08/15 Just made contact with a man who gave me my first love of Africa... so many years ago! He and his wife Liz gave me a green satchel from Kenya. And that is how I got to hear of Eldoret.... I was in my first ever school...Barack Obama tweets Madeba's words; "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion..." I remember the first day I discovered racism, clearly. I don't remember my exact age, I was young 7, or 8. My best friend was called Kamu,
from India. I remember standing in the school playground, Kamu and I on one side and almost the entire school on the other singing a song about Campbell's meatballs and poking fun at Kamu. I simply did not understand, yet all the other kids did. Apparently there was a TV advert being played of meatball kid and they were comparing Kamu to this kid because of his skin color. I remember Kamu bursting out crying as the teasing grew. We ran away to another part of the school ground, I was trying to get Kamu to explain what I could not understand. I know if all the kids, like me, had not had a television set that teasing would have never been. I wonder about the rejection Kamu must have felt at such an early age... I have never forgotten that day.
08/14 Charlottesville, a university town of 46,000 people, in the state of Virginia - now famous for the weekend's sad violence and truly the public seeing the growing emergence of American Hate groups. So bizarre to see this in a so called developed community. So sad that the color of the skin and a person's place of origin is a reason for hate. have we really sunk so low?
08/12 Story from our hospital - This is Collins. In a remote part of Western Kenya about 170 miles from Shoe4Africa Hsp, Collins and his big brother Benson were out in the field herding their family cattle like they did every day.
This particular day, they spotted a thick wire hanging down from the high voltage lines that stretched across the fields. To Collins and Benson, this looked like a swinging rope. How fortunate, they thought; to break the monotony of herding in the hot sun all day.
The two ran towards the electric line and in synchrony, both jumped and grabbed the line. Unfortunately it was a live high voltage line, burning the two boys. Benson died on the spot, while Collins whole left side was burnt. For hours the two boys lay there. Collins unconscious. They were found by their father as he wondered why the herd was not back.
Collins was taken to a mission hospital where he stayed for 3 weeks. His arm badly infected and slowly rotting. His father had to leave with Collins as they could not pay for the escalating charges. A month later, they arrived at the Shoe4Africa Children's Hsp. Collin's arm was now crawling with maggots and server infection after his family tried traditional medicine. Collins was examined and was on the operating table within 3-hrs of arrival. His arm had to be amputated. In the coming weeks he received skin graphing to his left side.
As we interviewed his mother, she had a smile on her face....saying 'If we had not come to Shoe4Africa, Collins would not be here'. She also said, 'If we had come here sooner, Collins would not have lost his arm'. Collins too was smiling, glad that he was pain free. Which meant more to him than keeping his arm. Sadly, he still has not been told that Benson passed on. He thinks he is recovering somewhere else. His family have chosen to wait for his full recovery before revealing this to him.
His mother gives us one last comment 'no one has asked me for any payment, we thank Shoe4Africa'.
On BBC 5 live commentator Mike Costello: "This will be really difficult for the sport. Russia has been expelled indefinitely from the sport, but Gatlin has been banned twice and here he is winning gold in the most precious event in the sport.
"The crowd perhaps ought to be booing the IAAF rather than the athletes."
This on Bolt losing his final 100m race in London.
Meanwhile Mo Farah proves he is the greatest ever in the distance races.
Tirunesh Dibaba goes to show she is the Dibaba of all time with a silver added to her amazing career... and Ayana comes from nowhere, well from Rio 2016, to run her first race of the year inserting a 14:30 5k between 3k-8k of the women's 10,000m...
06/11 Congrats to Mary Keitany who blasted round the park in NYC and easily won the Mini Marathon 10k in 31'. It is really the year of Mary, or should we say years. Thousands of women running in NYC's premier women's only 10k. Congrats to the amazingly talented Sarah Jones who is co-hosting the Tony Awards red carpet tonight over on the West Coast.
Here's when Sarah ran the marathon for us! [LINK]
Tina Muir, a runner from Britain, talking charity on her popular website podcast - listen here on our call in
06/08 Yesterday was the Global Running Day. Of course we had to do our running.. and hat included jumping on the treadmill for the NYRR #globalrunningday challenge. 250-runners running a mile over 24-hours! I was proudly running the #214 leg. Apparently Tiki Barber ran... the Giant.From Global Running Day today were the British elections; let's see what is ahead... and in the running world Hellen Obiri, of Kisii, Kenya, stormed to a 14:18 huge win in the Rome GP 5000. One of the few ladies from Western Kenya to challenge the Great Rift Runners. talking on that note I am hearing good things about the #2 Lunatic Express - apparently it is only 700 ksh to travel on the new train from Nairobi to Mombasa, which is great as it makes the coast more accessible to those on a restricted income.Thanking Japan: members of the Japanese Consulate in NYC, and Japanese American organizations, plus Mitsui USA and Mitsubishi possibly offer to be guides at the Hope & Possibility 4-miler coming up later this month! Thank you! Jon Stewart is also coming - thank you! As is Governor Paterson and Weatherman Mr. G, and the Central Park Jogger, Trish Meili - thank you all. Plus a few 'thousandz of runnahs!' -- PS; we are completely sold out of entries.
06/04 It was the retro run - George Hirsch and I did the miles
And if anyone makes comments about my imitation leopard skin trousers then check out the Boss - The Race Director of the TCS New York Marathon and the NYRR events.
Afterwards Raul, his wife,
Mary W., George and I went to the Boathouse fora nice breakfast.
The day before we had a Shoe4Africa Brooklyn run - thanks to Asmeret for organizing and it was the morning after her birthday! Marco had just come from a party,
and Jon from the plane - the rain did not stop us having fun!
05/23 Next week at the RUNCENTER,
05/20 Make your run an EMPOWERMENT RUN - run for charity! Team Shoe4Africa.
I have had quite an affiliation with Brooklyn Half Marathon. I have finished absolutely last place, I have won the race, I have set off to run the race the morning off and ended up in Tuckahoe eating breakfast instead of starting... but one of my favorite memories was two years ago running with George Hirsch who then ran 2:00:13 as an 80-yrs young runner. Today George and I returned. However this time we just turned up for breakfast which we shared with another dear friend, Mary Wittenberg. We also met Mitchell J. Silver (Mitch) who is the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation who ran his 1st Half!
Lauren and George Hirsch.
05/17 Last night: The Second Annual Aces for Africa was a super success. At the Second Annual Shoe4Africa ACES for AFRICA: Steve Sussman and Jonas Mouly, a former pro player from France took revenge winning the title after being he 2016 runners up, beating Steve Sussman and Robert Jendelund, a former pro player from Sweden.
The event, the brainchild of Zeynep Inanli and Dave Siegel, was held at the City View Courts in NYC. Billie Jean King, a long time supporter of Shoe4Africa, again donated the Player of the Match awards; this year to Ron Sussman. Last year’s player of the match, Whitney Tilson, was knocked out in a tight semi-final as he and Harel Srugo, an Israeli Davis Cup team member, were defeated by the champions Sussman and Mouly. Global Brands Group CEO, former Davis Cup player, Bruce Rockowitz, came to spectate and hopes to play in the 2018 edition of Aces for Africa.
Swedish former pros Robert Jendelund, Fredrik Jonsson, and French former pro’s Julien Morel, and Mouly were some of the top ranked players.
05/15 Airplanes - not (ever) owning a TV I watch a lot of films on air planes - I highly recommend... I Daniel Blake. A great film! Then I also watched Lion with Dev Patel that I thought was ace, the NASA film Hidden Figures.... Although I like Denzel Washington I watched Fences, and Moonlight (can't remember who acted in that) but rank the films in order of the writing.
Heifer International charge you $500 for a heifer to donate in Africa. We chop that by 50%; donate 250 and gift a heifer to a Kenyan family!
A strong team slated for London, via Kenya LINK
05/08 LINK CNN 82 girls released, still 113 held in captivity. What religion, belief, person, persons do this to girls? And in the name of what?
Reading with interest an interview that letsrun did with Dr. Rosa. here is Dr. Rosa'a remarks, "We invest heavily in Kenya, and we have been doing this for many years, building training camps, schools, hospitals, churches and aqueducts, giving many young people the opportunity to train and study by paying their school fees." -- What Schools, and Hospitals? What church. Just curious... where?? I believe Pamela Chepchumba was the first athlete of the Rosa Camp to be caught for doping, as early as 2007 or 8 (I forget).http://www.rosassociati.com/public/images/atleti/Chepchumba%20Pamela.pdf
05/07 On the philanthropy trail. Trying to meet the Principal Sec. of Education in Kenya, or at least talk to him on the phone. Am getting close, everything in Kenya takes a procedure and time. Before starting the next building project I am ensuring VAT exempt status... I am still dealing with VAT issues from the hospital - another project that I am working on.
We got a nice donation from a gentleman in NYC who has an office in Eldoret. I went to visit today at lunch and found the office open although it is Sunday. The bizarre coincidence is this is where I decided to build the hospital; I was sitting in the Gran Pri Cafe drinking a cup of coffee when I got the proposal. Today the cafe has gone. Small world indeed.
05/06 It is 3:15 pm, a few hours earlier Eliud Kipchoge was doing something, in the sport of long distance running, that we thought was impossible at this time. He was planning to remove minutes from the current world's best time for a 26.2 road race. Eliud was needing to do the impossible and the fact that he almost did it is mind boggling. I wonder what does the current world record holder Dennis Kimetto think about that? And what is Dennis doing right now? The answer is he is right now cycling, indoor biking at the gym in HATC.
So I asked Dennis Kimetto what are his plans (as he moved from the exercise bike to the elliptical), "My plan is for Berlin,
to break the record." He watched the race and was suitably impressed ("That was a nice time") and expects to meet Eliud in Berlin where it will be the clash of Titans, "Maybe Berlin, or London." He also reminds that he still has the record. Both times, Eliud's and Dennis's are looking remarkable - one wishes all the players had been on the line this morning, including Wilson Kipsang and Kenenisa Bekele.
05/03 Very disappointing that the IAAF are going (might) to reset world records to be set 2005 and after... who gives them the right to do such things?Can't resist the re-posting:
Congrats to the hatrick from Cristiano Ronaldo!
05/02 More London News - they are going New Balance! Losing the three stripes. Now Boston and Berlin retain the three stripes, NB snag NYC & London.
05/01 Queen Mary to run the TCS NYC Marathon hoping for 4 in a row! She will miss the worlds to focus on NYC after her 2:17:01 in London...
04/30 Only a few days till the SUB2 attempt. The Shoe is designed with a carbon plate that was (apparently we hear) from Oscar P.'s blade. each footfall should produce forward energy.
Rumors abound in Kenya are that five athletes are currently under the spotlight for doping offences. However 'one' female name is supposed to be of a high profile.. begging the question what is high profile? I think a Professionals Association of Distance Runners, like a Premier football league, might be a good idea here... it is not just Kenya this is a global issue.
04/27 Wonderful story of a man who has gone far in Kenyan politics, "Kericho Residents Make History After Voting In Eric Bett A Watchman For MCA Post.
"Residents of Kipchebor ward in Kericho Town, Kericho County made History yesterday after they voted in Eric Bett, a watchman, for the post of MCA in the just concluded Jubilee Party nominations in what many said was a rebellion to teach Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter who has been seen as imposing leaders in the county and his preferred candidate a lesson.
"Erick Bett floored incumbent MCA Joel Siele and Keter’s ally Hillary Chepkwony.
The watchman took to the streets of Kericho Town this morning on top a mkokoteni to celebrate his Victory. He campaigned on foot unlike his competitors who were campaigning on expensive vehicles."04/26 Mobile phone company now claims to be helping the Sub2 Project... meanwhile a humble Kenyan farmer who was in poverty working as a subsistence farmer only a few years ago remains the fastest ever in the world... VODAPHONE link.
Wow --'Obama criticised for '$400,000 Wall Street speech' - BBC News www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39710529. 15 hours ago - Former US President Barack Obama is being criticised for reportedly agreeing a $400,000 (£310,000) fee for a speech to a Wall Street bank.London Marathon News - 'Organisers said 40,382 people were on the gruelling 26.2-mile run, 1,242 more than last year's record high'.
Hm, that is less than the Las Vegas Marathon!
Some Tennis News - the latest scoop on the greatest sister act -
'(Serena) Williams, who is taking maternity leave for the rest of the 2017 season, said there was no change to her plan to return to the tour as a mother next year.'
"I definitely plan on coming back. I'm not done yet," said Williams, who credited 36-year-old sister Venus for inspiration.
"If she's still playing, I know I can play. This [motherhood] is just a new part of my life. My baby's going to be in the stands and hopefully cheering for me."Strength to strength... the world majors makes a smart move, partnering with the Wanda group (China) that own the Ironman series.
However, of course there is a 'price' -- more WMM events to be in Asia thus the WMM will probably be compromising and probably needs to state what is it that 'they' classify to be a World Marathon Major'? And why races like Amsterdam or Rotterdam haven't been considered a WMM event... maybe because China's richest man is not pushing for them to become WMM events.
04/25 So sorry to hear about the terrible mean attack on Kuki Gallman. Such a nice lady who has done so much for the community and was shot recently in the hip and stomach. It has been about 6 years since I visited her beautiful house and ranch, that she has put into trust for the Kenyan community. She of course became super famous with her book, and film, I dreamed of Africa. Hoping that she gets well soon!
I was trying to find a picture I took of Kuki, then on google I found this picture of me in Kuki's car!
Don't want to toot my horn too loudly, but... yes? Kenya started a betting site for athletics, so I posted on the TCS shoe4africa team site the link and asked for people's bets. I wrote that Daniel Wanjiru would win, and that Mary Keitany would win the ladies. I was 100% correct there. How did I fail? Well I put Mary 2:17 (boom - correct) and but failed with Daniel - I put 2:03, but he ran 2:05. Well you can't win them all!
04/22 Confusing stuff by Nike - in early 2016 they develop a spring plate to make you run faster (patent in May). The spring plate is hidden inside the midsole. In the Rio Olympics Galen Rupp is seen with 'Hoka-One' like racing shoes that look like beefed up inflated shoes and are labeled Nike Streaks - the rest of the world does not have access to this shoe. The mystery shoe then starts being seen with other top level Nike athletes in select events, like The Great North and the TCS NYC marathon. A year later, in 2017, after rumblings Nike release a different shoe with a carbon plate.
No explanations come out about the mystery '2016' shoe.
According to sources "They are not using the patent spring plate and that will be used in a later shoe..."
Really? Someone develops a spring plate shoe and doesn't use it? If someone does develop a spring plate shoe, use it, have some very good results, not release any data, then bring out a shoe with a lesser plate but one that can not be called a spring... yet continue to let the select few run in the spring plate shoe... because who is vetting the shoe at the finish line... ever?
This shoe appeared and was used by Galen Rupp in the Rio Olympics. A couple of months earlier the spring plate shoe was developed.
Written in sports illustrated: "As for those patents for a spring that were found online? Schoolmeester noted the patent was for another future-thinking project that is disconnected from Breaking2." Further "Upon Nike’s announcement of the Breaking2 project, several people took to social media and speculated about a spring in the shoe. There is no spring but the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite shoe has a very lightweight but stiff carbon fiber plate."
If you are ever in Nairobi there is a fun running group called the Urban Swaras that meet each Saturday morning at 7 am. They map out runs, are very social and usually breakfast each week with differing routes and car pooling options. Read about them here - Link.Training advice we read... "Alberto Salazar Underwater Treadmill Running -- When Olympic athletes need to supplement their weekly mileage When recreational runners want a low-impact, injury-free way to stay in the game When physical fitness enthusiasts want an innovative, fun way to lose weight and stay healthy They all turn to underwater treadmill running!" That must be for the rich runners! Can't imagine there are many underwater treadmills in the world! Sounds a nice idea...04/21 Betting on the London Marathon - my money would be on Mary Keitany for the 2017 race. Check out the odds for the athletes. LINK
Wilson Kipsang, the only marathon runner with 4 sub 2:04's to his name is running for office, in Keiyo South. A nice story in ESPN makes refreshing journalism. LINK Anyone who has visited HATC knows Wilson's place in the town of Iten.And to balance that a story of Kenya's unknown heroines... doing spectacular things. [link]
04/20 Very sad news about Tom Fleming passing. I have fond memories of a Jamaica trip that seems like only yesterday. When I first came to NY I got to know this man who still has the record, I believe, for a marathon run inside Central Park (when the NYC marathon was held inside the park), he was vibrant, warm and ever-helpful. Full of stories. That he died doing what he loved, coaching, seems little consolation. LINKKenyans racing the London Marathon are 'embarassed' by Jemima Sumgong. LINK And so they should, she is ruining the name of a regal country!
04/18 Kudos to Edna Kiplagat, Boston Marathon champion - a good story to come out of Kenya... and one of longevity. I can not believe it has been 22-years since I first met Edna running in Kenya... and she is still running! Good job and a great victory as Kenya wrap up both the women's and men's with Geoffrey Kirui.
Edna in the middle!
Need un-used T shirts from road races, from NYC road runners? Check out this great link. Plus they will pay the postage for you which is a huge plus! I can see some friends of mine getting very excited to read this! LINKThe Rock N Roll go financial in Brooklyn with a key sponsor. Synchrony financial. Add that to the China race and this RnR look like things are going to happen...Meanwhile, over in Kenya...
Fluffy The Wonder Sheep
04/06 Jemima Sumgong of Rosa Management in Kenya has failed an EPO test. Little surprise there, the name has been tipped since 2015 yet sadly race directors ignore the warnings and follow who they think brings the biggest story. There are more names who need extra testing... and not far from the source.
03/27 The legendary offices of the NYRR for sale with a discounted price now of $18,000,000. (link)
03/26 With so many painters why doesn't some French person paint the Eiffel Tower? 100-years of grey undercoat?
World Cross Country Championships! Started as a yearly competition, then they added the 'short' course to try and get a Euro interest (and the Kenyans swept), then the IAAF went Bi-yearly, then they added a relay... and every time it was basically an East African Championship! No different today with the highlight being Kenyan ladies going a stunning 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6th! Awesome. Kenyan men went one, two but conceded the team to Ethiopia, and those results were reversed as Kenya won the 'new' mixed relay.
In the junior men something great for the sport that every nation yearns for... Uganda's first Junior Men's Gold; Jacob Kiplimo, a name of Uganda's future! Great to see.
)3/24 Went to the Italian School's fund raiser at Cipriani. Almost every time I go to a fund raiser there is a raffle for a dinner at Rao's and they say, "So hard to get a reservation.." this one was for 09/18/2017. I mean it is hard to get a reservation because they give away all the seats to events. I went to Rao's one night in 2000 with the man who was insuring the restaurant. I recall him saying the exact same thing, "So hard to get a reservation..." They have built a reputation not on the food, not on the service, but on that one thing.
03/20 A story about a Gold medal winner, a former alcoholic, now running for politics... Wilfred Bungei joins the train - Wesley Korir mixes the life of running and politics, Wilson Kipsang and Bungei follow suit... Elijah Lagat is still in office since 2007 - the difference is some of them are retired athletes and others are active.Incredible running performance of the weekend was... Jake Robertson of New Zealand winning a high, high profile half marathon that is typically won by the best in the world, and with his winning performance of 60:00 Jake has proven he is in that club of being the best in the world! Congrats to a guy who did it the hard way - Train Hard, Win Easy!
03/17 Shocked and saddened to learn that fellow board member, and a winner of the NYC marathon, Norb Sander passed away this morning... anyone who has run at the Armory knows of Norb's (huge) impact. So sad, I saw him last night.. how fleeting life can be.
Breaking2 Eliud ran 59:18 in a time trial.
02/20 Famine officially declared in South Sudan's Unity state, where more than 100,000 people are suffering starvation.LINK. Also 1,000,000 lives now at risk - see LINK 02/12 It seems that the Millrose Games NYRR Wannamaker Mile has now become a domestic (almost) event... 12 Americans and one Canadian. And these days not even a Kenyan born American!Meanwhile in Barcelona Florence Kiplagat was unable to get back her 1/2 marathon WR, but she did retain her title in 68:15.
02/10 Unknown Kenyan lady, Peris, breaks the world record, 65:06 in the half, a few secs is Mary K in full London Marathon training, 65:13! For those interested Peres second name is Jepchirchir - in kalenjin that translates to Born quickly! In the results they have her as Peres + Peris!
Kenyan men,in Bedan K take the men's, but with 'only 59:10, they play second fiddle to the ladies!
02/06 The famous football player from Real Madrid, who wore #7 before Cristiano Ronaldo, is called Raul. He ran with us on Sunday at the GridIron. The Spanish looking guy below:
Then afterwards to the hotel Baccarat on West 53rd st... an interesting place that is too. Then up to Settepani in Harlem for the next meetings. #warm coffee, yuck.
02/02 Betsy Saina to make her debut in the marathon this month in Tokyo... after her great 30:07 10,000m at the Olympics last year. Her coach wants it low key... knowing Betsy,who's ran a 67 half, it will be fire!"More than 1,000 Russian athletes were part of a state-sponsored doping programme between 2011 and 2015" --disgusting--
Sitting in the lobby on Park Avenue talking to Patrick, MaryAnne & Vincent when MaryAnne's eyes light up, and who comes to stand ten yards away but Julie Andrews! I would not have recognized her myself, but MaryAnne's eyes said it all (followed by some whispers). Then Ms Andrews stood there for about five minutes waiting, till another famous actress came down and joined her. Forgot her name but I didn't know it... quite some years since I watched the Sound of Music.
02/01 Mary K going for a London hatrick - read the article here. Link1/31 Assisted by Starbucks to cross the finishing line.
Meanwhile Kenenisa Bekele believes in his career as being a marathon runner he can drop 90-secs from the current world record... not three minutes. LINK.
1/30 Nothing worse than getting to the airport in your T shirt, heading back to cold NYC, nad remembering that your winter jacket is left in the hotel closet. I am freezing already in the airport - not liking the airport air-con cold!
One Love, let's get together and feel al-right. #BobWeNeedYouBack
1/29 At the Miami Half Marathon! Started the race with Shlomo and the Cohen brothers in the dark. (then) Ran the middle bit with Chani & Goldie. Then with a number of other runners. Went back a few miles. Met Shlomo and the Cohen's again on the course, So... we went to Starbucks, had coffees and they tasted great as I was freezing below freezing at this point (had stood in the cold wind, in a T shirt, with freezy rain that had been dripping since before dawn), ran on, finished the race, went back to mile 12 met Team Peri (second time of looking, and second time of freezing - did I tell you my body fat is below 3%...). Ran the last mile with Team Peri and the Mets Baseball player Nelson Figueroa(such a nice gentleman).
Peri, who was born with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy, ran incredibly on a rainy windy day, against the wind for the last mile!
With the Mets baseballer Nelson Figueroa, Team Peri members and me in the yellow bin liner!
And...Check out the great video that Shlomo made for his fund raiser with Team Canada! He actually sang a few phrases whilst on the run...
1/28 This week I am in Miami, Miami Beach. A glorious day and I am stuck in front of the TV. I don't own a TV, or ever have. I don't like watching sports, I like doing sports, well running. However I am watching the Venus - Serena final. History in the making and the best sports story, the best, since Chariots of Fire 1924.
1/26 VENUS! One word; VENUS. Second word... why can't the women take center stage at the Grand Slams? Come'on time that Wimbledon, Melbourne, NYC and Paris have the men's final on Saturday and the Women's on SUNDAY.Little bit of Political humor... from across the Pond. The Rock band Oasis....
1/24 R.I.P. Allan Steinfeld - article. A fellow board member for the past 15-years, a storied fellow who leaves a big legacy... sad.
Sir Mo Farah article - Radio Times. Britain's best male track athlete ever - looking a lock for London 2xGold this summer!Meanwhile Nairobi continues to rise in popularity with now 3 flights per day!
1/22 One month to Tokyo - Wilson Kipsang is the big name, especially after his super fast PR #2 at Berlin. Word on the street is a Japanese man will be running fast.. There are 9 sub 2:06 runners in the field!
Next restaurant stop - http://caravaggioristorante.com/ it is on East 74th, a wonderful restaurant; went there a few years ago.In other news thanks to Val for ressing in a donut costume for Shoe4Africa LINK.Reminder; the 110th NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center on Feb. 11.
1/21 At Settepani restaurant last night with a great friend and the NYRR chair, George Hirsch - four hours passed with the blink of the eye, plus a very good fennel salad as starter.
Navigating midtown, not realising there was a protest march. hundreds of thousands crammed the streets of the march making the rest of the roadways easy to navigate for once...Got to the office turned on the computer, the news came on from Washington. In my (humble) opinion I think the We Shall Overcome song, by Pete Seeger is a lot more powerful to what I heard of news....
Bekele goes for the world record at the marathon in Dubai, but falls on the starting line, hm, not the best, he doesn't seem to have much luck in Dubai.
1/18 Am interested to see how thick the midsoles are of Kenenisa Bekele when he goes for the WR in the Dubai Marathon in two days... (last words)
1/17 "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that" Martin Luther King- Ace.
Christmas Eve at the Shoe4Africa Hospital sees Ben Limo world 5000m champion, Janeth Jepkosgei world 800m champion, Charlie Grice Olympic finalist, Eliud Kipchoge Olympic Marathon Champion, World 5000m champion, and Chelimo (my champion)...
1/16 We are building a Music Therapy House at the hospital... because... this will be with: Reducing stress, anxiety, and pain
• Promoting comfort and relaxation
• Providing opportunities for self-expression
• Supporting developmental skills
• Reinforcing academic skills
• Providing experiences that support memory making and legacy building
• Promoting ability to cope with hospitalization and healthcare experiences
• Providing opportunities for positive interactions between patients and their families
1/15/2017 - Since I last wrote... a lot has happened! Firstly it was back to Kenya, and secondly I have just got back... thirdly so much happened in between.
Two more spots in our half marathon team for March 19th.... and then Kenya!
Thanks to our great ambassadors Eliud Kipchoge, the Olympic Champion in the marathon, to Janeth Jepkosgei and Ben Limo, both former world champions, and to OLympic finalist Charlie Grice who all came together with a bunch of athletes to hand out Christmas Gifts at the Hospital! That was a major highlight, then we opened the Sig Walkway between the Kitchens and the Hospital, we ground broke on the Music Therapy Playrooms and most possibly on a general playroom next door as well, as well as starting our next school too! This is not a classroom it is a complete school and admin block! Lots of exciting things going on!
Another highlight was having Birds Nest Foundation come over and film. They were in Kenya for five days of filming and did so so much! Highly recommended for creative talent, great people, and a huge work ethic.
My favorite story? About the little girl above (being fed ice cream from Olympic Champ Eliud above - Priscilla came to the Shoe4Africa hospital with her daughter. She had come from Maralel. When the glands started swelling the mother worried, when nose bleeds came constantly she took three days to get to the local medical center. The daughter stayed there for one month, the daughter got worse; she would not eat. The medics had no idea what was wrong; not surprising as they had not diagnostic equipment. The family had five cows, they were recently stolen. Now they had nothing. They were advised to take their child to ‘The Shoe4Africa’. The mother sold her chickens for the ride, it took her three days traveling with communal transport.
At the Shoe4Africa the daughter was quickly diagnosed as suffering from blood cancer. The mother arrived with her last 500-shillings ($5-dollars). That was in November. Two months later, just before Christmas, the mother was down to a couple of dollars. The doctors told the mother the prognosis was not good, “This may well be your daughter’s last Christmas.” The mother decided to spent the last of her money braiding her daughter’s hair. “If it is to be her last, let me do this for me. Make her beautiful for her last Christmas. Then I will leave the rest in God’s hands.” She said.
On December 22nd she heard celebrations on the first floor, just outside her room. She came out and saw the deputy Governor of Eldoret, Chemno, coming to hand out food, Vaseline pots, and milk. “Look!” The mother cried, “In Maralel it is hard to get milk. Look what is coming! And look at the food!” She said pointing to a supply now stocked in her cupboard.
On December 24th foreigners came, and the best Kenyan runners. Her daughter was sitting on a little stool with the group of all the sick kids for a Christmas party thrown by Shoe4Africa. The world’s best marathoner, Eliud Kipchoge, singled out her daughter, as he and some other world champion athletes like Janeth Jepkosgei, Ben Limo, and British Olympic finalist Charlie Grice were handing out the presents and food to the kids. As Eliud gave the girl a piece of cake A photographer from the Daily Nation, Jared Nyataka, was caught by the beautiful scene.
“Look!” Cried the mother, “My daughter has gifts, ice cream, lollipops and Christmas cakes!” The very next day she was told her daughter and Eliud were the main page in the sports section of East Africa’s premier Newspaper!
I am happy to say there is a happy ending. Loaded with the fare home and travel money, a London marathon jacket, new running shoes, books, toys and crayons, the little girl is traveling back home; she made a remarkable turnaround. The prognosis was wrong… or was it just that the mother had faith.
Coming in 2017 will be a Shoe4Africa video! We have joined the 'big charities! (really.. cough cough) And we are getting Birds Nest Productions to make a video for us -the problem was they have 40-hours plus of footage from their trip to Kenya... we have so much compelling stuff with Health, Education, and our Women's Empowerment. A slue of great interviews with top runners, people and of course Kenya-Kenya!
12/11 Wow times zipped! Anyway, glad to say following a brunch up in Harlem today... Alphonso Horne is a name that will be musically involved with Shoe4Africa, thanks Alan. Had a great meeting us at Taszo in Washington Heights. What a talented guy... Although the sound quality doesn't do justice listen here - YOUTUBE.
This is also in tune with our music therapy playrooms coming to Kenya next year!Thanks also to Marva & Desiree - up at Mist on 115th ST, planning for next year for Shoe4Africa and where we are going!
12/04 Great day for Kenyans in the Marathon world - Nelson Oyugi won the 34th edition of the California International Marathon in 2:11.40, Sarah Kiptoo took the ladies in 2:31, then Peter Kimeli Some took the honors in Macau in 2:12...ONLY Makua got second as he tried to three peat in Fukuoka Marathon, finishing a credible second behind Ethiopia's Tsegay - both running 2:08's, with Rebecca Kangongo Chesire winning the Singapore Marathon in 2:43 - hot 'n humid there!
12/01/2016 Ring ring – answers..
Automated phone answering machine; Please enter you ten digit phone number
How can we help you today?
Me-By giving me someone who can answer a question about billing.
Your wait time is between 5 and ten minutes…
Fifteen minutes later I get a ‘real’ person…
Good morning, can you tell me or enter your ten digit code?
Okay, I do that
So, how can we help you today
(me) A question about billing.
Okay, so let me put you on a short hold when I connect you to someone from billing
Pause…. Annoying music, plus a stream of messages telling me all answers can be found on the website.
Hi, how can we help you today?
Well I have an issue with billing and…
Great, we will get you sorted out right away. Unfortunately all our representatives are busy right now.
I remember the good old days when real people outnumbered the automated… I guess we have all experienced this problem.
Meanwhile, great news at the hospital is we are fixing the road outside and it is coming along great!
And more great news;
Landrum Middle School and Ponte Vedra High School cross county teams rock!
Twenty years ago I went to Ponte Vedra and stayed with a cool guy named Steve Curran who is very familiar with helping, with Kenya... and today I received a $500 donation and this nice letter!
"Hello Toby, hope this message finds you in good health and spirits. I've done some coaching this past fall and through the generosity of the Landrum Middle School and Ponte Vedra High School cross county teams we were able to make a contribution to Shoe4Africa. From the students of Florida to the students of students of Kenya in the name of running, a language that needs no interpreter."
11/28 The Brother Colm of Ethiopia - Woldemeskel Kostre taken on one of his most disappointing days, to date the only time he did not have enough runners cross the finish line to form a team in the World XC... he was lamenting here...
And explaining the heat factor...
11/26 I did not know numbers like this existed... but to coldplay & youtube they do... 455,837,766 views.I'm standing for Standing Rock.
11/25 A man larger than life some say, Fidel Castro, has died aged 90. A man that was the irk of America for many decades. A few years ago passed the power to his brother Raul, 85, but still Castro, good or bad, has been almost a symbol of Cuba. You'll never think of Cuba without a Castro... his deeds will be judged & talked about for years.11/24 Glad to see that justice has been served, down on Kenya. Rita Jeptoo, one of the world's truly gifted athletes who never had a reason to take performance enhancing drugs, went down the road she should not taken. Be this due to herself, or the people around her is one for debate, but the fact remains beyond what she did she also falsely accused people of manipulating her and pressed charges against Federico Rosa, Claudio Berardelli and a few others. There is no excuse for either act... it is simply a sad case that can be used to highlight the bad of the running world.
Rita was brought up in Tuigoin, a village of no tomorrow for those who dream of seeing an easy path to a better life. It is farm land and Rita's family were terribly poor. School fees were not there, but luckily she could run, and she could run like the wind. In American terms they might call this place a One horse town, the local primary school where Rita got her education barely owns a text book for the kids, forget paints and brushes, electricity, and the 'luxuries'. A classmate told me if the teacher turned up that was an achievement. Standing in Tugion you look to the left to the right and you wonder where you are going.
Rita's education finished at that primary, but she the lucky one, her running at school got her noticed and she was picked up and went to Iten for a training camp. Her first international race was a success; she won, by a mile, the Stockholm Marathon in 2004 and followed that up with a win in Milan. Soon after she got selected to run for Kenya, both in Cross Country and the 20km where she won a bronze.
The breakthrough nearly didn't happen; in 2006 after losing her passport in Milan the Boston marathon organizers scratched her from the field. She was the very last athlete to arrive... a relatively unknown Kenyan woman in America. To be continued...
Rita to the right, celebrating after her 2006 breakthrough race in Boston.
Rita won Boston, jumpin up and down was Catherine Ndereba, although a multi-time winner of Boston she had not been invited back and the rumor had it the organizers were not inviting the 'big' International names hoping that the American favorite would win the race. This is a practice done around the world as nothing pleases the press better than a domestic win. Rita was not a big name, till she crushed the field and won the race.
However domestic issues of quite a dramatic fashion followed, then a pregnancy break, then a return to training, a change in a crowd and more... Long story cut short the Rita that emerged in 2013 was a new woman, even more so later that year when things changed and suddenly a sub 2:20 lady appeared who did not slow down, did not tire and appeared invincible. And a year later we found out why...
Sadly although Rita out of the public admitted that her coach and management had nothing to do with the doping that story changed after a year. Anyway the long and short is a two year ban, now turned into a four year ban on top of a tarnished career and two DSQ's for last two Major Marathons. Back in Tuigoin the building project, to erect small rentals, has stopped. A pile of stones lay next to half built walls. The grass now reaches the windows, but little else has changed in this village.
11/23 Shoe4Africa board meeting and we are now planning what has crept up with the speed of a Ninja turtle - Our 10th year as a 501 C3 Not for Profit. Of course we have been going longer than that it is just the paperwork and officialdom... you see in the old days I did not want the charity to grow in the slightest, in fact the aim was to keep it tiny. The reason being was obvious... paying for the shoes!
11/20 Winning the Airtel 1/2 marathon in 59:44 - or the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon was Eliud Kipchoge. The runner of 2016 for sure on the roads, along with Mo Fire Farah on the track.
Thinking ahead till next year, almost here anyway. It will be the NYC running scene planning for the Half marathon that takes you round Manhattan and into Times Square. A moveable human festival and of course we will be there. If you want to join our team we have limited spots available for great people to come and join in the journey and see your fund raising efforts really make the change for Kids born into Dire poverty where basic healthcare is not a birthright. Please come and be on our team!
A sign of the times.... go to the race in Central Park and forget to take my bib number! Not really needed as I was going to run with Tom, and just do the race if he didn't show, but the fact I did not even think of a bib number until I am almost there at the race, and miles from home is a little disconcerting.
Race to Deliver was undelivered... and how come my bib got pixeled?
Each time I fly BA I watch Top Gear... well used to watch until Jeremy Clarkson was removed; that is like taking Mike Jagger & Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones and announcing a concert in Madison Sq Gardens; it isn't going to happen. Thus I was glad to hear they are coming to Amazon TV; not that I am that techy that I can watch there but I know, like all good things, the show will end up eventually on the Youtube! I am patient and I can wait.. for those who can't - Stream new episodes of #TheGrandTour every Friday on Prime Video. http://amzn.to/2flBkPh
11/19 40-minutes in the Post Office... I was sending a lot of cards, national and international of varying weights. Hence after standing in line all had to weighed... I am getting good at this, for 56 cards I was wrong for only three cards!
Guess which stamp... games.
It is the Urban Athletics Central Park 10km, DATE: 12/17/2016 and 9 AM - 102nd ST Central Park...Celebrate the Holidays by running the Fourth Annual Central Park Holiday 10K in New York! This race is a USATF NYC Open Masters Championships with awards going to the first three over – all male and female finishers and the first three masters male and female finishers. In addition to the above awards, the winners will also receive Gore running jackets. Ph 212.828.1906 for more details!
11/17 JOB opportunity -- suite a runner: Urban Athletics is Hiring! Weekends a must. Part time and full time opportunities. A great job for runners who want to share their experience with customers seeking expert advice. Flexible schedules, store discounts. Contact Jerry: 212-828-1906Planning to Run the Race to deliver on Sunday, a nice 4-mile event. My memories from this race in the past was walking with Joan Rivers, who was going to compete, and she carried a stick and waved it in front of herself and told the photographers who had gathered to snap pictures of her to not get too close, "Your mother wouldn't appreciate close ups"... A most interesting lady, and she did more than just attend, she also walked the route! Good for her. She used to live on 62nd ST and right opposite my friend's apartment - he lives on the South side of the street and her the north hence when you looked out of his balcony across....
Music therapy healing comes to Kenya! We are gathering musical instruments to start a Musical playroom for the kids. Jess Hall has the Kenyan Music foundation; check her out on FB. LINK HERE
11/16 Found a great coffee spot for grabbing a coffee and a seat, and a comfortable seat(!) near Grand Central Station in NYC - it is: 18 West 29th ST Stumptown. Check it out. Average coffee but the back room seating is spacious comfy, laptop friendly on the main tables with power, with armchairs to boot!
NYC is full of relic restaurants, landmarks, I hear... like Pancho's on MacDougall, near the Cafe Whaa? Been there since the 60's I hear. Then the one day you choose to go somehow it was closed! Instead the Elephant & Castle, another landmark. However a piece of advice, dine before eating as the menu sizes are rather 'kid friendly' for adults...
The menu is small the portions are... smaller.
In other amazing news, true if you believe it, United Airlines are now charging for carry on over head bin luggage! Not that I ever liked that airline and I liked it even less after reading this latest news...
11/15 Weather - NYC or Vegas? Hm, a no brainer. Finally NYC loses one point against another city. What is this windy, rain, gray sky blurr reminding me of my days in Reykjavik city?
11/14 By the pool, waiting for a taxi, I realize that we are next door to the Wynn – where I stayed with Anthony many years ago when coming for a bloggers conference. I wish I had taken notes that day, or night. The next day we seriously were late for the plane, god knows how we made it. It took a lot of running.
11/13 At the Rock n Roll Marathon. Snoop Dogg is doing a warm up set and by that I mean with the vocals. I have a Coaches Bib, I am not really officially running this race, I am here with a team of runners raising money for kids with chronic diseases and the terminally ill. This is a good set of runners and my job is to run alongside as many as possible. I find myself noticing many things that ‘New York’ does better, however the race is fun, and zooming along the strip at night to rock bands is pretty cool. I find myself running and checking at medical tents as I hear a couple of our runners are not doing so well; that adds some speed as I feel like an ambulance.
11/12 Go out for a jog on the streets of Vegas. Barely 400-meters from the strip I see shacks and tons of homeless people, I find a small park and there are more beds in the park than at sleepys. Wow this city has another side that is close to the good side.
11/11 Viva Las Vegas! Here in Vegas for the Rock n Roll Marathon. I am staying at the Palazzo which is a monster of a hotel, huge! Of course built around a casino. I have been going to Vegas on running trips quite a few times and I am yet to invest my first quarter with gambling; not for me!
In fact I just go and hang in the hotel room. I don’t own, or ever have owned a TV, hence it is quite nice to watch it once in a while…
I ask one of the staff if there is a treadmill to which he says that this is a casino, not a fitness gym, and that they do gambling and hospitality. Apparently he was incorrect, however it was only at that moment when I wished to run on a treadmill, so I missed the golden chance to see if they did have a hotel gym.
11/06 Ran the TCS New York City Marathon and it was extremely fun! I was missing rather a lot of training thus was not feeling so confident going into this run as I have done in previous years. The golden rule is a few long runs… my longest was 16, but a KM not a miles, and I must admit I was close to walking at the end. That was just before I went to Kenya where I was expecting to do a few more runs of mega miles.
I was not lacking in inspiration, on my morning jogs Mary Keitany would zip by on her NYC marathon build up, plus a billion (seemingly) who train on the red dirt roads of Iten, Kenya. This little village is home to three of the top names running New York – Keitany (translates in Kalenjin to do with milk and a cow), then we have Sally Kipyego, and we have Joyce Chepkirui. In case you are wondering if there are any men…. Tons, and the village record holder is the former world record holder, Wilson Kipsang.
Long story short I am going over the Verrazano bridge with Mary Wittenberg, her colleague Jess, and Michael Capiraso. Mary has never run NYC despite being the boss for a decade – it is going to be an emotional five boro run tour for her. And Michael? Well he has over run it – this is his 25th anniversary NYC marathon and he is the President of the NYRR!
Let’s jump ahead to mile 12…. Long miles of self-preservation. I feel like I am about to hit the proverbial wall, we have been running for about 1:5 0 which is longer than my ‘long’. This spells trouble and I am now thinking of plans B, C, and Escape. Mary meanwhile is having a ball, high fiving folks and seeing the real street fair the marathon displays. Michael is a rock, though I can see some worrying donkey kicks, showing he must be tight. We get to the Queensboro bridge and funnily enough my fortunes change. Suddenly running up the bridge I am wondering why it is so flat, the pace picks and it feels easy. Running down the other side, nattering with Mary, I realize we have dropped Michael. Onto First Ave we zoom along, better and better, all the way to the finish line! We cross the line, Mary hugs Peter Ciaccia and we do a U turn down the course now running against the thousands. Good job all the police and course marshals are looking the wrong way! On the East side we meet Michael, do another U turn and then go back to the finish line all together! What fun!
11/04 Giving an award to Dick Traum yesterday for his Hall of Fame to the NYC marathon. I had a nice speech written up, then there was an introductory video; all the things I was going to say came out in the video!
Minutes before I had been sitting with Paula Radcliffe, who was giving an award to Margaret Okayo and we were talking about how, when giving a little speech as a presentee, it was better to prepare rather than just amble on unprepared. So I had to go out and wing it… unprepared. Luckily, as I know Dick quite well, it was ok as there are plenty of things to say about the first man to run a marathon as an amputee, who started the worldwide Achilles Track Club, who was the first amputee to run an ultra, who inspired Terry Fox to run across Canada etc etc.
Anyway it was a lovely event, Frank Shorter was also there, giving an award to Steve Jones the Welshman who lives in Boulder and won NY, and Rod Dixon, the incredible 1500 to marathon man, winner in 1983, who is doing a great kids initiative right now out West – he was getting an award presented by George Hirsch. This was the first time in about ten years that I have seen Margaret which was very nice too. Lots of memories from 2000-2003 when she was on top of the world. She still holds the NYC marathon record, and the Boston record (one they take Rita the cheat out of the books)
Went to the Expo, going on the escalator in the subway who was riding behind me but German Silva! I ran with German in 2010 when he was kind enough to run for Shoe4Africa. Popped in a coffee shop for a meeting and who walked in Meb Keflegizghi, small world at NYC at marathon time. So many languages from all over the world! Bumped into Gary M. of Huntingdon, LI, who won the very first marathon, when it was a 155 runner event. Then Kev and I when to lunch on the Upper West Side at a nice French Place at 71 and Columbus before shooting over to Urban Athletics to drop off the Shoe4Africa bags for the Breakfast run.
08/28 Many thanks to J. P. Reinhold, another long time Shoee4africa supporter! He's ran with since 2010 in his first marathon, he ran his first Boston raising money for us, he is still giving (we got a thousand bucks today!). Thank you to a dear friend, and a great supporter of Shoe4Africa - J.P. Reinhold. PS: Even his sweet daughters have sent us donations!!
Mike Wilesmith - a hero for Shoe4africa, came to Kenya a few years ago with wife Kate, ended up not only bringing Kenyans back to run, but also fund raising for Shoe4Africa. He is at it again, not only fund raising funds for us but he also pledged his WINNINGS if he won the race (or won prize money) and he did! Wonderful story of a man caring about a public children's hospital in another continent far off from where he is living! Thank you Mike!
08/28 Ruth Jebet breaks the world record for the Steeplechase, 8:52 beating a Russian woman's record from 2008 (ho ho) shortly after her Olympic Triumph. Competing for Bahrain at the Olympics Ruth actually came back to Kenya after her Olympic Gold to celebrate with family in Nandi County. Obviously the celebrations were short, and now there are more reasons to celebrate!Gun Violence - how many bullets will kill before the laws in America are changed? How many stupid second amendment stories must we hear about people's rights? So sad, so pointless, so violent... so much needed - change. If President Obama couldn't make it happen, who can?Lord Delamere’s heir Thomas (Tom) Cholmondeley, who infamously shot and killed two Kenyans died from Cardiac Arrest, aged 48. (link).
08/27 Running with the incomparable George Hirsch in the Percy Sutton 5k. Afterwards brunch with George, and Anthony Edwards, at Les Ambassades on FDB & 119th st. Then on to Lavain Bakery for a sugar fix. You know that running takes energy!
08/26 Cafe Bari, on 6th Ave, a coffee shop... Its poster board reads "Lemon Ice water" - don't think I will be picking up coffee from there. Speaking of which last night at dinner with Marco (at Whole Foods Cafe on Houston NYC) and he tells me that Timo, an ultra star runner, is opening Arabica - a Japanese coffee franchise in Berlin! He's got the Euro rights... nice!
Went to the NYRR house to pick up a bib number for tomorrow's Percy Sutton Harlem 5k. I read on the bib that Harlem is...'Transforming the world.' Hm, self proclamations or something we are to hear about in the news...
I also saw I have gone from Corral A (in my last race) to Corral J in one big jump! How does this system work again? Too bad for me, I was supposed to be meeting my friend, and NYRR Chairman, George Hirsch in Corral A.
07/26 Fire at St. Patrick's High School, Iten, Kenya - luckily all students and teachers are ok.
Lunch with marathon great Moses Tanui at the Eldoret Sports Club. Driving up the road we saw a road accident, by coincidence it was a relative of Moses' but luckily she was ok.
07/09 Update - great job Venus! #sisterswindoubles.
Greatest athlete of our Time? Serena Williams! Wow.. and she is now on court with sister Venus going for the Doubles Title. Too bad drugs cheat Sharapova took (stole) a Wimbledon title from her back in 2004.
07/08 Very interesting article - LINK . I guess I am feeling lucky to have grown up in a peaceful environment where love won over hate. Where fear wasn't a first instinct. The case of Philando Castile is a terribly sad story, and worse yet a reminder of the reality of the society we have here in the States. I wonder if the general complacency of the public is they feel that this element of today's society doesn't affect them? And I wonder how long before society catches on that ignoring a national problem will make the issue fester, worsen and have a terrible effect on the society growing up today. #blacklivesmatter. This is not 2016 (progressive life), this is a generation from a forgotten time, before people opened their ears... and the scary thing is 'if this is the life under President Obama then what is the future'? Martin Luther King: 'I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.' Echoing (repeating) the (same) words of a former World Leader Mahatma Gandhi.
07/01 Amazing timing in the world of Athletics: You have the Olympics coming up, each country has athletes trying to peak for August and the European Athletics have their own championships -weird? Are you asking athletes to peak the first week in July and hold that peak till the second and third week in August, not forgetting a peak to get in the national team to make the European championships...
European athletics chiefs should be looking at ways at increasing the exposure of European athletes at the Olympics. If you don't believe look at two things later on this summer; how many European athletes win medals in Rio. How many of the medalists who took a Gold at the 'Euro' champs, took a medal in Rio. I am taking a guess Mo Farah will not be at the Europeans; maybe the officials should take a look at his way of doing things and follow suit.
06/ Don't tell me it is true? The demise of a European (possible) union. One wonders; a step backwards for Britain is almost certain,let's hope that Europe, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, band to make the EU stronger, and leave (Great?) England to swim selling its Mad Cows to itself... and importing the rest of the world's cars since its own defunct car industry (that once was a world strength) reflects the fact that England's isolated wealth is (like the premier league, and God Bless Iceland for proving this, imported talent and commodities...)
05/27 Wow, this blog is almost dead. The issue is too many places these days - when this blog was started there was just a blog, then came Facebook, instagram, twitter, S4A blog and one hundred places plus! I need to do a word press or something that ties up all the things!
First athletics - we hear 28 athletes failed tests 2005-2008, we now read that 31 athletes from 2008 Olympics also failed, and 23 from London 2012 - reading through this we read very little positive news. Obviously a department needs help and a shake up, and athletes need action - all this tells is going into athletics means you are not entering a fair playing field - what's new?
Meanwhile people in Kenya are crying because a railway line is planned to go through a national park in Nairobi. Well (some of) the poor people are saying, 'yes we want a railway, it is the transportation of the poor and it is here to benefit Kenya' whereas (some of the rich) are saying we want to keep the safari park for its beauty.
STOP PRESS -- Shoe4Africa NYC 5K - September 8th @ 7pm. One in every five runners gets a prize! Every one (over the legal age) gets a Beer, winners get cool Gore $200+ jackets, as do age graded winners. It is back! Below is the ADIDAS tech race T shirt for all entrants.
To enter this super cool race just click on this link here
04/14 It is Live - the Shoe4Africa 5K; too cool 2 Miss! Register yourself here please [link] That to go with all the others - Sign up to run the New York City Marathon with us! Sign up to play Tennis... with us. Aces 4 Africa is only one month away! I believe we are over 85% sold out on Doubles Teams.A new Documentary is coming out this summer about a women's football team in Zanzibar, playing against convention. Sure it will be great; watch out for New Generation Queens.
04/12 Looking at the race, the Shoe4Africa NYC 5K that is coming in September. I can just tell you now, don't miss this event. It is going to be 'toppen' as they say in Sweden. One of those self explanatory words.Tirunesh Dibaba has her name behind a sports center in Ethiopia - looks great! Not as good as Kenya for foreigners due to language barriers I believe as Amharic is a tough language and unlike Kenya everyone does not speak English, but looks great for those who will visit. [LINK].
Yesterday I went to the race in Central Park, a 4-miler. They have a great 'wave' system now letting the runners get off in a freer fashion. The fastest stand in the first corral, AA, then the next in A and so forth. Well I go and stand in my corral and a man comes across and tells me to get out (I wasn't even in the fast one!). He looks at my bib three times before leaving me alone... I was actually running with George Hirsch, the Chairman of the NYRR who at the age of 81 won his age group, and our pacers - me, Mary Wittenberg, and Michael Capiraso - the former and the present CEO of the NYRR... We had a great time nattering as George zoomed along at an inspirational pace! HE told me after we finished, "Wait till you get to your 80's, you'll find you slow down..." No kidding, I am dreaming that I will get there, let alone get there and be able to run.
After the run we went for coffee to the Boathouse where we met Vincenzo and a nice group of Italians, and Kev who's getting his 9 races in for next year.
04/01 Investors - Go to Africa, look at Kenya. The Economy is out shining many places in the West.... LINKGreat article by Chloe Malle on the fabulous Dibaba Clan and "Aunt" Tulu, the first ever, only, Double Olympic 10,000m champion (92 + 00) who won the NYC marathon in 2009 - she had the greatest comment at the press conference that year when someone asked her about retiring; she reversed the question to the journalist.
03/27 Emil Zatopek - George & I were talking about him and check out the Richard Askwith article here. A never-to-be repeated happening; Mr. Triple.
Aspiring reality TV people - a running show for you!
LINK IS HERE Hosted by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. The tag line says... 'Contestants on the reality show could win $1 million.' There you go!
Runner's World run a feature about running a half marathon in a suit - apparently a Rex Woodbury of the USA ran 1:18 but a Japanese Yuki Kawauchi, ran1:06:42 but, they say, on an uncertified course.. well there is a dispute. However, as Rex pointed out there are thousands of runners who could best that time and running in a suit is not that hard, it is like a tracksuit (if like Rex you wear a custom suit). Personally I never owned a suit whilst I was a runner... however I did win the Wall St Rat Race three times in Business Attire - the first time getting DQ'd despite winning the race outright (most of the field ran in shorts and a singlet - this was NYC) in a Prison Jumpsuit with a briefcase (as stipulated) that said "insider trader"... And let me tell you that was a heavy duty cotton and hard to run in, plus the legs were flared and I kept on tripping!
03/26 At the Spring Fling Classic 10k this morning. I ran with George Hirsch. Last year we ran together at the Brooklyn Half when George ran the fastest time for the year by an 80-year old! We ran a few seconds over 2-hours. Today George has not been training running as much, and I have had a month off with a bad Achilles so I was glad when he said "we might walk" but George did it - he wasn't too happy with 58-minutes, but I was super impressed. We ended up in the Medical tent, NOT for the obvious reason, instead for the Hot Chocolate!! There we met Stu Weiss the Head of the NYRR Medical, and Peter Ciaccia, the Race Director of the NYC marathon and Events.
A nice article by John Leicester of the AP, but factually incorrect. LINK is HERE
There is an airport in Eldoret with multiple flights to Nairobi during the day that the IAAF reps do actually take; they don't drive "past the wreck of Paul Tergat's mercedes" hurrying to get the samples to the Nairobi airport driving past the equator.
Also you state that Rita Jeptoo was the only high profile athlete to fail a test? Well what about Wilson Loyanae Erupe? A 2:05 marathon runner who was busted for EPO - is he not "high profile" because he is a Kenyan? His PR of 2:05 makes him a national record holder in 98% of the world's countries.... what about Matthew Kisorio - his 58-minute Half record makes him also a national record holder in 99% of the world's countries. Why are these not considered High Profile athletes?
There is a simple solution here, firstly it is establishing a separate entity (not the IAAF) to control the anti-doping, secondly marathon running is one of the few sports where complete unknowns are (allowed) to pop out of the blue to win un-monitored in world-class competitions offering a six figure prize sum. Hence promoting a very easy scenario for a cheat. Note how many 'new' 2:04/5 runners have appeared in the last five years, then look at how many do a poor second marathon (when under the spotlight and subject to testing yet now getting a new income of a six figure appearance - could be coincidence, should be monitored. Marathon fields should be compromised of athletes who have been tested, and are part of a team (like the British football league) hence a manager has a team who we get to know, and are subject to team testing and outside testing (if those numbers don't match up then it is up to the race director and manager to slide the runner out of the race). No runner is allowed in the elite field unless he has been monitored for at least three months by the outside team AND the manager.
Remember that the manager will not sacrifice his name for one runner, as he/she has a squad and doesn't want to risk getting banned -- if you don't believe this then why didn't a manager sue the Chicago Marathon when a certain Robert Cheruiyot slipped backwards on a slippy finish line mat, and cracked his head causing hospitalization, concussion, and has (what some people think) caused long term damage. Put two and two together.
So when a manager says I have 100-athletes, I can't control what they do 24/7 the race then says, Yes you can - you have to test and monitor. But a blood testing machine for 10,000 Euro's (like Doctor Rosa did after Rita Jeptoo was tested positive) and you will soon be able to see if you have "suspicious readings" and if one of your athletes then has 'readings causing a ban' at the race that haven't been picked up on by you (and could have been) then a ban on a manager is placed.
Some IAAF partner managers have multiple bans and something needs to be done. If they need help then call out and be a part of the program -- there are multiple blood testing facilities in Kenya. My hospital in Eldoret has this ability and can email the results to the manager, athlete, and the race director of the next upcoming race - I tell you this way would start to move things into line!
Congrats to Kenya - Five medals out of six individual and both team golds in the world half in the UK today. Mo Farah, the man of the Mo'ment, grabs the only non-Kenyan medal stepping off the track onto the roads and grabbing a bronze.
03/21 Governor David Paterson confirming to come to the Achilles Hope & Possibility.
The United NYC Half is actually a Manhattan half... and it has been astonishing to see it grow from a small puddle of an event to this mammoth of an event that it is today. I was at mile 3 with Damian, Jon, and Kev with the Shoe4africa huddle cheering not only our fab team on, but a whole troop of other runners - great to see this 20,000+ strong vibe of positive power, thanks to all the Shoe4Africa team members, and helpers, and not forgetting the host restaurant - the fabulous runner friendly Woolworth Tower Kitchens (official home of Coach Jon).
Alexa Peterson - a valued team member of Shoe4Africa
03/19 CLICK HERE to watch, and to listen to the uber talented Jazz singer Kate Chaston (married to Matt Shiney Chaston formerly of the Fat Tuesdays). And if you are in NYC in April then go along and listen in... at the Metropolitan room.
In NYC this morning, going to an event with Brooke and Damian from Ozland and who do I see.. from Iten(!) but Joyce Chepkirui! Didn't even know she was coming to NYC to run. Joyce has the Shoe4Africa course record in Kenya for our 5k. She was on the Olympic team for the 10,000m in 2012... the Kenyan Olympic team!
03/18 Donald Trump donates $100,000 to the Achilles. Actually not the first time he has donated either. A reminder that the Achilles race is coming up - June 26th, Central Park.
I met one of my fave athletes today, Paula Radcliffe. We were talking of this time, the pic above, when Paula came for the Mini. The day after we went for a long run of 20-miles as she kicked off her training for the world championships marathon. I have forgotten the time but remember looking at my watch after that run and calculating that she had run close to the pace she was running in the Mini, not much slower, the day after! Those were the days when She was Planet Paula!
A great set of photos from Reid,who always stays at the High Altitude Training Camp in Iten, Kenya. I saw him the other morning near the front of the famous Iten Fartlek session, near the end of the run too! I usually see the foreigners near the back (understandable of course). Check out the link here.03/09 Random Kenya - in Iten, Kenya I met Sakis & Giorgos, George, and their great team... standing on Kamariny track, in the middle of nowhere! They are going round the world producing a TV show in exotic places like Dubai, NYC... and Iten! The mind boggles. Whilst standing on the track I saw Joseph Cheromei - an old name from the running world! Those who are out and about at 7 am...
ON another note the rain came down so hard my windshield wiper fell off! Thanks to Andy for jumping out the car and fixing it... Other news Cow feeds are expensive we find!
03/06 Check out the New Kenyan coaching/training site built and owned by elite steeplechaser Haron Lagat. It is called The Kenyan way - thekenyanway.com and it promises to teach you the true methods of Kenyan running from a Kenyan perspective of a coach who is Doing it!
Meanwhile we hear that a Kenyan, no surprise, wins the weekend's top profile race; the Lake Biwa Marathon in 2:09
An excelent fact sheet showing the truth of the reality of the Running world right now... well 2013 (and many say it is getting worse by the day) LINK By Peter Gambaccini.
03/03 Mo Farah talks of retiring... but only from the track after 2017, then it will be full focus on the marathon.
Adidas drops IAAF... IAAF drops the Adidas 'IAAF' New York meet... I guess that was going to happen. Maybe the surprise is that they have replaced it with a Moroccan meet.
Abeba Aregawi, Sweden’s former world 1500m champion, has tested positive for illegal performance enhancing drugs. Married to Ethiopia’s Yemane Tsegay, silver medalists in the marathon at last year’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing her positive test came from an out of competition testing in Ethiopia. Meanwhile the Tokyo Men’s marathon winner E. Negesse (one of the ‘2:04-Dubai crew’) has also tested positive. More Ethiopian names to come say the insiders.
Question to Abbott Labs, sponsors of the World Majors Marathons... With so many WMM winners getting caught maybe investment in an East African lab might be wise?
other while of the day - Safaricom is a foreign company in Kenya that rules the cell industry. I have two SIMS - one T-Mobile, one Safaricom. Data set to T-Mobile yet when I sleep in Kenya my Safaricom 'credit' gets drained! Call up Safaricom, register a complaint, get no answer in the allotted time, call back, call back, four days later - no plausible explanation. I get numerous messages of others with the same issue when I post on their web page. Here is to hoping that T-Mobile go global!02/22/16 Question of the day - why do we call our teachers Mr. and Mrs and Sir.. yet we call the politicians Bernie, Trump and Obama, or Hillary?The lottery is now closed for the TCS New York City Marathon. [link]. If you don't get in lottery and want to run the race we hope that you will consider running for team Shoe4Africa [LINK]. The entries are opening up next month.Went for a run with Gaby from Argentina and Alex, from Long Island... in Central Park. Gaby is from Argentina and his wife has a charity called Women Across Frontiers based here in the city (will be checking to see if we can partner). Gaby and I finished at 6.6 and Alex added miles... that is how it goes! #NYC Half marathon.
Lovely story and the reason why it caught my eye was the 106-yr old woman had exactly the SAME advice that 107 -yr old Al Gordon had - Keep Moving! The lady is dancing at the White House! ABC link.
I tell you when people who live to be three digits you should listen to their every word.
Meanwhile the NY Times has an article about parents now being the New NYC landlords due to rent prices. One can only imagine.
"Minus one!" It was pitch dark when I left the apartment at 6:10 am but I was wearing sunglasses. Why? I was not doing a Bluesbrothers stunt I was merely trying to keep my eyeballs from freezing solid. I was meeting Rodney, whom I am pictured with above 'inside' his Salon on West Broadway. Funnily enough what was probably a decade ago NYC had its massive snow fall. I went for a run in the park with a friend called Anne. We met very, very few people - but we met Rodney!
So the last time I saw Rodney was in Tanzania when we were running the fund raiser run... before last week. So we arrange to go for a run n coffee and what a day to pick, again a monster day! In eight miles of running (7-miles of which through Central Park & 1 in Harlem)there was a total of three other runners! I have never ever done such a deserted loop of Central Park.
Cold revisited: in my younger days, running in Sweden, up near Haparanda... yes there was colder, but these days I am weak! Of course running through the Icelandic winters was also no joke.
02/13 "I failed 3 times in college. I applied 30 times to get a job but I have always been rejected. When KFC came to China for the first time, we were 24 to apply and I was the only one to be dismissed. I wanted to go into the police and 5 postulants, I was the only one not to be accepted. I applied 10 times to return to Harvard University USA and I was rejected." Jack Ma, Alibaba Creator and 22nd in the World's fortune according to Forbes in 2015 with $ 29.8 billion.What is 5-degrees Fahrenheit in celsius? I know it is cold. And that is the temperature slated for tomorrow morning at 6 AM when I am going to meet my friend Rodney. Let's not forget the wind chill will make it worse. I have to run two miles to get to where we are going to meet and I think I will be an ice block.
Nevertheless I am not complaining because I will be running the whole time. Back in the day I used to get up in this type of weather, coach for an hour (either running or standing), meet another client, do the same, often for three hour stints. When you are dressed for running, then you stop you start to get super cold, you stand still coaching the next athlete for an hour... and you have to dress to be able to run, and can't dress to be keeping warm. I recall days when I would come back and run my hands under the water for so long just trying to get the feeling back again. Or worse yet when I used to coach downtown I would have an 8-mile cycle back home with teeth chattering.
I will be thinking of those days ass I set off in the blistering cold.
02/09 Hearing there was chaos at the Eldoret Discovery Half Marathon. Some athletes cutting the course, some running 25km. I can just imagine...
02/08 LA is the place - first with the Superbowl, next with the marathon trials for the Olympics; domestic events of the month. We watched the half time show, being foreigners awaiting 'something' to happen. That is the problem beyond the hype. What's left? I am sure somewhere the money comes back but I can't remember seeing one commercial that knocked the socks off the rocks. And for the singing, well, again after watching Whitney's Superbowl anthem it kind've sets a "goosebumps" performance. I am sure Coldplay were not saying "Phew, that was a classic!"
Meanwhile food at a Mongolian Grill, nice, and thinking one of those hot round cooking slabs would go down great in Eldoret.
Kudos to the French now, by law, having to support food banks!
02/02/26 Fascinating article on Data stealing with Windows 10 - link And what you should do IF you do not have unlimited data. Crafty!
Running down 5th Ave I hear an Ozzie voice cry out - it is my friend Rodney. I have not seen him since Kilimanjaro 2010! He is opening a new store on 5th AVE! He has one on 57th St and West Broadway - talk about prime locations. Looking forward to coffee next week.
We have One free entry to a deserving runner for the Boston Marathon. Check on facebook.
01/28 Adidas stands down as IAAF sponsor in light of the recent scandals? Sounds like it and who blames them.
Went to the NYC marathon Charity meeting today for all people who are charity managers for the official teams of 2016 - we are! Hope you will join us, run a marathon for our mission to help impoverished kids get healthcare and education - Changing lives, saving lives.
And here is the fast man's word - Usain Bolt on the IAAF issue: LINKAnd, some good news, Allyson Felix is returning to the NYRR Millrose Games for the first time since she was a teenager and racing in an exceptional 60-meter dash field that will help to launch her 2016 season up at the Armory at 168th ST. - Is that correct? I met her at Millrose when it was at MSG and I am sure that was not so many years ago was it??
01/27 Went to a dinner at the hotel Viceroy on 57th ST - there are so many little hotels here in NYC, how do they all do business?
Walking up 6th ave an ambulance was blaring its way through to get through a deluge of buses and taxis. Super sad that no-one was giving way. I was walking faster than the ambulance... poor person inside. I mean I can understand buses, but taxis? I made ten blocks and with every block the ambulance fell further behind.
Downtown to West Broadway - memories from the 2000's when a friend gave me an apartment to look after down there. Met the founder of a cool new sunglasses company - trying them out tomorrow. Let there me sun. Okay, no rain... well even if there is rain they have these snappy new water/oil lenses that slick off the rain, plus anti-glare on both sides of the lens just in case you have a reflective sun creeping in behind you. And a million other little design things... cool.
01/25 Sold out for the Half - thank you runners for your support, really appreciate it!
La Guardia Airport to Harlem: The 'ride' from hell... with a flight not affected by the weather I was planning on being in NYC by 5 0’clock today. Plans changed when my domestic connecting flight, coming in from Tampa to Miami was delayed, and delayed. Nevertheless got into NYC at 6:10pm to La Guardia – an airport so close that with no traffic it takes me 12-mins to get home. At this time I was thinking 30-40 mins... The airport was jammed.
The taxi line was horrendous. The guy at the front of the line was staying it was an estimated wait of three hours. I went to the bus stop and waited. Waited, and waited. It was freezing cold, I was as usual, improperly dressed for standing still for over an hour. Spoke to a lady, she’d been there for almost two hours. A bus comes, from number, and plus it was bombarded.
Another twenty minutes, another bus came Q48 – had no idea where it was going but I took it. Getting out of the airport was horrendous. The bus driver said it was a day like no other. Reminded me of Nairobi traffic. We go to drop off a TSA worker and get stuck in another jam. Long story short, local through Queens, got off on the subway, took the local to Grand Central. All trains running local here… from LGA to home took three hours forty minutes… instead of twelve! It took me just under three to get from Miami to NYC! Crazy. Anyway, relieved to have got back, some people, whose flights we canceled on Sat/Sun are still in Miami waiting for seats on planes.
01/24 We sponsor a soccer club, or two, in Kenya - here they are, or at least a couple of them, after winning the Nacada Cup>
They were supposed to be playing in yellow. Apparently the person who went to place the order for the kits was a Chelsea fan... duped!
Last entry for the NYC half? Wanna run the streets of NYC, through Times Square, for Team Shoe4Africa to help the kids over in Kenya? Please get in touch asap!In Miami, on the roads, pushing a chair, having fun! At mile 8
01/23 The first Majors race is a month away... IAAF report. A good Kenyan presence there, and hoping for a good result from Abel Kirui who is hoping to run in the Kenyan Olympic team in Rio.
01/22 Running news, another 'unknown' wins the Dubai Marathon. Anybody see a trend here always happening in Dubai? Again, until there is a professional team approach with groups of tested runners coming into races with a blood passport of at least 6-months testing for any major marathon I think the sport will continue to be a battlefield. All the steps are there for the taking.
My latest accommodations...
I have been in Miami, Florida at the Eden Roc Nobu hotel. Funny in Kenya we were discussing Ocean Views Versus the Great Rift Valley. From Iten's escarpment there is no question of the winner!
01/21 My digs in Utah - pretty nice, check out the grand lodge. The restaurant downstairs beginning with the letter L makes a great avocado salad!
01/20 My plan is to learn how to make everything come to the same place. I have just jumped onto Instagram, my account has just become live, then there is twitter - terrible at that one too, then there is facebook, then the Shoe4Africa blog -- I need all to go to one place. Well maybe not the twitter as I have a real problem putting everything in 140- characters - #windbag.On the weekend I went to Utah for the day, yup. What is even stranger is I decided to go on Saturday night at 10:30 pm after an invite. On Sunday at 6 AM I was in a car to the airport. On Monday morning I was heading home! I stayed at the Grand Lodge close to St. George, at Brian's Head - America's highest ski lodge hotel I believe. I came home via Utah to Arizona, to Nevada and was back in NYC at 10pm on Monday night! I traveled on my least favorite airline, in a middle seat. I pressed the recline button and the seat fell back just one inch. I am not kidding. I felt like I was leaning forward for five hours. Hint - Do not fly United Airlines economy. What was worse is my (kind) friend offered to fly me in First Class but that would have meant leaving 90-minutes earlier. Considering I had not packed, and had only arrived from two international flights two days earlier, crossing two continents I went for the extra 90-minutes. I really, really regretted the decision later.
Flying home, on United Airlines, was the same - middle seat 100% uncomfortable. Well I was warned, I still recall the day one of the Stewardess's told me, "We are in the transportation business, not comfort." There you go - personally I try my hardest to fly American when I am in the USA...
01/17 New York City - great article on David Bowie, and his New York City. As it was John Lennon's New York City. link
I was reading an article on the British Airways flight, as you do on the plane about the capital cities of the world and what is #1. A subjective conversation in words the writer, for his (or her?) vote gave the run down to two cities - London and NYC, and the nod to Britain. It left me realizing the British writer had never lived in one of the two cities...
01/07 New Year New Project! The Shoe4africa Eat & Run Kitchens are starting to be built soon following the official ground breaking on January 7th in Eldoret, Kenya. Even Kenya's second largest hospital, that sits close by, doesn't have purposely built Kitchens and instead uses a house that is badly converted. So we are lucky. thanks to donors in Germany who are supporting this project: Asante Shoe4Africa Germany.
01/06 Zero confidence in the IAAF - link as the Swiss jump ship. Next link from All Africa newsNews at the Farm; Fluffy is doing well. He is now convinced he is a cow, and a calf at that!
01/04 We have a Shoe4africa office at the Hospital and we have... an Internet connection! Amazing. Things I would never take for granted.
Running wise many more runners have now come out of the holiday mode and the Home of Champions is swarming with runners. Gladys Chesir, the world's fastest road 10k runner last year, came by with a smile this morning.
If anyone knows of a city that would like to be a sister city to Iten please do email...
01/02 At the children's hospital... and it is nice as I start to get visitors. Kids are now playing on the swings out in the gardens. I met the steeplechase legend Moses Kiptanui for a cup of tea and a chat about farming.Linet Masai, a resident of Iten, wins the last race of the year in Madrid Spain in a sterling 31:38 again - and Mike Kigen takes the men's title in a fast 27:35.
Train at High Altitude. Many people ask me - "How can I go and train in Kenya?" I recommend one place; email firstname.lastname@example.org to go and stay at the Home of Champions. Join a slue of Olympians from around the world and running enthusiasts who come together for talk, training, and an unforgettable Kenyan vacation
*Exclusive use of the private LKSA tartan track*Swimming Pool*Gym*CCTV 24hr security - G4S 24hr security*Internet Lounge*(2)Restaurant(s)*