Track is baaaaaack
Good news: Today, Turku, Finland is hosting the Paavo Nurmi Games, the first track and field meet for the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting. This is after a delay of more than three months.
Bad news: No Kenyans will be participating.
Good news: But three days later on Friday 14 we head to Monaco for the first Diamond League meeting of 2020, some of the best track and field athletes are expected to compete.
Bad news: 3000m steeplechase Olympic and World champion Conseslus Kipruto, who was in great shape for a world record, will not compete in Monaco after testing positive for Covid 19. He was asymptomatic, and we hope he is well and suffers no ill effects.
"Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities. Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League on August 14th," he said.
"I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the world record: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly it’s something I should go for as well."
"Wish to thank Monaco for all the work they have done and I wish them and my colleagues a wonderful competition. Athletics is back and I will be back as well. Anyone willing to organize a steeple once I can be cleared?" he asked.
Good news: there are still some great Kenyans in the mix for Monacco. Timothy Cheruiyot in 1500m, Faith Kipgeyon in 1000m, Beatrice Chepkoech in 5000m and more. The Kenyans left early morning on Monday to Monaco flying via Istanbul. They will be tested again for Covid 19 today – Tuesday. We hope no one will turn positive.
"I have missed running a lot and I am happy to go to Monaco. I am going for a good time, a personal best," Timothy Cheruiyot said.
Here is the Monaco Diamond league schedule and entry list the event will be live across Sub Saharan Africa on SuperSport 8 from 21.00 EAT. Eurosport across Europe and NBC Sports in the US. Also check out the official Diamond League live stream.
Winny Chebet - the 5000m women pace setter
29 year old Winny Chebet is the reigning 1500m African champion and 1500m gold medalist at the 2018 IAAF Continental Cup. She is part of Rongai Athletics Club and usually trains with Timothy Cheruiyot and the rest.
This Friday in Monaco she has a task to pace the 5000m women’s field which has Sifan Hassan, Hellen Obiri and Beatrice Chepkoech. She will be taking them through the first and possibly faaaast 2000m. And she is doing this after coming back from injury.
We caught up with her and asked her how she’s feeling. Read the full interview here.
Eliud Kipchoge on his first assignment as Kenya’s Tourism ambassador
Kipchoge in the Maasai Mara
Sunday, 9 August would have been marathon day at the Tokyo Olympics if they games went on. Eliud would have already defended his Olympic gold medal, that was his target for this year.
Instead, Eliud was in Maasai Mara for the great wildebeest migration in his new role as the destination ambassador for Magical Kenya. He did a 10km morning run at Maasai Mara as his workout. Through this deal with Kenya Tourism Board, Eliud will promote Kenya as a tourist destination locally, regionally, and internationally through various campaigns. He is an ideal choice as Kenya looks at resuscitating her tourism industry which has been hit by Covid 19 pandemic.
Wildebeest crossing the Mara River
London Marathon is on... Kinda.
As he moves around Kenya as a destination ambassador, Eliud is also training hard because the Eliud Kipchoge vs Kenenisa Bekele contest is still ON. And on the women’s side, we’ll get to see if Brigid Kosgei has another record in her. That’s because the London Marathon will go on as scheduled on 4 October.
However, the decision to go on comes with a price: it will be elites only, about 30-40 athletes running within a “secure biosphere” looped course at St. James Park. As marathon lovers, we are just happy to see a race going on, but as we runners are gutted for everyone who was still planning on being there to run. Organisers announced the 2021 London Marathon will also be October, so how does that affect Chicago, New York, and and other majors?
If only… Pamela Jelimo could turn back the hand of time…If only!
Pamela Jelimo is a lost talent. At a young age, she was already the 800m Olympic champion, the only Kenya female to win it. She became the golden league champion winning a jackpot of $1 million, becoming the first Kenyan to win the Golden League jackpot in 2008.
She was such a promising talent, likely to even break the women’s 800m world record. But did things unfold so quickly for her she got lost somewhere? The Standard investigated, but sadly found few answers as to what happened to her and why she stepped away from the sport.
Access to training facilities is a huge challenge for Kenyan athletes. And when they are tired of begging and waiting on the government to deliver, they take matters in their own hands. That is what Conseslus Kipruto did. He hired a grader to level the running track at St Francis Cheptarit High School in Mosoriot where he has been using for training.
From Us At Enda
The NPR show Code Switch recently made a video discussing the challenges Black Americans face when running. It is well worth watching.
This isn’t just an American problem. We all love to celebrate running as the world’s more accessible sport, but around the world there are people who can’t share the joy of running because of discrimination, inequality, and other reasons. We wanted to share this insightful video with you, as well as 5 things we can all do to help make running more accessible for everyone.
From the Enda Community
Our first batch of cloth masks sold out everywhere in 36 hours, so we’ve rushed to make some more. The first customers are already enjoying theirs, including @Elisha.Omolo who posted on Instagram:
"Thank you @endasportswear for the beautiful and comfortable face masks. We love them. The design is perfect for people like me who have to wear face masks and prescription eye glasses at the same time."
We’ve got masks back in stock, but they’re already going quickly. Grab your 3 pack now.