Running in Kenya – the main chance in life

In Kenya, Africa is famous for its cross country tradition of coronavirus ruined sports centers and athletes facing hunger.

Kenya is a modern Mecca for runners. All the most successful runners on middle and long distances – certainly the Kenyans. In Kenya running is the opportunity to escape from poverty. Up to 80% of the athletes live at the expense of the prize or sponsorship contracts, and in the country, entire regions earn, organizing training. But the pandemic coronavirus was past all that. The German edition of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung examined the impact of the pandemic on Kenya and they are really impressive.

Nothing to eat

Two cartons with corn and rice, flour, pasta and vegetable oil – it looks like state aid Kenyan athletes who with Mar was left without competition and therefore without income.

But the state is trying to help the countrymen and the most famous runner in the world – the Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge – the fastest man in the marathon. At the London marathon, which was to be held in April, he could earn several hundred thousand pounds, and abolished the Olympic games which were to be held this year, could win a second gold. Kipchoge founded the Foundation, which, like a number of famous Kenyan cricket players, as well as the bookmaker Betika, support needy athletes.

Kipchoge goes to Eldoret, Ethan and Kaptagat, where there are large cross-country clubs. There it is accompanied by photographers and TV crews distributes to the needy with food packages and nutrition.

“80% of these runners live by performances in Europe, Asia and other regions of the world, — he said. — They need the competition to have one on the table had food, and with this came the problem, because the entire season is cancelled”.


Eliud Kipchoge

Kipchoge has in mind those who receive visas to participate in big competitions, and those interrupted from a race around the local churches to the other. About a thousand of these athletes have contracts with sponsors, ensuring their gear. And regardless of whether these contracts to be about money or only about sneakers and shorts with t-shirts, there’s always a point, according to which support is limited or terminated, if the athlete never had one start for six months. And nobody knows how the item will be treated in this situation.

Kenyan Hollywood emptied

“Iten is a dream country, a sort of Hollywood — says the best German runner Arne Gabius. — Many are eager to try their luck and achieve the same success as Rudisha and Kipchoge”. In March he returned from training at the Jogging capital of the world.

In Iten, located at an altitude of 2400 meters above sea level, along with poor neighborhoods and have developed infrastructure for professional runners, and for the Amateur runners.

There are many hotels and training camps, coaches, physiotherapists and doctors, taxi service, restaurants and even farmers who produce mozzarella cheese. “And all this in one moment collapsed,” he said Gabius.

Even private schools where the best Kenyan runners to send their children to study, have suffered because of the cancellation of the payments.

“The crisis has affected not only Kenyans, says Sondra Norstad the Myeon. — We were all in the same situation: there are no races”. The Norwegian Myeon first European who ran a marathon faster than 2 hours and 6 minutes. He was three months was training in Iten for the London marathon. But it was in vain, and now he’s stuck in Eldoret.

He’s coming to train in Kenya for 11 years, and 11 years sees local poverty. Unlike many coaches, the Myeon does not consider that poverty motivates local people achieve sporting success. It hurts to see when training groups of professionals join normal ceniza. Hungry runners are only damaging their own health, he says. If they come back to their families, they will only get better: “no One can spend 4-5 thousand calories a day, not being able to afford it.”