A Kenyan Faaaast Day in Valencia
Photo Credit: Valencia Marathon
Kenyan athletes delivered some of the best times of this year during the 40th edition of the Valencia Marathon and the half marathon. In the Valencia Half Marathon, Kibiwott Kandie cemented his place as the fastest half marathon runner of all time when he delivered a world record of 57:32 and leading the three other men to finish inside Geoffrey Kamworor’s current world record of 58:01.
Kibiwott Kandie is a Kenya Defence Forces officer who is inspired by his fellow officer, renowned retired athlete and world Cross Country legend, Paul Tergat. He ran a tactical race to avoid a replica of what happened during the 2020 world half marathon championships when Jacob Kiplimo beat him by 6 seconds. The two are certainly well-matched rivals now as Kandie took this race by just 5 seconds.
The women’s race went to Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba, who had a superb half marathon debut winning in 1h05:18 after one year of being inactive. She was followed by Sheila Chepkirui with 1h05:39 and then the 2019 winner Senbere Teferi of Ethiopia with 1:05:51.
1 Kibiwott Kandie (KEN) 57:32
2 Jacob Kiplimo (UGA) 57:37
3 Rhonex Kipruto (KEN) 57:49 – The fastest marathon debut
1 Genzebe Dibaba (ETH) 1:05:18
2 Sheila Chepkirui (KEN 1:05:39
3 Senbere Teferi (ETH) 1:05:51
Kenyans claimed both men and women marathon victories of the Valencia Marathon. Not even two months after winning the world half marathon title, Peres Jepchirchir broke the course record with her winning time of 2h17:16 placing her fifth overall fastest woman. NYC Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei was second place.
Evans Chebet became the fifth fastest man in the world when he clocked 2h03:00 to win the race. His time is a new course record, while his victory is the 18th for the Kenyan men in Valencia. Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono finished second.
1. Evans Chebet (KEN) 2:03:00
2. Lawrence Cherono (KEN) 2:03:04
3. Birhanu Legese (ETH) 2:03:16
1. Peres Jepchirchir (KEN) 2:17:16
2. Joyciline Jepchirchir (KEN) 2:18:40
3. Helaria Johannes (NAM) 2:19:52
Valencia is now the third fastest city behind Berlin and London. This was the deepest set of talent ever assembled for a marathon, and Valencia has certainly made its mark as a major destination for top level racing.
World Athletics Makes a U-turn on Diamond League Events
The 3000m steeplechase and 5000m are two of events that were removed from the 2020 Diamond league calendar. However, in a statement released by the Diamond League, the dropped events have been reinstated and athletes will compete in a full programme of 32 events 2021 with a two hour broadcast feed. The event will consist of 13 meetings in 12 Countries across 4 Continents culminating in 1 final over 2 days. The new prize money structure comes to a totalling 7 million USD.
This is amazing athletics news and has brought great joy for Kenyan athletes. We think it’s also good news for the sport overall. The 5km run is one of the highest participation sports in the world, and growing fast. The 5000m is a race that millions can understand from their own experience, so hopefully can attract more fans.
Ferguson Rotich Waiting for an Olympic Medal
Ferguson Rotich is the 800m world bronze medalist. Rotich is now hunting for an Olympic medal in 800m before switching to another distance.
Not a Kenyan Day at World Athletics Awards
Kenya came out of the 2020 World Athletics Awards empty handed. Kenya had two nominations: Federation of the Year and Female Athlete of Year, however none came home. Instead the federation award went to Polish Federation and female Athlete of the Year was triple jumper Yulimar Rojas. The male athlete of the year was deservedly won by pole vaulter Duplantis Mondos. Duplantis broke the pole vault world record twice, and was undefeated in 16 competitions.
Rojas Won't Mind African experience
World female athlete of the year triple jumper Yulimar Rojas would love to compete at next year’s Kip Keino Classic. The Venezuelan says it will be a great honour to compete in Africa for the first time ever and she will consult with her coach on the possibility of travelling to Nairobi. As per the World Athletics calendar, the 2021 Kip Keino classic is scheduled to be held on 18 September and will bring to the conclusion the international track and field season.
To Non-Kenya news
No Cross Country Comeback at Paris Olympics
Athletics world was waiting patiently for the IOC decision on whether Cross Country will make a comeback at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Well, the IOC has decided there won't be Cross Country, a decision which has disappointed fans, athletes, and World Athletics.
In a statement, World Athletics stated, “Cross country is an exciting and fast growing sport around the world so we are clearly disappointed it will not feature at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”
The hope of a mixed Cross Country relay in 2024 was also based on the heritage of Cross Country at the Paris 1925 Olympic Games. 2024 would have marked 100 years since Cross Country featured at the Olympic Games. Kenya has dominated the world cross country events over the years and an Olympic experience would have been a good one. Here’s hoping for 2028.
New Wooden Sculpture of a Runner on Heartbreak Hill
Heartbreak Hill is one of the most iconic marathon sections in the world, it is famous for challenging runners on a long, steady uphill around mile 20 of the Boston Marathon. Now, there is something new to motivate athletes through the rough part of the race: a new sculpture of a runner has been built out of what used to be a large maple tree situated at the top of the hill.
End to Sex Testing of Female Track Athletes
A Human Rights Watch report said that regulations governing athletes with differences of sexual development are harmful and disproportionately affect women of color from developing nations. As athletes continue to prepare for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in July 2021, track and field officials have been told to halt all sex testing of female athletes. We hope they listen.
From Us At Enda
Report Back on LGBT Support Campaign
At the tail end of November, we ran our annual campaign to raise funds for a cause we care about. This year we, as a community, we came together to raise 248,000 Ksh for the National Gay and Lesbian Human Right Commission on Kenya.
The campaign is over, but we still have some of the excellent limited edition pieces designed in collaboration with Sevaria Kenya. These are unisex pieces designed to bring more style to all of our fitness wardrobes.
Enda on CNN
We spent some time with CNN lately, showing them everything behind the scenes of how we work. They just released their first teaser showing what they saw:
This is the first running shoe made in Africa.— CNN International (@cnni) December 3, 2020
It’s produced by Kenyan sportswear company Enda; one of the co-founders says that international support of Black-owned businesses has helped its success https://t.co/QsBMqutnEA pic.twitter.com/Jt60OER4w4
From the Enda Community
Louisa Pittman put up some dazzling ornaments on her tree!
"Christmas has come early for me! Thanks to @EndaSportswear for the newest Rainbow Runner Lapatets and to Dignity Designs at Heshima Children's Centre for another set of beautiful masks. And one of the masks is purple, just in time for Advent.
Christmas has come early for me! Thanks to @EndaSportswear for the newest Rainbow Runner Lapatets and to Dignity Designs at Heshima Children's Centre for another set of beautiful masks. And one of the masks is purple, just in time for Advent ☺️ #madeinkenya #runninginfullcolour pic.twitter.com/Ke1OtAAXR3— Louisa Pittman (@Archy_sailor) December 3, 2020