Eliud training with Lewa rangers and runners from past years of Lewa running in Itens.
Lewa Marathon goes Virtual
It’s one of the great adventure marathons on the world: Lewa. A stunning 21km loop through one of the world’s premier wildlife conservation areas. But you won’t have to worry about a rhino cutting across the course this year as the race has been forced to go virtual.
To support the virtual race, Eliud Kipchoge was in Lewa for a practice run with six Lewa rangers.
Eliud Kipchoge said, "I urge everybody to participate and just run where they are. We are all part of the human family and we must keep strong, stay fit, observe directives from our government, and know this situation is not permanent."
The global run in support of conservation will be held on the 27th of June. Normally this race is a significant fundraiser for communities of northern Kenya and for wildlife conservation. Hopefully you’ll take up Eliud’s challenge and join in this virtual race to help preserve one of the world’s great wild areas.
Kenyan athletes told to compete sparingly or else burn out.
While the first half of the 2020 athletics calendar has been inactive, the second half is expected to be action packed. Track and field for instance has 11 Diamond Leagues meetings and 6 Continental Tours held between August and October. Athletes will be hungry to compensate for the missed first half, but head coach Julius Kirwa is warning athletes that pushing for too many competitions will result in fatigue and possibly injuries.
It’s good advice and a reminder that as things keep changing, don’t push yourself too hard.
Obiri training for faster times
With the Diamond league schedule out (albeit tentative), athletes are training hard to regain their full fitness ahead of the August season opener. Hellen Obiri, the 5000m world champion and World cross country champion, hopes to lower her personal best in 5000m which currently stands 14:18.37, the fifth fastest at the distance.
There are a few foreign athletes still in Iten
Foreign athletes come to Iten to train with the best. Especially as this was an olympics year, there were dozens of athletes who were training here when the pandemic hit and they couldn’t travel. Now athletics camps are closed, gyms are closed, and there is no group training.
Athletes are still training, but some like India’s Amresh Durrell are running low on resources and now require food aid as they can’t earn money and can’t leave. He’s in high spirits though, saying "I love everything in this region, including the local food which I’m now used to."
Another athlete, Ukrainian athlete Olga Lyakhova, came under fire from some Kenyans on social media due to a post she shared on her Instagram page about her new hairstyle. She seems to really be enjoying her time in Kenya, but her closing comment, "But civilization will come here" got plenty of people angry. She was quick to apologise and insisted that her meaning was mangled translation since the post was written in Russian. We hope that’s the case.
Kenya launches intelligence unit to fight doping
Kenya is intensifying it’s war against doping. Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) boss Jasper Rugut launched an intelligence unit that will be used to hunt down doping athletes. The goal is to add investigative power to find managers, athletes, agents, and coachs who are aiding and abetting dopers.
And beyond that, Kenya has set aside Ksh 17 million ($159,000) towards the fight against doping for the national team preparing for the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games.
Former women’s world half record holder targets Boston
Former world half marathon record holder Peres Jepchirchir was unable to finish the RAK Half Marathon in UAE in February due to fatigue and muscle pain. It is in the same race she broke the half marathon world record in 2017 with 65:06 before taking time off to be a mother. Peres, the 2016 World Half marathon champion, now says she is fully recovered and ready to take on the Boston Marathon which is on the calendar for September.
To some non-Kenyan news
Princess Bolt? Boltress?
Jamaican legendary Sprinter Usain Bolt has won 8 Olympic titles and 11 world titles in sprints, and now he has another title to his name: a dad. Bolt and his longtime girlfriend Kasi Bennett welcomed a baby girl or Baby Bolt. This was announced by Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness on social media. We don’t have her name yet, and Bolt is yet to share any information on the arrival of their baby girl.
Training on the rooftop
Have you had to improvise the way you train and change location due to the lockdowns and restricted movement? For one Iranian athletics star Maryam Toosi, the rooftop of her apartment is her go to place. Maryam is the Iran’s record holder in 100m, 200m and 400m.
Wayde is ready
South Africa’s 400m star Wayde Van Niekirk has been out of action for two years battling an injury he picked up playing touch rugby in 2017. Now he is ready for a comeback. With the Olympics postponed, it gives him even more time to get more ready to defend his title in Tokyo. Wayde is the current world and Olympic record holder with his 43.03 posted in Rio.
From the Enda Community
Tricia was a kickstarter backer, so got her pair of Mara Gold Lapatets a few months early and has been posting regular training runs in them, including this 20km long run where she transformed into a butterfly along the way.
Now you can get your own Mara Gold Lapatets and add some flash to your training!