They say if you believe you can, then you are halfway there. Well, except in this case they have 48.5km to run and a mountain to climb.
But still, this was the attitude that our group of Enda Elite athletes had on Friday, 20 November, when they set off and set all new records for the fastest known times (FKT) summiting and descending Mt. Kenya unsupported from Sirimon Gate to Pt. Lenana and back.
Kenneth Kemboi now holds the record for the fastest time up and down. He did it in a mindblowing 7 hours and 40 seconds! Sussy Chebet set the record for the women's fastest known time finishing in a record time of 7hours, 50 minutes and 8 seconds. Coming in between them was 2nd place finisher Alfred Moindi, who ran it in 7 hours, 35 minutes and 23 seconds. Hit their names to see their results on Strava.
We couldn't be more proud of their results, but this challenge is far from over. They are gearing up for additional fastest times on the next two summit routes - the Chogoria route, and the Naro Moru routes.
Ralph from the Enda team was along with them on the trip, and talked to each of the athletes about their experiences.
Mountain Running Is Untapped
Still on Mountain running, while there is no doubt that Kenya is a great running nation, there has been little to no focus on Mountain running. Over the weekend, Athletics Kenya held the first National Mountain Running Championships which attracted over 300 elite runners on fairly short notice. This could be the start of a new challenge for Kenyan runners who aspire to compete globally. The winner Patrick Kipng’eno is set to compete for the World Mountain Running Championships title.
Brigid Heading to Delhi
Marathon World record holder Brigid Kosgei is the latest addition on the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon entry list. With an impressive half marathon time of 68:49, the two time London marathon champion will be lining up this Sunday.
Also featured in the line-up is half marathon world record holder Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh. Brigid and Ababel are no strangers, in fact they have a history. While Ababel finished a distant second in Chicago when Brigid broke the world record, Adabel turned the tables and won the 2020 RAK Half marathon in a world record of 1:04:31 with Kosgei second in 1:04:49.
It might be too early to call it, but this seems like a rivalry that could last years and push the boundaries for both to excel.
What a 10,000m Debut for Soget
Racing in Japan continues to thrill. In his 10,000m debut, world junior 1500m bronze medalist Justus Soget won heat 8 at the Hachioji Long Distance meet. His winning time of 27:35.57 makes him the leader of the Hachioji Long Distance meet. There were 10 heats for the 10,000m event with Soget’s heat 8, mainly a Kenyan heat, posting the fastest times. 15 other athletes finished under 28 minutes. Kenyan Silas Kingori won heat 7 with a time of 27:49.38.
All eyes now turn toward January's New Year Ekiden and Hakone Ekiden. These are some of the most watched running events in the world, well worth learning more about if you haven’t heard of them before.
No Cross Country for Obiri
Hellen Obiri, defending champion of the 2019 World Cross Country Championships has her eye set on doubling in the 5000m and 10,000mm races at the Summer Olympic Games. With that being her focus, she will not be defending her title in the upcoming 2021 World Cross Country championships set to happen in March, in the Land Down Under (Australia). This leaves room for a new female champion to be crowned.
80 Prepping for World U20 Championships
World U20 pre trials took place over the weekend. The two day event was held at Nyayo Stadium ahead of the World U20 Athletics Championships, which after a pandemic delay is scheduled to be held in Nairobi 17 to 22 August 2021.
After this weekend’s contest, Athletics Kenya will select 80 athletes to be placed in various camps across the country so they can train with the best. The final team will be named next year.
Brimin Hoping to Crack the Curse
It has been hard for steeplechase athletes to transition to marathon. The latest one to try being steeplechase king Ezekiel Kemboi. Nevertheless, another steeplechaser is giving it a go, Brimin Kipruto, the second fastest man in steeplechase history hopes to achieve what his former colleagues have failed to achieve – to have a successful marathon career.
Feel Good Story: Godwin Adongo and Eva Barton
This is one of those inspiration stories which remind us that the world is still full of good people.
Godwin Adongo is an 8 year old aspiring athlete based in Uganda. She has dreams of being a big star in athletics. She is from the bloodline of Ugandan athletics legend John Akii Bua, her grandfather. Far away in the UK, 11 year old Eva Barton had outgrown her kits - spikes, which she advertised on Facebook. Godwin’s father reached out requesting spikes for his daughter.
Barton was moved to help, and posted on Facebook asking people to chip in support. Hundreds of people responded, donating kit and cash to give Adongo everything she need to keep training for years.
The Secrets of the World's Fastest
Professor Andrew Jones has worked with marathon greats like Eliud Kipchoge and Paula Radcliffe. Runners World caught up with him to find out what makes them so exceptional. It’s an interview well worth reading, especially with the the reminders of the importance of relaxing and resting.
Semenya to the Europe’ Human Rights Court
South African double Olympic champion in 800m Caster Semenya is not giving up the fight yet. After losing two appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and Switzerland's Federal Supreme Court, she is going to the European Court of Human Rights to appeal against World Athletics' rule restricting testosterone levels in female runners. The rule means she cannot compete in events between 400m and a mile without taking drugs to alter her natural hormone levels.
From Us At Enda
Running is a community. It means we help each other out.
So every year, at the end of November, we raise our prices for a few days to raise money for an important cause. You chip in $10 or 1000 Ksh, and we match it. This year, we’re raising money for the National Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commision (NGLHRC) of Kenya.
We believe everyone should be able to #RunAsYouAre, but in Kenya the LGBT community is criminalized and persecuted. NGLHRC is leading the fight for equality.
In addition to raising awareness money, we’ve got two statement products: the Black Rainbow Runner Lapatet and a limited edition gender-neutral apparel line from Nairobi designer Jamie Kimani of Severia.
We made this video talking through it all. Please give it a watch and share with a friend who you think would want to join you in supporting this campaign.
We are counting down to the launch this Friday, November 27th. We with the hope that you join us then.
From the Enda Community
This has been a tough year for just about everyone. @704Dad had some good perspective on using running to dig out of the slump, and we were proud to see Lapatets on his feet.
"Another early morning with my youngest not wanting to sleep. Another early morning run opportunity slips away. But I was determined to find a way to fit it in today.
I’m clawing my way back. I’m earning each stride back. I’m making each run like my first. And, one day, I’m getting to that promised land.
Remember to love yourself and each other."