 1500m World champion Timothy Cheruiyot will compete in a 2000 metres virtual race against the Norwegian brothers Henrik, Filip, and Jakob Ingebrigtsen. The 2000m was chosen to honor the late Maurie Plant who passed on in January.
The Oslo Diamond League was originally scheduled for the 11th, so this race is happening as part of an exhibition in its place. It is perhaps the first high-level virtual race in the history of athletics.
#TeamCheruiyot, which includes former 1500m world champion Elijah Manangoi and 3 more athletes will race in Nairobi while #TeamIngebrigtsen will run in Oslo. Which means there is a small issue of altitude to factor in: Nairobi is 1,795 m above sea level while Oslo is at sea level, only 23 m. Will this be an unfair advantage? Who will win this virtual contest?
You can run with Eliud Kipchoge or Geoffrey Kamworor in virtual marathon
The NN Running team is hosting a virtual running event on 6-7 June called MA RA TH ON. You can have a chance to run against, or even with, athletics stars like Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, Joshua Cheptegei and Geoffrey Kamworor - all members of NN Running Team. All you have to do is sign up and run a virtual in their virtual marathon relay. Each team is 4 people, you can assemble a team of 4, or be assigned a team with 3 other runners from around the world (maybe including members of the NN team!). Each individual is required to run 10.5km or 6.5 miles. You can sign up here.
Unfortunate, unlucky Rudisha! Injuries love him
Since July 2017, David Rudisha has been battling with injuries, but was feeling healthy finally and ready to start racing again. But tragedy has struck again. 19 May, he picked an ankle injury while walking in his rural home in Kilgoris. Rudisha underwent a successful ankle surgery in Eldoret last week on Thursday 28 May. The surgery rules him out of training for 12-16 months.
The two time 800m Olympic champion and world record holder hasn’t competed since 2017. He is targeting his third Olympic participation with the Tokyo 2020 games. Whether he still has it in him to compete again is a matter of wait and see. It would be heartbreaking if he misses a chance to defend his Olympic title next year.
124th Boston Marathon goes virtual
For the first time in its 124 year history, the iconic Boston Marathon has been cancelled following Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s cancellation of the marathon as a mass participation road running event due to the COVID-19. The race had already been rescheduled to 14 September, and will now be run virtually between September 7–14.
Mary Ngugi is one of the 12 Kenyan athletes who was to line up in Boston, she says health is paramount.
"Athletics is not important when put next to matters of life and death. However, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. Prior to April I felt I was in good shape after spending time in Ethiopia and was confident I could improve on last year and further my career. To now know it won’t happen at all in 2020 is really a blow," she told Enda.
All participants who were originally registered for the April 20, 2020 event will be offered a full refund of their entry fee.
The virtual race sounds like it might be the biggest virtual run ever as all participants will get a coveted Boston Marathon participant t-shirt and finishers medal. So make sure you’re trained up for a full marathon in mid-September. We’ll keep you updated with registration details.
Disrupted routines draining athletes mentally
Bernard Ouma coaches the best 1500m athlete – Timothy Cheruiyot as well as Elijah and George Manangoi. While he is preparing athletes at his Rongai Athletics Club for the upcoming Diamond Leagues, coach Bernard reveals that the lockdown due to Covid 19 has disrupted the training norm of the athletes. And this disruption is draining them mentally and psychologically.
Obiri in the Rome Diamond League call room
28 May would have been Rome Diamond League, known as the Golden Gala. Instead there was a World Athletics streamed call room with a few athletes from previous years. Hellen Obiri was one of them. Obiri looked back at the 2017 Rome Diamond league where she set a new Kenyan record of 14:18.37, the national record still stands. Watch the full interview here.
How Kenya Cross country legend John Ngugi destroyed his life after track career
Retired legend John Ngugi is a 5000m Olympic champion and five-time world cross country champion. Ngugi had a good life with plenty of money, but then he was banned for declining to do an out of competition test. He spent $120k fighting a court battle, but he lost the case. His life crumbled, from there, spending money poorly making bad investments, and having friends and family skim away cash from the businesses he started. It’s a common and traffic story, as many athletes aren’t prepared to invest their winnings well to make a life after running. Athletics Kenya has been running webinars for athletes to build their knowledge, which is where Ngugi shared his story.
Two more cheats busted
Mikel Kiprotich Mutai has been banned for 4 years for the presence of a prohibited substance Norandrosterone. Mutai won the Hong Kong Standard Chartered Marathon in 2016 in a 2:12:12. All his results from 15th December 2019 have been disqualified. Japhet Kipchirchir Kipkorir, who has less of a racing record, has also been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unity.
At 33 and a mother, Shelly is not slowing up
Jamaican sprinter Shelly Anne Fraser Price is the world’s fastest woman and greatest female sprinter of her generation. She has won eight world championship gold medals, she is the only sprinter in history to become world champion over 100 m four times—2009, 2013, 2015 and 2019. She won two consecutive Olympic titles in the 100m.
The list of her sprints achievement is endless and she is not about to slow down, just yet, the Jamaican 100m queen is still looking at 2023 World Championships in Oregon. And by the way, her favorite Kenyan athletes are Ezekiel Kemboi and Vivian Cheruiyot. Who are your favorite Kenyan athletes?
USA triple Olympic champion Morrow dies
Bobby Morrow, who won three gold medals for the USA at the 1956 Olympic Games, died at the age of 84. Although Morrow has a short career, he set 11 ratified world records and remains one of just four men to win Olympic 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold at the same Games. The other three are Jesse Owens (1936), Carl Lewis (1984) and Usain Bolt (2012 and 2016).
From Us At Enda
Global Running Day is an annual celebration of running and chance for all of us to come together - virtually this year - to build the running community. We are hosting a team challenge this year.
1) Join this Strava event before 11:59 pm East Africa time today (Tuesday, 2 June).
2) We will make teams by counting off people off 1-2-3-4, so every 4th person will be on a team.
3) Run as far as you can on 3 June
4) On the 4 June we'll count up how far each team ran. Every member from the team who collectively runs the farthest will get a $10 or Ksh 1000 Enda voucher.
From the Enda Community
Virtual racing can still challenge us to new heights, even without the crowds. @thesleepyp found this out as he ran a new 10k personal best wearing his Lapatets for the The Social Distance Run. Pop over to Instagram and give him some congratulations!