Habari za Wiki - 9 June, 2020

Thursday is race day for Timothy Cheruiyot

Timothy Cheruiyot training at Nyayo Stadium. Credit: Michelle Katami

Timothy Cheruiyot training at Nyayo Stadium. Credit: Michelle Katami

You guys! There’s actually a competition happening.

Thursday 11 June, 1500m World champion Timothy Cheruiyot with his team will compete in Nairobi against Norwey’s Ingebrigtsen brothers who will compete in Bislett Stadium in Oslo. It’s the Oslo Bislett Impossible Games, a Diamond League exhibition event.

The 2000m race, or Maurie Plant Memorial Race, is the first ever high profile virtual track event. 

#TeamCheruiyot has 2017 world 1,500m champion Elijah Manang’oi, Africa Under-18 1,500m champion Vincent Keter and Edwin Melly.

While Timothy is the star of the event, the man tasked with the job to deliver the fastest time possible is Timothy Sein, he will the rabbit of the day and will take #TeamCheruiyot through fast two laps of the 2,000 metres race in 56 to 57 seconds, and drop out after 1,000m.

The games are likely to be broadcasted on the Diamond League YouTube channel, the 2000m event is from 21:05 East Africa Time / 20:50 Central European Time / 14:05 Eastern US.

Conversation with Besty Saina, former Paris champion

Betsy Saina is currently based in Oregon, USA. She was due to return to Kenya in March but, you know, pandemic. Betsy doesn’t feel stuck because the US is her second home, plus she is using her time to cook a lot. She went to the US on an athletics scholarship, and has a degree in agriculture and life sciences with a focus on nursing from Iowa State University. 

In athletics, she’s a quickly rising star, representing Kenya in the 5000m at the 2016 Olympics and winning the 2018 Paris marathon. We got to hear from her on how she’s doing now. 

Enda: How bad has coronavirus affected sports? 

Besty: The all world is crushed with the virus so is the sport, at the moment the sport was affected like the economy around the global. 

Enda: How are you handling it?

Besty: Well, right after the shutdown, I had to pay attention to the government regulations like anyone else. I have been trying to maintain the fitness by doing little runs and doing core work. Nothing hard like other days that we could be in altitude putting all the work. 

Enda: What is the financial impact Corona has on you and other athletes?

Betsy: At the moment every athlete got to use what you had invested or what you had saved in your account, it has affected it big time especially unsponsored athletes who always depend on race money. It's indeed big lose but we got to take health as the priority, it shall pass and everyone will be back to normal.

Enda: How much will you lose this year? 

Betsy: Honestly this all based on how you perform, and how one has built their resume on the appearance fee it’s so hard to say. For my case it’s always different, good year and bad year.

Enda: How many marathons can one run in a year? 

Betsy: It all depends with athletes, example major races almost everyone I know do 2 marathon but other people do upto 4 or 3. All is how you get paid, some might need 4 races to make life.

Nothing is impossible with Mr. YouTube Man Yego

Julius Yego is Kenya’s and Africa’s best javelin thrower. In 2015, he stunned the world by winning the gold medal at the world championship with his monstrous throw of 92.72 metres, earning him the nickname Game of Throws. 

But that’s not his main moniker. Yego learnt his javelin technique by watching YouTube, hence being called Mr. YouTube. Currently, in his rural home in Eldoret, he has improvised his training schedule, turning his backyard to training ground. He bemoans lack of facilities in Rift Valley.

Wasted training? That is how Lawrence Cherono feels with Boston marathon cancellation

2019 Boston and Chicago marathon Lawrence Cherono is frustrated with the cancellation of this year’s Boston Marathon. The 31 year old was eager to defend his title but now he is left confused with what next. Cherono was also named in the Kenyan marathon team to Tokyo Olympics. Imagine putting in all the hard work in training with hope of competing only for the marathon to be cancelled. It is a confusing for everyone, but especially so for athletes who train up for a single moment and only have a small window of their life when they can compete at a top level.

Florence Kiplagat is recovered and waiting

Florence Kiplagat is a two-time Chicago and Berlin Marathon winner. In 2015 in Barcelona she set the Half Marathon World Record with a time of 1:05:09. Even with those wins, Florence is a talent who hasn’t yet delivered on her full potential. She’s spent the past 2 years recovering from injury and is ready to show the world just what she can do. But, and this sounds cliche at this point: pandemic. She can’t compete and has all potential still bottled up.  

Kenyan athletes urged to invest more during while active

Poverty to riches and back to near poverty is a common story in Kenyan athletics cycles. During active days, some athletes rarely invest their earnings or put aside some money for rainy days. And when their running careers hit the sunset, they have no back up plan, slowly they languish in poverty which they fought so hard through athletics. Former marathon world record holder Patrick Makau and 5000m world champions are urging athletes to invest while active. 

Over half a million KM covered during MA RA TH ON relay

Over the weekend, fun runners across the world took part in the Worldwide Team Relay organized by NN Running Team. From the MA RA TH ON stats on Strava 106,734 participants took part covering 843,760kms. This is certainly the most successful virtual race attracting the biggest numbers.

Geoffrey Kamworor is the overall leader with a time of 30:08 for 10.6km at 2:51/km, Kamworor was running with his teammates in the USA. Eliud Kipchoge who ran for a Brazilian group is ranked 15th, he did 10.5km in 31:28, translating to 3:00/km. One may wonder why Kamworor beat Eliud in this, Kamworor is also 10,000m specialist too, it is easy for him to run a 10km race fast , his body adjusts quickly per kilometer.

The best overall team is ASICS Team Tempo Elite with an accumulated time of 2:03:06. The best women’s team is ASICS Team Tempo Elite Women the four ladies clocked 2:42:03. 

Eliud said, "Runners from all over the world have joined us and showed how ours is a running world. It makes me incredibly happy to see the world running as one today."

Kenyan athletes benefit from Olympics scholarships to in Tokyo 2020 preps

During the Rio Olympic Games, Kenya bagged a total of 13 medals out of the 45 medals Africa won. The 13 medals came from athletics. Yet 45 for the whole continent is only 5% of the total world medal tally. To improve Africa’s medal tally, The Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa – ANOCA - is giving out scholarships to help athletes prepare so as to win more medals for Africa. In Kenya the beneficiaries who met the criteria are mainly from athletics including Timothy Cheruiyot and Conseslus Kipruto.

To non-Kenyan news:
Salwa Eid Naser, this is bad

Last year, she lit up the Khalifa International Stadium with the third fastest time ever by a woman in the 400m. Former Nigerian turned Bahrain Salwa Eid Naser clocked 48.14 seconds for the night. Fast time. 

But last week it emerged that she had indeed missed three tests last year before the World Championships in Doha. Under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, any combination of 3 whereabouts failures within a period of 12 months constitute an anti-doping rule violation for which the applicable sanction is 2 years' ineligibility. However, it is only last week that Athletics Integrity Unit provisionally suspended her for whereabouts failures. This was after she missed her fourth test. But Salwa says missing three tests in a year is normal. It’s not. This is causing ripples in athletes circles who see her behavior as cheating and getting away with it. 

If you want some background on this, here’s how whereabouts requirements work and what’s supposed to happen when someone breaks the rules

From Us At Enda

3 June was Global Running Day, and Enda runners around the world joined together with unknown teammates and ran to mark the day. A group from Kenya, Europe, and the US cumulatively ran the farthest earning some Enda vouchers. 

If you want to take part in little challenges like this, make sure to join the Enda group on Strava

From the Enda Community

We share stories of Kenyan running in hopes of bringing runners everywhere closer to the world’s greatest athletes. But right now, we think that runners everywhere, including Enda team, need to be closer to Black America. So we’re using our social media accounts to share stories from members of the Enda Community to build connection, empathy, and understanding. 

Here’s what @queengege31_ had to share:

@queengege31_ in Instagram

''Running in my neighborhood especially in the wee hours of the morning brings me mental clarity. From time to time, there are people of color on the trail so that usually makes me feel better. I've been in the same neighborhood now for almost 8 yrs and there is comfort in being outside with people who share the internal satisfaction from running.

I have prayed, cried, laughed, danced while on a jog. I have been frustrated about losing my stamina over the years as life overwhelms is sometimes. But I have learned that running is always an option for me."

If you want to share a story, just hit reply and send us a picture and story. We’ll publish as many as we can.