Here's Eugenia Yuen, a friend of Leong's who I believe has a book coming out soon. First year we were odd color green, then red, then I think we have been grey or white.
Wondering whether we need a separate web page for Shoe4Africa and the Shoe4Africa Hospital? If so what would the hospital site be called??
08/26 An old picture from a few years ago. At Edna's house in Iten, with her mother. Edna Kiplagat is today the 2-time world marathon champion.
We are in the 'winter' now in Kenya. In fact last night was freezing with buckets of rain. Luckily in business hours it was dry hence I got around Eldoret before the floods. Luckily now with the roof secured work progresses regardless of the weather. Although it was a swamp to get back in the car. Tomorrow, I believe, we are having a top-off ceremony to celebrate the roof being complete!What is the future of running? Will Kenya lead the way? We think so [link]
A typical picture of Africa. In one glance the location is set.
Back from a day in Nairobi - glad to see new roads built, but driving out on a Friday afternoon was a drag. We got from Eldoret to Westlands in under four hours thanks to a speedy prado on the Eldama Ravine route. Getting back that evening was a trip. However in Nairobi I met the CEO of Equity Bank - James Mwangi, Ernst & Young's entrepeuner of the year 2012, as I say, 'google him' - a pretty amazing guy. Then it was off to the Office of the Deputy President whom I met the last time I was in Kenya. This time it was to meet the Chief of Staff. Good meets. The day before in Eldoret I met the people behind private health, the CEO's of Mediheal, Eldoret Hospital, Reale Hospital & St. Lukes. I am starting to feel like a medic.
Running wise our neighbor is entered in Birmingham today, in the 600m - Mr. Rudisha, representing Iten.
08/20 Used to be a time of daily updates.. used to be a time of running focused news - these days it is more of medical people, and politicians... although I keep on running into a lot of running peeps here. In fact just yesterday I met Martin Keino whilst in a restaurant having a meeting about children hospital murals with a guy from Indiana. Met Brother Colm - always great to catch up with him, a friend of twenty years. Then a lot of Governor's, Deputy Govs, Senators blah blah as we are one year into the building. The only way I can keep in touch with what I am doing is scrolling back on my phone and seeing calls/meetings. This is quite a journey I can tell you. Almost every day I am in Eldoret for work and getting bored with the commute (two dead cows on the road today, cut off by two matatu's - all the usual). Today a friend from the medical world in Nairobi is visiting - Priten. Introduced to me by Chucky China - small world!
To a flashback picture when the Virgin London marathon kindly sent me 3500 marathon jackets and we gave them away in a village near Kitale. They did a great thing - the people were so pleased.
A day in the life... Arrived in Nairobi, I turned on my Kenya phone, that had been switched off for a while and the phone rings like magic - it is Daniel Komen, the runner from the 90's. I am surprised, weird coincidence he should call at that instant. Met Manu Chandaria, one of Kenya's most influential business men. He is going to Mombasa for business. Jumped on a plane to Eldoret, met Kip Keino, the running legend who started the Kenya-running theme back in the 1960's, got off the plane in ED and ran into Wilson Kipsang who is looking very fit and well. We went to Iten, and I went and had dinner with Lornah Kiplagat (the Simba). Cold in Kenya - well all is relative.
At the Paul Tergat race in Baringo, Kenya with Moses Tanui, and Paul. Actually I went there with Ezekiel Kemboi now I remember, and there was a whole host of athletes there coming not just to run but also to support Paul's event. Another athlete had a bad car crash later that night, the man finished third in the race can't recall his name. memories.
Kenya finished top in the commonwealth games medals... for athletics (what counts). No doubt they did not win the syncro-swimming awards. Powerhouse Jamaica were @ #2.Meanwhile we hear there is a phone app that wards off mosquitoes no less! I was shocked when someone showed me the app that reads your heart rate. I thought phones were for answering.With Kev at Harlem Social -- a man runs by with a gun and disappears down a subway... followed by about twenty police cars who then started darting off in every direction that the subway ran.
Next day I met Jon & Summer to talk S4A stuff - on the Upper West Side at Josie's things were a little quieter... noticed that they have interesting table bread there these days (And better salmon than at Harlem Social).
I had the idea that he man would not be drunk, in a nightclub, brawling... the Oscar Circus in South Africa continues... [link]
Meanwhile a much more positive read about a double amputee - [link].
Every time another 'athlete' gets caught for cheating with drugs you wonder how long has she managed to evade the testing system. Of course they will tell you "It's the first time" but when you read a world champion from Botswana tests positive at the Commonwealth Games you do wonder - Amantle Montsho appears to have shamed a nation.
08/02 Congrats to Lynsey Sharp of Scotland winning he commonwealth games 800m -- yet another athlete who trains at HATC in Iten, Kenya. Great to see Eunice take gold - another of Claudio Berardelli's athletes.
As part of Shoe4Africa we are looking at starting a running camp for Junior talents. Just trying to get the pieces into shape to hold a Bi-annual camp and start the club. Of course using the talents of people like Claudio! Also Moses Kiptanui, coach to so many top athletes, and Haron Lagat, the best steeplechase pacer on the circuit. We have the location, near Cherangani - now we need the support, but we have some ideas.
07/29 Agreeing with Elias Makori - Bahrain bringing Kenyan's under the age of 18 to "win" glory for their country should be addressed. It is a real odd scenario. Maybe a simple step of having the athlete being able to identify the national anthem would be a step in the right direction - something the Asian marathon champion, Shami (of Kenya) was unable to do - and he was a senior.
Mary Wittenberg, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and moi at the Achilles 5-miler in Central Park. Was this really one month ago?
Givedirectly - 2.4 million grant from? New? This is an old and tried concept; President Moi made a Nyayo legacy of driving around giving Hand outs in the 1980's & 90's What is new? Meanwhile... with new initiatives South Korea pulled itself out of poverty by investing in business, healthcare, and education. Givedirectly appears to be moving backwards; making the poor more reliant on waiting for handouts in a form of lottery giving. link
PS: I am all for injecting more cash into Africa, do not get me wrong. I spoke with a headmistress in Kibera about this type of project - her take? "The West, for its own means, continues to turn our continent into one of beggars waiting for the next boat. I remember the days before Aid handouts - we were so much better off in those days." H. Otieno.
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Thanks to Mother Nature - LINK 12 things you can do with your shoes, and we are number seven.Commonwealth Games - Very disappointing to see only 25 men and 21 women entered in a championship marathon. Live tomorrow morning...Moi Referral gets a new Chairman, they will run the Shoe4Africa Children's Hospital. [link]And since we are linking - The Scarificial Instinct - thanks Amitava! [link]Meanwhile someone made a donation to Shoe4Africa for the children's hospital. They tried to get a matchign gift from Johnson & Johnson. The compnay snet me a letter to tell me that this is not possible because they support certain missions, like Child Welfare, and Shoe4Africa does not fit inside their mission - hm, go figure!
07/23 In light of the Commonwealth Games starting we suggest a link - watch 100 seconds [link] with Brother Colm & David Rudisha.Meanwhile in the world juniors we hear that Bahrain has been importing Kenyan juniors, read more in the Daily Nation. An article entitled the scent of oil.
07/13 So the life has been heavily influenced by watching football - what a great tournament and truly there is only One world cup. I think the result was spot on too - the best two teams got to meet each other and there was not much between them at all. Funnily enough I think I have only seen two 'live' games in my life (I am an armchair fan, and a bad one at that - much prefer to do the sport than to watch). Anyway, a long, long time ago I saw Sheffield United play. and who was playing but Alejandro Sabella - in those days he was called Alex. Meanwhile over in Brazil, my S4A team
I saw a nice documentary by a guy called Tom Shadyac who was the director of quite a few hit comedies till he had a bicycle accident and started to ask Life Questions -- worth watching; I AM.
David Rudisha hits form and becomes the big media game of the Commonwealth Games! Brother Colm's most famous athlete and that is saying something.
07/07 A nice article where I was quoted...[link]World Cup Fever - after wathcing virtually zilch we watched the whole of the quarters... Holland Vs Costa Rica, the best so far! Funny other huge sporting events go on, but does anyone notice? This must be the year of the un-noticed other sports.
07/03 Sad to say that Track & Field is now the new Tour de France - the BBC, tongue in cheek, report on the Lausanne 100m race pointing out the joke of modern day track. Tyson Gay, gets a ban then gets off with a slap on the wrist, Gaitlin had two positive tests, a lifetime ban, and somehow is still competing,a nd to top things off the guy who finished third also was banned...
What message is this sending out to young athletes? We want to keep the 'names' in the sport? This is the opposite to Zero Tolerance.
Here is the 'reason' why Gay got a 50% reduction in his 2-year ban, "We appreciate Tyson doing the right thing by immediately withdrawing from competition once he was notified, accepting responsibility for his decisions, and fully and truthfully co-operating with us," said Usada chief executive Travis Tygart. So basically take drugs, get caught and say I did it and you get a season out? Sad.
07/01 July '14 - who would have believed it? Last night my freind Shmuel and his wife Anat took me out to SushiAnn - a top Japanese place off Madison at 52nd ST - if you like the best raw fish then this is an absolute great place. It is my second time and the quality is fab! Shmuel was telling me about a billion dollar company he owns quite a lot of call Mobila (or something) that has technology to make cars safer. It is an Israeli company that is going public later this month, in about three weeks. I shall be watching out... that after he gets back from going to Brazil for three days to watch the finals, courtesy of Hyundai.Funny, I am actually trying to learn the fish market, on a small scale - tilapia... long story, to do with the hospital and sorts.
06/30 Thanks to all who came and made the Hope & Possibility such a great event. Good album of photos on the NYRR.org website. The Attorney General of NY & Jon Stewart (now his third time of running), along with the Singing Policeman, and Cigna's Dave F. gave the Achilles a good send off before most ran the 5-mile loop and others completed our 1.5-mile Fun Run, then of course the Kids had their dash. It was a good running morning with blue skies and sun! The day started very early, almost everything went smooth, and we were wrapped up by noon. Thanks to all the sponsors & supporters.Later that day I went to dinner with my friends Wendy, Ben & KT all the way over in NYC from California at Chez Lucienne -- they are great S4A supporters, helpers and good friends!6/27 Dinner last night at the house of my good friend George Hirsch's. We sat out overlooking Central Park on his amazing view balcony. Read about George on a wonderful post by Amby Burfoot of RW [LINK]
NYC continues at its best right now, Harlem streets were buzzing with gospel music. It continues to be hot and humid. Last night I finally turned on my fan as it was stifling (I don't have air conditioning). Some people pay to go to a gym and lie in the sauna - just don't turn on your AC and stay in bed.
Yes we have a sponsor! Thanks to Caroline & Jason (good friends to S4A), and remember this face...
In ten years... fleet feet. Can we change her life?
Hope & Possibility is closed online but open for walk in registrations at the NYRR.
06/26 Jon Stewart promises to be there for the Achilles race on Sunday, just heard him say so via the Vid at the Achilles Gala last night. He is running again.
Full of inspiring stories; so many people who have been dealt life changing blows, but have got back up. The Achilles continues to Inspire. AS we mentioned before the Attorney General and the former Governor of NY, David Paterson, will also be coming to meet, greet and run
Meanwhile political news here in Harlem--Charlie Rangel rebuffs primary challenger to win 23rd House term. Charlie is a Harlem institution. I met Alan of the Flyers earlier for a glass of pineapple juice and he was bringing me up to date with the opposition, who seems to have fallen by the way side. Charlie, 84 years young, gets two more years.
Thursday is the last day to sign up for the Achilles race at the NYRR.org - we hope to sell out and are very close. Askale Merachi from Ethiopia is tipped to win the women's open division. This is the race that nearly always has some interesting folks - we know we have the AG and a Governor, plus we might have a couple of others in the mix!Great hot weather in NYC right now - just nice, this is the greatest time in the city, so much going on. You walk through Central Park and a million things are going on all over the place.Big evevnts are the world cup - can David Rudisha & Mo Farah push the Commonwealth Games into really being called a global event? The Scots think so. If U.Bolt would turn up they would be in business.Philip Hersh, Tribune reporter tells that Rita Jeptoo is back to Chicago for the fall marathon. No surprises there. If she maintains the Boston form she will be the one.06/22 My Canadian friends took me out on Saturday - first the maker of the Film Gun Runners which will be coming out next year, thanks Anjali! Then Chris, Dev & Kathleen who made me feel like a foreigner in NYC as we went to a musical about 1980's Rock music called 'rock the ages' -- I think I was the only person in the audience who did not know the songs, plus I had a hard time trying to fathom what the people were saying (singing). It was a case of study hard to watch what was going on; so I felt like I was in a decade class history lesson, learning something! For the first time I felt like a foreigner as that area of NYC is almost like another town -- Times Square, more unique than ever before. Gotta love NYC.Sunday I was up, up in the Northern Bronx in a place called Pelham - again, put me outside of my normal circle and I feel like a square. And that was a writing project... What films, musicals and writings; I am become cultured!
"Take your pick, which pair do you want?"
This young girl won the Kibuswa Cross Country run in a sprint finish. She stood for quite a while not really knowing what to do. I believe she will grow up to be a talented runner. If you would wish to sponsor her, mentor her through her athletics career, send her shoes once every six months and other sports gear then let me know! You could change this girl's life. Her parents are poor farm workers from the North of Kenya.
Happy Birthday Mr. George Hirsch - 80-years!! The Chairman of the NYRR is also one of America's greatest age group runners. I coached George back when he was 73 and ran 3:30 at Berlin - big talent and he's going out to the Queens 10k on Sunday to, I guess, win there! I've known George since the early nineties; a most remarkable chap. Mary Wittenbery threw a surprise birthday party for him with a luncheon at the new Tavern on the Green. My take on the food - well I had a Greek Salad (value for money was very low - check out what you get!), cheesecake - was the size of a thimble, maybe order three? Coffee - benefit of the doubt, I did ask twice for strong but maybe it was delivered as decaf, and I had three scoops of Sorbet - one scoop, the raspberry was good!
However the decor and setting are great - the new design so much better than the old gawdy set up and it helped there was beautiful sunshine.
A few days earlier I was at the Harlem Red Rooster, which has become the destination restaurant in Harlem - check it out on 125th & Lennox. Marcus Samuelsson has done something tremendous there and also inspired other great places too to step up - The Corner Social opposite, Chez Lucienne next door and I have not visited but close by a new place called the Harlem Shake. Of course there is the old landmark place if you like Southern fried food too - Sylvia's.
Few days before I was meeting my friend Chris, we were at Tony's on Third Ave & 65th - you do not leave hungry from that place. In fact you order halves...
A rather frightening strong from Douglas, a member of the NYC running community that moved away, and is thankfully recovered after a very alarming story. [LINK]06/20 I was wandering around the mid sixties the other day - I love NYC is the Summer. Such a differing feel to the winter. Out of all the cities in the world NYC is so flavorful of contrastting people - I realize this more and more how everyone fits in in NYC in every neighborhood.Up to Yonkers two days ago to visit Afya a medical supply team who have a great Org set up there in the middle of nowhere. The last time I was in Yonkers I went to run a half marathon there and I discovered monumental hills, beyond hills! The part I remember the best was the lady with the Sledge hammer who came running at us when we asked her for directions. I was with Urs, newly transplanted from Switzerland, and we were in his wife's very nice car. She was not a happy camper; luckily we escaped.One week to the H&P 5-miler. It is Sunday and the sign up is on the NYRR.org - quick!
06/17 A good off-the-wall story about Kenyan runners (link)and what are they doing with impacts for society. And the story highlights the Charles character who became a Kenyan youtube hit after a post race interview.
The British Guardian take a photo of a lady in a unit collecting recycled trash and make a blazing headline, "The woman in the bin is the ugly truth..." Yes poms please stay away from NYC as you would find the same here - and we call it industry. [link].Sad news over in Kenya at the coast as terror continues with an attack at a resort hotel where people were relaxing just watching football. Sadly terrorists always pick on unarmed innocent citizens -- seems to be the way they play.Running news -- David Rudisha was back to his winning ways despite starting his comeback form. Watch out in Monaco on July 18th when he expects to be... Rudisha!Less than two weeks to the Hope & Possibility; the summer's favorite feel good run in Central Park. Sign up at wwww.nyrr.org - thanks!
06/14 MINI Marathon -- I watched the Mini Marathon this morning in Central Park. The park was very quiet, sad a world class road race like this does not attract more interest. Linet Masai gave a display of 'born to run' form with one of the longest strides in the biz. I only saw a couple of miles, but hear she finished third (fourth!) to the inform Ethiopian lady Damska and Molly Huddle. This is the first USA win in ages in an open race. In 2004 Deena won, but in that year no foreigners were invited to run as it was an Olympic promo for USA runners only.
It was funny, like setting the clock back 10-years and waking up to find you are still in the same place. The times were not Lornah/Paula-esque with 31:37 but it was nice and humid out there as NYC tends to be. Good to see Delilah, Diane from Burundi, Deena still out there, and also spotted was Mary Wittenberg, a leader of the Women's running, running the race too.
World Cup -- Can't understand why people are surprised that Holland are doing so well. They should have won the last world cup and will win this one. I do hope, for global development, that we get no repeat of the 201o Euro dominance. I don't see Brazil winning, and it would be great if an African nation could get in the last four. So far it is Holland/Germany 3-1, or 2-1 if the draw allows.
06/10 In transport... meanwhile Alfa Romeo have the greatest car race - you must go from one city to another and the winner is the one with the least fuel consumed. Save Fuel - there's a theme.
06/09 Wow, another time out. Distracted, lots and lots going on. Meanwhile we are doing a push for the Hope & Possibility 5M and I am glad to say we are nearing full capacity so please sign up quickly and support. Come run the month's most inspirational run in the city andf support the Achilles.
Lots of stuff going on with the hospital... more.
05/25 Saw the results of the world relays - pretty sad that just four teams entered for the women's 4 x 1500. Great running by the Kenyans to dominate and win in a new world record. No surprise Kenya also won the men's 800m... I think if there is any future in this event there has to be better marketing else it will die out. Two teams in next year?In the running news another resident of Iten returns to winning ways - Mary Keitany, winnning in a Canadian 10k. Will we see her in NYC in the fall?
05/24 Used to be running with the Born to Run, then it was Running with the Kenyans, and now it is Running with the Chinese! Thanks to Jim for the link [link] Nice pictures taken by the High Altitude camp go to www.lornah.com to get your booking.
No food reviews someone asked - geez, correct. These days I can't keep up - but went to Vabene on Second Ave 82nd ST - my comment here was 'when you say the meal comes with Roasted potatoes and you serve just one please change the wording of your menu. I did get four carrots, mini ones the size of a thumbnail!
Speaking of which I got a salad the other day at Park Central (another meeting lunch) and literally they served four slices of chicken on 7 leaves of lettuce with mayonnaise smeared over the top. I think I could become a chef!
Planning the next Hope and Possibility, that is June 29th and SAVE the date also for a Summer's Night 5k - Wednesday 10th Sept at 7pm and enjoy a drink overlooking he Hudson afterwards! It is going to be great - Riverside Park, Manhattan. 09/10/2014 - the 4th Annual Shoe4Africa 5k05/19
Sad video showing the sorry state of some Kenyan athletes. Sad also for me as I tried to help one of these guys, but it did not work out. Also sad that this is a recent video, but since the footage came out I hear that Sammy Chepkok "digger" has died. [link].
Tomorrow I will post a picture of happier times when Kwambai and Chepkok were at the top of their game.
Glad to hear that Paula Radcliffe will run the London Marathon next year - the greatest. A woman way ahead of her time!Met with Don Favre who used to come to the track. His friend Ron Greve raised $1,000 for Shoe4Africa; what a nice guy! He was impressed at our operations. Plus he raised some more for us earlier too! Looks like another toilet project.
05/15 Have a vision, and I act upon it.
I see NYC is considering the 2024 bid for the Olympics - and why not? I would start a group called the fifth circle, I would hire people of vision, I would watch the 2012 London bid and boom, there's the secret.
Talking of big boom's a big congrats to Jim Wilkinson who has graduated to the globe's #1 company right now, bigger than a facebook, bigger than google and ebay and all the rest - Alibaba. Congrats to Jim who is a Shoe4Africa board member. [link]Talking to Boston Marathon winner Wesley Korir who is in training fro a marathon in ten days - we are both looking to improve the same area and looking to athletics as this area is the hot bed of distance running. And a way to get education and a career.Little facts - walked past Odetta's house today in Harlem...
05/13 One of Kenya's major stories was he Lunatic Express. A railway that ran from Mombasa to Uganda. I will second the lunatic part having ran from Mombasa to Kilimanjaro (and jumping over train tracks). Well the Chinese have launched a massive rebuild - Boom - Lunatic Express rebirth. Looks like a great project.Every day is different at Shoe4Africa - today one kind soul offered me office space, and a mass of it too in an old 1928 Shoe factory - how fitting that would have been and it is a massive 170,000 Sq foot. Thanks Steve! More news on the link